How to improve collaboration through performance measurement

Sanjay Mathur of LiveOps and Maksim Ovsyannikov of Rypple at GigaOM Net:Work 2011How do you get the most out of collaborative teams? It helps if you can quantify their performance and provide feedback to workers. At GigaOM’s Net:Work 2011 conference Thursday, executives from LiveOps and Rypple said that measurement was key to improving collaboration between teams of contract workers and experts.

LiveOps and Rypple both make tools to help connect enterprises with workers. Both also provide analytics tools to measure the performance of the workers and the teams that are using those products. Providing feedback, more than anything else, is the best way to incentivize collaborative workers and enterprises to improve performance.

“Our focus is on performance,” said Sanjay Mathur, VP of Product Management at LiveOps. The goal is to determine if its agents know what they need to do, and to provide metrics to show how agents are doing against the team, how the team is doing and even how LiveOps and its agents are doing relative to those who are hired through other collaborative tools.

Maksim Ovsyannikov, VP of Product Management for Rypple, agreed. Rypple seeks to pass along feedback so workers can find out how they did and perform better the next time they’re used. Of course, he said later, it helps if you have clearly defined goals and expectations, as well as metrics in mind to measure performance.

The key to what makes these systems work is that potential collaborators are incentivized to respond positively and improve performance. “An agent’s reputation is very important,” Mathur said. “They can only get more work if they’ve proven they can get the job done.”

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Photo by Pinar Ozger.