“All models are wrong but some are useful.” – George Box.

I have a confession: while this site is obviously now written from a point of view that believes our focus on “which tool when” is misplaced, that question is precisely where I started. Every model I came up with to answer this nagging question wasn’t right. Finally, I hit on one that worked for me. It’s been adapted and expanded a few times, which tells me it’s resonated with others as well. Awesome. A new model now seems to surface every 6 months or so, and I applaud it. Sense-making is helpful. It’s getting dogmatic about a model that’s decidedly unhelpful.

One of the things I will do with this site is to catalog and discuss the models I discover. If you see one that I haven’t covered here, please share. In fact, I’ll have you write the post about it!

What qualifies as a model for deciding which tool to use?

  • It should be based in principles, not in features. I don’t decide on a tool because it has screen sharing. I decide on a tool because it allows me to overcome barriers of time or distance.
  • It should be founded on principles that most users will understand. That doesn’t mean the model won’t be complex (though I’d argue that the simpler ones are usually better), but it should be usable.
  • It should extend beyond one vendor’s suite. Most of the models you’ll find here are based on Office 365, but they should be able to be applied–with modifications–to Google Apps, Atlassian, IBM Connections, or any hodgepodge of apps you want to put together.

So what are the models? I’ll try to keep this post as a table of contents to all the models, but will also use the category “models” to group them together.

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