The right tool for the job

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This is a guest blog by Dave Robinson. Dave is a Technical Manager within Capgemini TS, with an interest in Infrastructure and Social Networking tools. How many times have you been doing some DIY at home and found that you don’t quite have the correct tool for the job?  But what do you do then?  It is […]

This is a guest blog by Dave Robinson. Dave is a Technical Manager within Capgemini TS, with an interest in Infrastructure and Social Networking tools.

How many times have you been doing some DIY at home and found that you don’t quite have the correct tool for the job?  But what do you do then?  It is possible to find something that will “make do”, but this can result in bruised knuckles, scratched paintwork, and a botched finish.  When you want to be safe, and produce a good result, you can’t beat using the right tool for the job.

When we look at business communication, we have a wide range of tools at our disposal – e-Mail, Instant Messenger, Blogs, Twitter, Yammer etc.   Do we need them all, or can we just pick one or two to fit all situations?

Why use Instant Messenger when we can simply exchange e-mail?  Why use Yammer when we have an Instant Messenger capability?  Just as with the DIY task, we can bend the tools and make a botch, or we can examine the requirement, and then select the right tool for the job.

So, ask yourself:

  • Are you “pushing” information to a specific audience, or does the information consumer have to make a conscious decision to “Pull”?
  • Are all the participants on line at the same time (Synchronous), or will they be available at different times (Asynchronous)
  • Who are you communicating with?
    • Just one (specific) person
    • A whole team or organisation
    • Anyone in the world who cares to look?
  • Do you need to provide a searchable history or audit of the communication?
  • Are there security issues to consider?
    • Is this a private conversation?
    • Is it a conversation within a closed community?
    • Do you wish to share the information with the rest of the world?
  • What channels does the recipient have available?
    • Are they online?
    • Do they have a mobile phone?
    • Do they have a Smartphone?

Given the requirement, check out the capabilities of the tools to see which one fits best.  Here’s a selection I prepared earlier:

It is only by selecting the right tool for the job that we produce effective communications and obtain maximum benefit!

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