5. Mass Collaboration
When you get past twenty-five collaborators, and especially when you get to hundreds, thousands or beyond, new considerations come into focus.
Transparency, credibility and trust
The larger you scale, the more you will see a distinction between those who provide the platform, and those who participate in it. Credibility and trust thus increasingly become an issue. This can be especially true for existing organisations that are trying to shift to a more collaborative mode.
Transparency becomes important in this case. Even if participants do not want to invest time in being part of the core collaboration, they are more likely to trust a process that they can inspect. Using online tools can facilitate making your process transparent.
Integration and process design
As scale increases, there are increasing challenges related to managing new contributions from outside the core collaborators. Who decides what is included and how is quality managed?
Read this post for more insight into this challenge: Mass Collaboration and the Challenge of Integration
Scaling the induction process
Induction is the process by which new participants become part of the collaboration. Early on this can be quite informal, but as a collaboration progresses, it can be quite challenging to cover the same territory over and over to achieve consonance. Some helpful techniques include:
- Website, with clear vision and value proposition
- Explainer video
- Explicit 'participation guidelines' and 'Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)'
- Documenting an orientation process
- Training members of your collaboraiton on how to induct others