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Module_2_with_narration_text - Module 2 Information systems...

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Module 2: Information systems for collaboration 1. Introduction In this lecture we discuss how information technology can be applied to facilitate collaboration between employees in the course of decision making, problem solving and project management. 2. Collaboration Collaboration refers to two or more people working together in a group to achieve a common goal. When collaboration is effective each member of a group can achieve more than when working alone. Groups are particularly effective when they are diverse, so that different members of a group complement each other. 3.Feedback and iteration Collaboration in a group is achieved via feedback and iteration: repeatedly (in a number of iterations) a member of a group would listen to comments from other members regarding his work product (feedback) and re-work it accordingly. This not only results in a better work product, but also in learning. Group members learn from each other about the domain of their activity, and learn about each other: about each other's knowledge and capabilities. As the result, a group may become more effective over time. 4. Critical collaboration drivers There are three critical factors driving collaboration in groups: communication, content and workflow control.
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Module 2: Information systems for collaboration 2 Communication is the process of imparting meanings from one individual to another via a medium such as speech, print, or electronic medium. Effective communication depends on individuals' communication skills, such as the ability of team members to give and to receive feedback. Also, the availability of appropriate communication systems (e.g., email) may be critical, particularly when communicating individuals are not co-located. Content management refers to processes and technologies allowing members of a group to work with shared digital information: to view it and to update it. Effective content management ensures that authorized individuals have appropriate levels of access to information (such as the ability to read it or to modify it), and prevents unintended information loss that may occur when one individual overwrites work created by another. Workflow is the sequence of tasks involved when members of a group are involved in activities involving dependencies: for one activity to start, another activity should first be completed. For example, to start building a house, one first needs to create a plan and to obtain the necessary permits. Group work involving workflow can benefit from software that would track the status of activities and their dependencies to make it easier for group members to organize their work. 5. Collaboration systems for communication Let us first discuss communication, which is a prerequisite for any collaboration. Synchronous communication occurs when
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