I’ve been working with eRoom for many years now and have seen some interesting ways to use the product. What often strikes me as fascinating is how organizations can be so different in how they use products and eRoom is no exception. Most use eRoom to help project teams collaborate in virtual workspaces and take advantage of project plans, folders, calendars, databases etc. Some take it a bit further by using eRoom as a rapid application development tool that does not require IT intervention.
Some of what I have seen:
We’ve all see project management. One organization takes it a bit further. They create a room for each program area. Within that room, there is a database of Projects that belong to that Program area. In the attachment area for each database row that represents a project, there are various folders, calendars and even an embedded database for tasks belonging to that project. Then, there is a “home” room that has a database of programs. The database lists major metadata about the program including management, staff, etc and in the attachments area, there is a link to the room representing that program. In each program room, there is also a link back to the Programs database in the “home” room.
System Change Requests:
This is not uncommon. IT departments within organizations that own eRoom commonly use the tool to manage their own activities. SCR’s work perfectly within the eRoom environment. Some groups use standard databases and some use approval process databases.
I have seen lots of organizations use eRoom to manage help desk tickets, as well as support requests
Custom Workflows (BPM Lite):
End users create a new record in a training request database. Access is limited to the submitter and approvers. Approvers can interact with the database via custom commands which send emails to the next participant in a pseudo workflow. Status is manipulated via the custom commands and the summary page can be grouped or filtered based on submitter, approver, status, etc. It’s an inexpensive BPM (Business Process Management) system.
Managers in any department, or even HR, can track applicants throughout the entire process via eRoom databases, folders and calendars that track appointments and meetings associated with the hiring process.
Law enforcement organizations have used eRoom to track investigations, taking full advantage of databases of staff, suspects, incidents, etc. They use calendars, project plans, folders and files.
Corporate Merger and Partnership Collaboration
Companies that merge or partner with one another often have difficulties working together in the beginning. When HP bought Compaq computer Corp (I used to work for Compaq), they used eRoom to help manage the merge of the two companies. It was a common work area where dispersed teams could come together to work and share.
I could spend all day here listing the various ways I have seen the product used, but I really want to hear what others have done. If you have some unique use of the tool, please share it here.