James Dellow follows up on a Sam Lawrence thought regarding social productivity...

It reminded me that many years ago I heard Dale Chatwin talk about the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a government organisations, as a Lotus Notes case study. A quick search actually turned up a case study (PDF) about this particularly story, which dates back to the 1990s. It makes interesting reading in light of Sam's ideas, since this organisation did exactly what he describes as "Social Productivity" - they developed databases ....

Even closer to Sam's vision, the organisation's "elimination of desktop word processors" means that for majority of users at the time the office suite was embedded as part of the Lotus Notes "browser" (i.e. the Lotus Notes client).  ...

I wonder if they were attempting to do this now, what would be more important - the strategic decision to implement a social productivity approach or the quality of the user experience in our Web 2.0 environment. What do you think?
It's interesting to see this public discussion of the Australian Bureau of Statstics and their use of Notes.  I have been fortunate to meet up with the ABS Notes team on a visit to Canberra in late 2006.  The ABS case study referenced by Dellow's blog -- over 30 pages long -- documents what continues today to be one of the most advanced, most on-target uses of Lotus Notes that exists anywhere in the world.

The ABS team made a strategic decision a decade ago to "live in Lotus Notes", and proceeded to build their applications around the idea that Notes would be the window to all knowledge in their organization.  As it says in the case study:
The ABS has, in fact, long been internationally recognised as the world's leading organisation in handling information and knowledge in the domain of statistics.
and they are not being boastful when they say it.  Some incredibly impressive stuff, well worth reading.

What to make of Dellow's closing question -- how would this be approached in today's web 2.0 environment?  Many of today's collaborative software products are optimized around the idea of collaborative editing, while others (including Lotus's own Quickr) still are modeled around a check-in check-out, sequential workflow mindset.  Is there a  "right" approach?

One side note: The ABS team deserves special recognition for somehow figuring out my home address and mailing me a Christmas card there in both 2006 and 2007.  They certainly didn't get it from me.

Link: ChiefTech: Social Productivity: A strategic choice or Web 2.0 revolution? >

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