Interview: Lisa Bozek
Head of Information Management
Responsible for digital transformation:
Helping people to help the communication tools we have to collaborate better from a distance.
Learn different ways of using the technology
Ongoing project redesigning the communication landscape.
Lisa is working on exactly the same as goal as this project, we want her to be involved in developing the specific best practice recommendations and as her to share her insights up to this point. She will not be available for the webinar on the 12th, but potentially for the co-design session on the 19th.
Goals of the interview:
How is the current state, methods, tools and level of satisfaction for remote collaboration within climate KIC and with third parties and when and why in-person meetings, research and events are deemed necessary?
Technical Communication State: Which tools are used?:
- How do you communicate?
Answers: Skype for business, Microsoft office 365. (teams, (equal slack), share point (all documents libraries a held together)) , Trying to phase out GotoMeeting. Request to use Zoom to liberate structures. (integrated or best for a specific task). Break-out-groups. Online workshops: Go and drop put of this call and go and connect one on one: In zoom send them in the rooms instead.
Lisa currently does not own the tech stack. The usage of tools is closely protected. “Widely know”. Computers are set up in onboarding session.
GDPR Problems are very relevant to digital work on different platforms
Evaluation of the efficiency of current communication: How well does it work?:
How do conventions of using digital tools emerge in their organization (say: how to name files, where to put templates, what file formats to use)? Are they codified/documented somewhere?
- Answer: Multiple policies in place: written down in policy, but that is not the day to day work reality, and not read by most
- Answer: GDPR classification
- Answer: No naming conventions for files
Talking to tech support? >>> contact Max Cooper
- Do you develop the best practice conventions?
- Answer: yes, but not yet properly gathered and written down
Climate KIC defines remote work differently from Edgeryders: there are different types: Different types of remote work:
- Home (single person) (wants to discourage)
- Offices (Different teams in different countries) (wants to encourage)
Baseline: Third-party collaboration:
- How do you collaborate with third parties?
What tools do they use to collaborate with third parties? E-mail? Shared folders? etc.
Answer: “Co-creating with governments, universities, students, entrepreneurs. Share point, google docs and dropbox)”
Lisa is developing and facilitating online workshops with different teams. She mainly uses Skype and Microsoft teams and draws from insights from liberating structures methods.
Lisa’s main insights/experiences from those workshops:
Online facilitation takes longer than usual face to face communication
Etiquette for beeing participants in an online workshop is not universally known and can not be taken for granted.
A team know they have 2 hours together in a call to do x things, but some people take up all the time with unnecessary talk. This happens also in direct meetings, but the problem is increased in online meetings.
“people taking more time than necessary”,
“People feel as if their voice has to have been heard to confirm that they are there, again just wasting time”
Climate KIC uses more Real-time tools like video calls instead of other asynchronous tools like online discussion forums
A guide explaining which tools to use when best would be useful: “ If we want to do this, we need to use that tool”
Imagine the best: What would you like to improve and what would be the outcome you would wish for?
Answer: Everyone has an understanding and etiquette for the tool in use.
Everyone understands the functionality.
The 5 main pitfalls/problem cases Lisa reports:
- Badly adjusted online presentations
- Webinars were no one can contribute
- Nonsensical brainstorming sessions
- One or 2 dominators taking over calls
- Most people don’t contribute (can do it on the spot) in a call as it is currently hosted and realised
Dream scenarios according to Lisa:
- Format adjusted to what we are doing:
- Workshop different from the meeting:
- Liberating structures:
- Using the chat
- Cocreating agendas
- Sharing files and looking at them
- Online breakouts (zoom?)
- Use cases for illustration in tool training (exercises in the learning of lessons, in the project, …)
- Liberating structures:
Being self-aware of which practices are helpful and not helpful.
Best practise guide, helping and encouraging articulation.
Remote workload menagement:
Lisa works mainly remotely also as a manager and relies heavily on the self-reporting of her collaborator’s workload. She stresses that quite often there is a problem with people signing on to talks online and then dropping out when the workload from different sides becomes too much. She also described how when discussions and workshops could not be finished in synchronous video calls and are converted in asynchronous different tasks, it is hard to make people follow through on this. She has to keep reminding them and even if she schedules time in their calendars for those tasks, they are often delayed.
“Remembering colleagues of asynchronous work. Messages help to gage importance. I do not take it personally if others remind me, but maybe others do.
People committing to contribute, but then have to drop out.
As a manager: how do you know how much workload people have? Just rusting in peoples self-reporting.”
“Weren’t able to get everything done in an online workshop. Therefore, they added another half, in writing asynchronous, but that needs more time and follow up investment.
Booking time into the calendar, but they are not disciplined to use that time for that task. “
This brings us to the idea of further needs for good remote asynchronous collaboration:
- Conventions of systems for scheduling time for those types of work especially in a system like Climate KIC where a lot of meetings are scheduled. Ideas:
Having dedicated hours in the weekly schedule for those tasks where no meetings can be scheduled
- Thinking about reminder and workload-signalling systems.
In an office you see your coworker on the other end of the room and remember that you have o prepare x for them, that does not happen when working remotely. Too many direct chat messages can induce anxiety. What would be a good way to remind people of what the have to provide to their collaborators and how to sign and track the workload of your coworkers?
- Regular status updates of the whole team in the chat, like check-ins?
- @hugi, in the long run, maybe it would be interesting to look into using the network visualisation similar to what you are doing with borderland to develop new ways of understanding asynchronous remote collaboration workloads?
Is there a person in your team who is especially experienced with remote work who I should talk to?
Max Cooper, IT Service Manager (ask for the common problem)
@mariaeuler : Will request Marjon from climate KIC to put me in contact.
Feedback on needs for manual and mook
@mariaeuler : Will start a separate thread for us to start collecting our best practise recommendations connected to example stories.
Best practise examples from Lisa:
- Mandatory cameras in video calls
Best practise suggestion from Edgryders Lisa wants to already implement:
- Two moderators for calls, one for the spoken conversation, one for the chat.
After the call @matthias and @mariaeuler started brainstorming for convention ideas and discussed the focus of the project. We agreed to steer away from the Christmas party codesign and focus on helping them developing bit size best practise communication videos.
Summary of some insights emerging from the conversations with Climate KIC at this point ( this is not from Lisa ):
- For them, not all remote work is created “Equally” they want to encourage different offices and teams in different locations to collaborate remotely, but do not want more work from home offices >> we have to find out the reason for this policy.
Write up of the previous call on the Christmas celebration as a potential case study:
This interview has been realized with the support of: