Asynchronous vs Synchronous collaboration #collaboration


Curtis A. Conley
 

What nomenclature do you use when describing asynchronous vs synchronous collaboration to your end users? We've been given feedback that the asynchronous/synchronous terms don't resonate -- so we're trying to come up with alternatives.

Synchronous is easy -- real time collaboration. What about asynchronous, though? Near-real time? On-demand? Just in Time? These are some alternatives I've seen, but there isn't a clear winner in our discussions so far.  What do you use, or what have you seen others use?


Stan Garfield
 

I would say real-time (as done in instant messaging) or non-real-time (as done in email).


Stephen Bounds
 

I actually like to use a two dimensional matrix: "high attention" vs "low attention", and "high priority" vs "low priority".

- High attention, high priority: phone, videoconference
- High attention, low priority: noninteractive communications, eg radio, TV
- Low attention, high priority: SMS, IM
- Low attention, low priority: Email (at least if pop-up notifications are off), web forums

The basic idea is that an email or SMS can be responded to at the time that best suits you, whereas a phone or videoconference message you *have* to actively engage with to receive the message.

IM and SMS occupy a middle ground where you have the ability to engage in immediate, interactive communications, but responses can be deferred without a loss of information received.

The big benefit of this approach is that it frames the approach in terms of impact on the user, instead of focusing on the latency of the technology deployed.

For example: Are smoke signals "real time" or "non real time" communications? But they are clearly high attention, high priority channels since if you're not watching, the message dissipates.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@knowquestion.com.au
M: 0401 829 096
====================================


Heather Maitland <heather.k.maitland@...>
 

Usually I use "virtual"and "non-virtual" (or even better- "face-to-face").

I've seen a matrix that involved a time axis and place axis (same time/different time and same place/different place) with different techs and practices plotted out accordingly.  To me this seemed a little complicated for the end user. Sometimes when things get too complicated I feel I am trying to teach them more than they need to know about the discipline of KM than actually talking to how to solve their problem, you know what I mean? :-)

How much do you feel your users/clients need to know about asynchronous and synchronous collaboration? What are you trying to teach or communicate to them, exactly?

-Heather

On Aug 4, 2014 1:24 PM, "cconley@... [sikmleaders]" <sikmleaders@...> wrote:
 

What nomenclature do you use when describing asynchronous vs synchronous collaboration to your end users? We've been given feedback that the asynchronous/synchronous terms don't resonate -- so we're trying to come up with alternatives.

Synchronous is easy -- real time collaboration. What about asynchronous, though? Near-real time? On-demand? Just in Time? These are some alternatives I've seen, but there isn't a clear winner in our discussions so far.  What do you use, or what have you seen others use?


Curtis A. Conley
 

>How much do you feel your users/clients need to know about asynchronous and synchronous collaboration?

Largely a mixed bag.  Some users are pretty mature in their adoption of UCC tools, participation in communities, etc. -- while others may have had limited exposure. 

What are you trying to teach or communicate to them, exactly?

The end goal will be to produce guidance around which tools are best suited for various use cases. While I'm interested in the type of matrix you mention, I do want to avoid anything quite as complicated as that or that requires us to define a lot of terms up front (which is where this question came from - synchronous/asynchronous don't seem to be user-friendly terms).  :)