IT tools and processes used for archiving the outcomes of collaborative working can be categorized as either measurable or ephemeral. A measurable outcome is considered as something which abides by a clear predetermined definition of success, which can be used to decide whether the goal has been achieved. An ephemeral outcome is a less accurate way to interpret the result of something as generally there is no or little research behind it to retrieve precise facts and figures, instead only observing any obvious trends to obtain the general gist.
When running a marketing campaign, for example, an audit trail may be needed to document how the campaign pans out and to record any changes. This allows anyone to revisit the audit, if they wish to examine the performance of certain paid social media posts or a physical billboard. An audit which is accessible to anyone could be reused internally as an indicator of what’s a good investment and what’s not. An audit trail would be a way to help measure an outcome.
Another method of measuring an outcome could be creating a chronological project plan which allocates jobs with suitable deadlines to the relevant people. The jobs could have set targets, for example a certain post should aim to reach at least a certain number of people to use as an indicator of whether the desired goal has been achieved. A project plan is easy to follow as long as it’s laid out well and colour coordinated, this would allow anyone regardless of how much involvement they have in the project to follow its progress. However if there is limited time for the campaign to be set up, this may not be the best method to enforce as it can be quite time-consuming and may depend on having a couple of meetings beforehand which can be difficult to organise around everyone’s’ schedules at short notice.
A conversation would be an example of ephemeral measurement. Everyone involved could get together for a meeting to discuss any trends they noticed throughout the course of the project and provided feedback based on their personal experience. This would likely address any extreme issues or unexpected outcomes and create some actions in order to prevent the same problems happening again in the future. Although, this method wouldn’t cover every single detail and some problems may have not been observed.
Along similar lines of a conversation, an agreement is another type of ephemeral measurement. An agreement is reached through discussion, offering your own opinions and taking on board others’. Some people find expressing themselves through talking much easier to get their points across and know that they’re being heard. But again as this is not recorded in writing, it’s not as effective as a measurable outcome, some key points raised could be forgotten and therefore left unresolved.