What’s All the Chatter About?

Liz Pearce | May 6, 2010

Collaborate Chatter
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Regardless of how you feel about TwitterYammer, and other micro-blogging services that are cropping up, they’re here to stay. The question is: how will these services evolve to meet the needs of the social enterprise? Michael Krigsman of ZDNet writes about the launch of Salesforce Chatter and points out a few of the obstacles their larger customers will likely encounter:

Although Salesforce.com understands these new approaches, the enterprise does not yet recognize collaboration and Enterprise 2.0 as a mission critical activity. Market education that demonstrates concrete value is key to solving this particular challenge.

There’s a good reason why many CIO’s don’t perceive “chatter” to be mission critical: because it’s not.

At least, it’s hardly critical when it’s disconnected from core business initiatives. Providing individual workers with the ability to post status updates is a great way to foster collaboration and a sense of team. However, it also presents the risk of adding more noise and even more opportunities to be randomized. For chatter to be useful, it should be contextual and integrated.

Which is why we think it’s most powerful when chatter is directly integrated within a project plan. It serves both as a telescope and a microscope. From a macro perspective, chatter provides a steady stream of information that is (mostly) relevant.

Dashboard Chatter
Workspace Chatter on the Dashboard in LiquidPlanner

This is the situational awareness that provides frontline workers with greater context than what is usually found at the task level. At a micro level, the ability to automatically attach chatter to tasks within a plan helps to create a living project plan, where important commentary can exist outside the vacuum of email. Which is how chatter can in fact become mission critical to every enterprise.

Collaborate Chatter
Workspace Chatter as Viewed on a Single Project’s Collaboration Page in LiquidPlanner

Has Workplace Chatter improved your project planning? Tell us how in the comments.