I see a lot of posts on collaboration begin with, “We have so much choice” or “Are you overwhelmed with choice?” Well this cheeky little post is going to start differently. I’m going to state that it doesn’t matter what you choose to use. As long as it meets these two criteria.

  • It’s easy to share conversations and content while remaining secure.
  • The tool is accessible to everyone in your organisation.

One further thing to think about when choosing what to use. Who is your primary audience? Will the conversation and content be accessible to them? Will the audience change and can the content/conversation be easily shared with a new audience?

If this is difficult to think about, Microsoft have made it easy in Office 365. Anything with “One” in the name suggests your going to share on a small scale, namely yourself to start with. For example, with OneDrive you can share content with yourself across your devices. If you so choose, you can share it with one or two people. But don’t make it hard on yourself by sharing with lots of people from OneDrive. It’s not called LotsDrive.

Here’s another clue. Anything with “Team” or “Group” in the name can be used to share and communicate with lots of people. Here’s where those names need to be self explanatory and description fields become helpful.

As for other choices, that’s entirely up to you and the group or team you’re working with. Communicate with each other about how you want to communicate. The same thoughts about audience apply. Do you need to communicate privately within your group? Or do you want to work publicly within your organisation, so that others can observe, join and add their valuable insights and ideas?

“Who is your primary audience?” is the most important question. Office 365 takes care of the sharing and security. The tools are accessible, unless your organisation has chosen to turn somethings off for some people, and leave them on for others. That move has it’s positives and negatives.
I’ll pause this thinking-out-loud right there. I’m happy to be corrected and persuaded. I just don’t think we should sweat it when it comes to all the choices we have in Office 365.

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