In my previous post on Enterprise 2.0 implementation success factors, I discussed the factors that relates to the non technological aspects of an Enterprise 2.0 implementation and the things to consider and look out for. Below is an updated model.
Communication is the key in Enterprise 2.0. The basis of social networking and collaboration is communication. There should be open and frequent communication in the network where users are able to easily access, interact and update on the latest development of issues in the community. These information are documented and can be easily accessed at a later date.
Search and discovery of information is extremely important in this case to enable users to find the correct information and talent effectively. Before communication can happen, the other party must be identified first. One must be able to easily identify the teams that are involved and connect with them easily. Searching for talent must be quick and easy. Searching for past content on similar topics should also be available.
Communication should also be enabled at all levels – private and public.
We know that the aim of the Enterprise 2.0 platform should be clear, concrete and achievable. However, within an organisation different departments have different needs and goals and many a times, they need their own workspace. Within each workspace, the aim should also be clear, concrete and achievable. It should not be just a place where people come to dump their stuff but has an objective and place to accommodate the needs of the community. The aim of each workspace should be a shared aim and everyone would work towards getting to the objective. With a clear goal in mind, it would be easier to get things done.
In this factor, we are looking at how easy is it for interested parties to get onto the network, how easy is it to find talent and the types and quality of members within the community. If there are roadblocks to join the network or the sign up process is way too long and complicated, it would be a deterrent for interested parties to get onto the network. Also the types of ACTIVE members in the community MUST comprise of people from everywhere within the organisation. This is important as anything raised in the Enterprise 2.0 platform would be well covered and well represented by all key stakeholders in the organisation. When all the key people from each stakeholder group come together, discussion and decision can be made collaboratively.
Decision must also have to be made whether to allow users outside of the organisation to access the platform. Strategies like invite based membership, open to all membership or internal staff only membership should be considered.
Process and hierarchy
The key in this factor is flexibility. This does not only means that the tool must be flexible to allow users to organise itself and accomplish objectives in whichever way they would like to but also the processes surrounding it. It should not be overly restricting like enforcing SLAs and forcing people to do something. If such are requirements for the business process, the organisation needs to look at how to foster such attitudes instead of enforcing it with a cane. Having said that guidelines must be present to ensure that users know what the can and cannot be done. This is really more of setting expectations but not in a totally restricted way. There is a fine line to be drawn in this case and it can be tricky sometimes.
There is another important point here which is, users should be able to have a say on the results generated. For example, if users are asked to contribute on a certain topic and there is a strong consensus on the solution, a senior person should not just overwrite the consensus but instead join in the discussion and come to a comprise or a new consensus.
In this factor, a few things needs to be considered. We need to understand if the community at large is willing to participate and collaborate generally. For example, if the environment has a culture of selfishness, then knowledge sharing and collaboration might not work. Also if the environment is generally made up of introverts, social networking might not be conducive. We should also look at any opposition from key leaders in the environment. If the boss or “tribe leader” or “village head” is opposed to the idea of social networking and collaboration generally, Enterprise 2.0 would not really work. For this to happen, C-level support is needed to ensure that people will adopt such technology.
For all of the above to happen, resources is needed. Money and skilled Enterprise 2.0 talent is generally the main issues however its not restricted to just these two. All required resources must be available before success can take place. Support for leadership (C-level and middle management) must also be present to ensure adoption. Staff on the ground must also have the time and capability to contribute and share.
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