Recently, I attended the IBM Rational Software Development Conference (RSDC2007) in Orlando, Florida. Apart from the typical presentations about the products, there was a lot of attention for Organizationally Distributed Development, or Globally Distributed Development (GDD). ODD/GDD is about crossing the organizational boundaries, which many people find scary.
At the RSDC they showed a prototype of a product called Team Concert, a tool to support collaboration between people to build software. It is based on the Jazz technology, which is
New and exciting is that the Team Concert product is developed as a commercial product in an open source manner – see the press annoucement. People from the global community can join in to the development team. Thus, the project is deploying the potential of the global community.
Another exiting thing is that the Team Concert is a collaboration product, creating full transparancy and integration of technical and control information. And since this is a collaboration project, they use (pre-released) versions of Team Concert to support the development (globally distributed). So they are using the product that they are making.
But this is not the only thing that illustrates that IBM is taking collaboration technology seriously. On IBM developerWorks they have introduced spaces and wikis, next to the discussion forums that have existed for many years. For company communication this is not new, but what is new is that they also allow non-IBM people from the user community to create a space. The Configuration Management space is the first one.
Coincidently, at NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors) there is an initiative to create a Common Collaborative Core (C3), a set of applications (e.g. wikis, forums, website, IM) to support the – internal – community with collaboration, sharing and building knowledge and competence. NXP happens to be the customer that I am assigned to currently.
Apparently, both NXP and IBM recognize the same thing – unleash the power of the mass instead of trying to build competences with the (small) recruited crew.
Transparent collaboration across organizational and geographic boundaries is a necessity to survive the ever growing technological and organizational complexity.