Increasing numbers of collaborative tools and environments are becoming commercially available, and many of these applications are used or have been tried within the oil industry. But simply having the tools doesn’t mean they provide value or are embraced by employees. The perceived need for change management or lack of resources dedicated to change management seems to be pervasive across the industry. So this leads to the question: "How can we bridge the gap between deploying IT applications and generating value to users and the organization?"

This case study looks at different low-cost approaches employed to prototype uses and builds user familiarity with several collaborative applications within our organization. These applications include webinars, wikis, collaborative discussions, amateur video and Microsoft SharePoint® software functions.

Some simple approaches to deploying these tools have driven greater uptake and collaboration in the organization. Others became viral messaging. Other methods just didn’t "stick" with users. While not all approaches have been successful, we view this as part of our innovation and learning process.

Collaboration is important to organizations and participants as it enables efficiency, effectiveness, knowledge transfer and innovation. The ability to bring people and information together from around the globe is increasingly critical as we watch resources diminish due to the economic climate, the demographics of the industry’s workforce change significantly and the technical and commercial challenges to find, drill, and produce hydrocarbons grow more complex. Collaboration between users doesn’t happen simply because tools are available. Organizations must find a way to make collaborative tools valuable, wanted and used.

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