Many people may be asking why develop a collaborative framework and methodology?  In order to answer that question I will provide a personal example of the benefits that can be achieved through a robust collaborative framework and methodology.  My recent experience with an Amazon Kindle Fire will highlight some of the internal and external benefits that can be achieved through collaboration.  Let me set the stage for this review; I purchased a Kindle Fire for my wife for Christmas and she loves it!  One day last week it just stopped working.  Some of you with a Kindle Fire may have experienced this same problem, Amazon calls it a startup loop; the device just keeps restarting for some reason and won’t stop. 

This had to be fixed as quickly as possible and my main concern was the fact that I purchased the device directly from Amazon, so there wasn’t a store to which I could take the device for repair.  On the day the of the problem I called the extended warranty provider for repair / replacement.  After explaining my problem the representative determined that it would be covered under the standard warranty and could save my extended warranty for another day.  The representative transferred me over to Amazon for support.  The Amazon representative then walked me through a couple of troubleshooting steps to see if the device could be reset.  When the device could not be reset the representative promptly arranged to send a preplacement device.  The representative made the arrangements for a replacement order, verified the order would ship that day, arranged 2-day shipping and provided an explanation along the way of everything he was doing at the time.  The representative wrapped this up with an explanation of how to return the defective device and explained that everything would be covered again in an email he was sending at the end of the call.  After this explanation you might think this process took quite a while to get through.  In reality this took only 20 minutes which was much quicker than any experience in Best Buy.

This example however highlights the benefits and capabilities of a collaborative and open framework.  These benefits crossover between Amazon’s business partners and out to the end consumer.  Let’s start with the initial call to report the problem; I looked this up using my original order that is stored for reference on the Amazon site, the warranty representative seamlessly connected me to the Amazon representative (without a loss of my order or problem information which is impressive compared to my cable provider).  From that point the Amazon representative was connected to the order entry and fulfillment, provided specific carrier information for delivery tracking and then arranged for email notification of the package tracking until delivery.  All of these collaboration points brought about a great customer service experience and from beginning to end (problem occurrence to deliver of replacement) took 4 days, mostly because it crossed over a weekend. 

Just to put a bow on this entire experience, there was no loss of games, apps or books with this replacement and in fact the book my wife was reading when this started opened to the correct page on the new device.  This provides a great example of the benefits that can be achieved throughout your chain with a robust collaborative network.

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

Have you contemplated the challenges and benefits of expanding your use of social or collaborative experiments?  Have you contemplated the reevaluation of the collaborative practices and methods you currently utilize to identify if they are providing value and support your strategic goals and objectives?