Just Go with the Flow

November 18, 2010

Fraser Milner’s CTO, Scott Saundry drew my attention to the concept of “In-the-Flow” and “Above-the-Flow” – specifically in the context of Wikis. But after reading the originating article, I find that this intuitive principle aptly describes any knowledge access and sharing activity that’s vying for adoption. Done right, it should practically integrate into the flow of principal daily activities – hence being In-the-Flow. If our venerable knowledge worker has to stray far from what they do (to make their living), there’s a risk that it will end up Above-the-Flow and therefore will be used less frequently.

As an example, using Outlook’s Linked-In connector is clearly In-the-Flow, but having to  download, open, edit and then re-upload a document into a cloud based Document Management solution, is Above-the-Flow.

Most of us who plan and implement information and knowledge systems learned the hard way how this principle works. But thanks to Scott, I now have a term of art that’s a bullseye.

Here’s Andrew McAfee’s blog post from 2008 on the topic. It’s worth a  read even if (like me), Wikis is not your thing.


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