Choose the Right Type of Collaboration

Business Analysis Training - Collaboration types

It’s starting off on the right foot.  Or in this case the right type of collaboration.  If you’re not collaborating well you can feel it and momentum slows.  Choosing the collaboration type that works best in the situation keeps you moving forward.

Team Collaboration

All members of the team are known to each other, there are clear tasks and handoffs between tasks, a nifty schedule is in place.  In this collaboration everyone is on equal footing and equal recognition.  Think about a football team as an example.  They all know their positions, plays and how to interact with each other.  This type of collaboration is more formal and not a lot of cross over happens or folks playing a dual role.


  • Well defined roles – clear task assignments
  • Very structured channels
  • Equal footing with all team members – everyone shares in recognition


  • Playing dual role can be very difficult
  • Less flexible in assigning resources
  • Perspective of the team can be narrow

Community Collaboration

Here the goal is learning and is not very task based at all.  Folks have a general interest that they share.  The more experienced or knowledgeable folks take the lead in this type of collaboration type.  Reciprocity is more common – I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.  Community collaborations give rise to a more formal team collaboration.  This type of collaboration is less formal in nature.  This type of collaboration is more common in large organizations as more senior or experienced folks take leadership roles.


  • Shared general interest or goal
  • Less formal – less structured
  • Members can play multiple roles


  • Not delivery focused – difficult meeting deadlines
  • Knowledge hording for power
  • Perspective of the team is controlled by few – bullying can happen

Network Collaboration

This is an individual action and self-interest based collaboration that reaches out in all directions to recruit others to contribute or form a community collaboration.  This collaboration is far and wide – very global in nature and creates the most diverse and comprehensive gathering of data which can be overwhelming.  There is no clear leadership or membership.  Reciprocity is gained by diving into the pool of knowledge created by the group.  This type of collaboration has no formality at all.  


  • Far and wide perspective – tends to be global in nature
  • Desires bringing in more perspectives by recruiting for more members
  • Focused on knowledge gathering – building a big comprehensive pool of data


  • Analysis paralysis and information overload
  • No formality – no direct leadership or membership
  • Not focused on delivery of a specific product – rather focused on delivering detailed analysis

Choosing a Collaboration Type

Choosing a collaboration type depends a lot on the type of activity rather than project type.  An activity that is performing analysis on the detailed images of the Hubble telescope might fit better with Community collaboration because a community would be made up of astronomers and other cosmos experts.  An activity where consumer product awareness is needed would lend itself to a Network collaboration where global data and views could be gathered up.  Adding a server to a server farm would work best with team collaboration.  A single project could use all 3 types of collaboration types.