CollaborationIn my previous articles on the history of DevOps, I outlined the following pillars of the DevOps methodology

The Fourth Pillar

The fourth pillar is Collaboration.  Collaboration is defined as:

"working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals." 

In traditional separated organizations, there is not often collaboration between the design, development, testing (QA), and deployment (IT) functions that go with the application delivery lifecycle.

As I mentioned in my last article, Communication is essential for successful for cross-departmental teams to work together effectively to deploy applications.  But, without collaboration tools to put some structure and process around those communications, it will be very difficult to get a project completed on time, on schedule, and with any degree of accuracy.  Collaboration tools typically fall into three categories depending on the levels of collaboration:

  1. Communication - An unstructured exchange of information such as email, a phone call, or hallway conversation.
  2. Conferencing - Interactive work, such as brainstorming or voting, that leads to a shared goal.
  3. Coordination - Complex interdependent work that leads to a combined goal.

Collaboration tools

The main shared attribute of tools in the collaboration space is that of helping to facility and manage group activities.  From electronic calendars, workflow systems, knowledge management system, social software, and project management systems, there are literally thousands of tools that fall into the category of collaboration.

Below is a list of some of the vendors in the collaboration space.

Asana  - plan and manage projects and tasks.
Basecamp  - to-do lists, web-based text documents, milestone management, file sharing and time tracking.
Brightpod  - task management, milestone tracking, task lists, file sharing, workflows, calendar, and messaging.
CollaborateCloud  - social work management with workflows, forms, and virtual workrooms.
Confluence  - enterprise unified wiki with social network notifications and integration of multimedia files.
DeskAway  - team based project and task management, milestones, documentation, and file sharing.
Github  - distributed revision control and source code management.
Intellinote  - meeting collaboration, task management, and idea capturing.
Jive  - online communities, micro-blogging, social networking, discussion forums, wikis, and instant messaging.
LiquidPlanner  - online project management.
SharePoint - content and document management, personal cloud, social networking, enterprise search, and workflow management.
Trello  - project management.
Wrike  - project management and work collaboration.
Zoho - word processor, spreadsheets, calendar, contacts, and CRM.