Today’s Mindful Monday is a hell of a rant and comes after an early morning meeting on Google Meet, and it makes me miss Ma Bell.

Don’t get me wrong, the folks on the call were people I respected, and use of the word ‘blabber’ should not be misconstrued. But I’m finding the diversity of collaboration tools exhausting. Perhaps I’m just getting old.

Without a governing body with the authority to enforce standards across all platforms, we won’t see a standard user interface for collaboration tools anytime soon. What this means is we’re faced with a dizzying array of increasingly gamified products that can make your head spin.

Collaborative work consumes 85% or more of most people’s work weeks. Voice and video call times doubled, IM traffic increased by 65% and meetings are moving further into the evening and starting earlier in the morning.

This is leading to burnout and declines in mental well-being. [Source: HBR, Collaboration Overload Is Sinking Productivity]

Since for me, most of these collaborative meetings are discussions about service management I can’t help but find irony in this. As the collaboration service providers frantically attempt to differentiate themselves by offering services that at first glance seem ‘free’, and splash dozens of shiny new ‘gamified’ features into their offerings the results are exactly the opposite of what most enterprises want and need.

And so, we have a new tool to navigate every week, none of which integrate easily with one another.

I long for simpler times.

My grandfather worked for Western Electric, and loved to tell a story about a woman who asked him if her (very first) telephone came in a different color… for some reason he thought this was hilarious.

In the early 1980’s my father gave me a tour of AT&T’s T’s new headquarters in Basking Ridge, NJ. In one corner of the lobby, they had a monitor (the size of an old TV set) and another monitor (exactly the same) in the opposite corner.

You could pick up a handset on one end and make a video call to a person at the other end. That’s it. You each picked up the handset and you were on a video call; you didn’t even have to dial a number; this was the future of video phone calls.

I miss those days.

Ok, so this rant’s going to have to end.

I have someone messaging me on LinkedIn who wants to know if I’m interested in becoming a PMP (been there, done that), I’ve got a Zoom Meeting in an hour (which calendar did I put that link in?), I’ve got to familiarize myself with a new user interface for a user forum I’m involved with, and I have a recording session tomorrow for a podcast on a platform I’ve never used before.

Service improvement, indeed.

Published by myservicemonitor

I am an independent service management consultant with two decades of experience helping customers.

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