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Posts Tagged ‘Enterprise Collaboration’

Drive Business Transformation Thru Enterprise Collaboration & Gamification Presentation – Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012

My presentation on Drive Business Transformation Though Enterprise Collaboration & Gamification at Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012.

Following are the topics…

  • 2012 Technology Trends
  • Top Business Drivers, Needs & Challenges
  • State of IT
  • Drive Business Transformation?
  • Enterprise Collaboration – Overview, Value, Strategy, Adoption, Model
  • Enterprise Gamification – Overview, Value, Trends, Strategy
  • Collaboration + Gamification – Value?
  • Sample Business Use Cases

Click here

ROI & Business Case for Enterprise Collaboration

September 5, 2011 1 comment

Summary

Consumer-oriented social media platforms are transforming the way that people communicate and accelerating the spread of information at the speed of light. These include social networks, wikis, blogs, discussion forums, activity feeds, streaming media, and micro-blogs. These technologies have the potential to transform the way employees can collaborate, communicate and interact within an organization effectively and efficiently. This is called “Enterprise Collaboration”.

The one constant for all organizations today is change. You need to adapt to the change in the environment. You need to reorganize and respond to change as a team. The organizations that emerge as leaders in this economy are those who have discovered the power of people to decide faster, respond to change faster, implement change faster and collaborate faster.

Business Need & Value

The collaboration landscape is no longer about isolated groups of people that work together to complete a specific job. Today, enterprise collaboration extends more broadly across the organization, encouraging partnerships across teams that might not have previously worked together. What’s the reason behind this shift? It stems from social technologies in the workforce, converting organizations from a “need to know” environment to a “need to share” culture that promotes an open collaboration approach where sharing is the norm and information control is at the discretion of the individual.

Drive & Foster Innovation

As organizations move toward greater levels of sharing as part of embracing the changing workforce and the wide availability of enterprise collaboration platforms designed for business, the drive for innovation within the organization starts to naturally occur. Enterprise Collaboration will play a vital role in fostering innovation. Why? Because the most successful innovation programs are:

Visible: People are more likely to participate in innovation initiatives that are well publicized and transparent and social collaboration tools will allow people to ask questions, share ideas, and discover what people outside of one business area are doing.

Respectful: Social Collaboration tools support real-time and ongoing dialogue that is conversational and representative of different points of view.

Inclusive: Social Collaboration tools help break down organizational silos and cultural barriers.

Enterprise Collaboration tools promote open collaboration that encourages the sharing of ideas which might not have been possible without them. This approach can set the innovation pipeline process in motion. With existing enterprise communication methods such as email, ftp, file servers – the information is not structured, it is very hard to organize and find information quickly. We need more of an organized way to communicate and collaborate across the organization.

This post analyzes the benefits, value, risks and return on investment of having an Enterprise Collaboration platform in the organization.

ROI of Enterprise Collaboration

Current Market Situation: Enterprise Collaboration is represented by 2 terms in the Gartner’s Hype Cycle – Social Analytics and Activity Streams. These are currently in the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” phase and are 2 to 5 years to mainstream adoption. In this phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures. This provides valuable information for implementers – develop a compelling strategy, business case, implementation plan and adoption strategy for successfully implementing an Enterprise Collaboration platform.

Source: Gartner, July 2011 – Hype Cycle on Emerging Technologies

Following are the top factors that determine the ROI of the Enterprise Collaboration platform.

Business Benefits & Value

Enterprise Collaboration enables efficient interaction among people, applications, processes, content and data in real-time in a central information platform. This provides many business benefits and value such as

  • Increase interactive collaboration across the organization.
  • Discover colleagues and follow people, topics and tags.
  • Unlock the vast information generated by employees, processes and applications daily via activity streams and feeds. This provides a social layer to data, latest updates and real-time collaboration.
  • Share quick updates in a targeted way.
  • Help employees to find relevant information and expertise more easily and quickly.
  • Break down silos and cultural barriers.
  • Share ideas and solutions and harness innovation and creativity.
  • Improve communication, collaboration & interaction between management & employees

Business Process Improvements & Outcomes

Enterprise Collaboration will lead to many business process improvements. The ROI for enterprise collaboration platform should be measured more on business process outcomes and engagement rather than just monetary benefits. Following are some of the top business functions/processes that can be integrated with the Enterprise Collaboration platform and achieve “True” business outcomes, improvements and engagement.

  • Social Intranet – A one stop hub for corporate information such as vision, strategy, news, events, updates, shared services and employee directory.  ROI: Provides employees with a social layer to find info quickly and easily, discover expertise, collaborate on corporate information, improve organization wide communication & interaction.
  • Strategy Alignment & Execution – Create, manage, align, execute, publish and communicate strategy across all business units. ROI: Provides efficient alignment of strategy, increases awareness of strategic goals and objectives, improves interaction among management & employees, taps the collective intelligence to foster innovation and creativity to meet the strategic goals and objectives.
  • Project Management – Create and manage projects. ROI: Drives improved communication and collaboration on projects, drives towards organized communication on projects, eliminates email as the main medium for project communication, provides single source of truth on projects to all employees,  provides a direct “Line of Sight” from strategy to projects to individual teams/members, increases awareness of all projects at any given point of time, improves employee satisfaction and motivation, taps collective intelligence to solve project challenges and problems.
  • Knowledge Base – Capture tacit knowledge of systems, data and processes (institutional knowledge). ROI: Facilitates an easy way to capture knowledge, creates and maintains an up to date and real-time knowledge base repository, allows employees to find information quickly and easily, helps customer service reps to resolve customer issues and problems, bridges the gap of content and people.
  • Document Management – Share documents (all types) within the Enterprise Collaboration platform by integrating with Document Management platforms. ROI: Provides employees with an easy and an efficient way to manage and share documents easily and quickly, create in one place and distribute/publish from multiple platforms, search documents by subject, topic or tags, eliminate email as the main communication medium to share documents, get and share document updates via activity streams and feeds, bridges the gap of content and people.
  • Innovation Center – Tap the collective intelligence (crowd sourcing) to share ideas and provide solutions to solve business problems and challenges. ROI: Provides employees the ability to ask questions, share ideas and solutions, address business problems and challenges collectively, ability to conceptualize ideas to solutions collectively, discover expertise and skills across the organization to work on innovative projects.
  • Business Applications Integration – Provide employees “in the flow” capability within the Enterprise Collaboration platform to get work done across many business applications such as approving expenses and vacation requests, reviewing project status reports, querying customer profile from the CRM system, view sales leads and collaborate with the team, view BI reports and collaborate on analytics, follow and get updates on important topics/subjects from systems. ROI: Get the work done from one platform instead of many platforms, improves productivity for employees.
  • Single Sign-on Integration & Security – Provide employees with a seamless way to login and access the Enterprise Collaboration platform and business applications easily and securely from any device, location and any time. This eliminates the need for employees to remember multiple logins/passwords for the growing list of SaaS applications. ROI: Improves security and identity management of all applications, eliminates help desk request on forgot/change passwords.
  • Unified Communications – Provide employees with an interactive and an unified communication layer (email, audio/video conferencing, desktop sharing, IM etc) to collaborate and communicate more efficiently. Bridges the gap among process, data, content and people. ROI: Provides employees with a quick and simple way to communicate and collaborate across boundaries in an interactive way on any topic, project, document, discussion item, problem and idea. Bridges the gap of social, data and people.

Risks & Challenges

Implementing an Enterprise Collaboration platform is not without any risks and challenges. The top risks and challenges are vendor viability and platform adoption. Addressing these challenges and risks are very important to the success of the Enterprise Collaboration platform on a long-term.

Vendor Viability – Vendor viability is very critical in this fast growing enterprise collaboration market space. Following are some sample questions that you need to do know about the vendor.

  • Who is the management? What is their experience?
  • Is it funded by a VC firm? Who is it?
  • What are their financials? How many customers do they have?
  • What is their organization structure? How many employees? Where are they located?
  • How many employees are there in the product development & support team?
  • What is their product road-map and strategy?
  • How are they managing their product strategy? Competition, Market, Positioning, Customer requirements? How is this communicated and how often?
  • How do they accommodate customer requirements into their product strategy? Is there a customer advisory council?
  • What is included and excluded in the pricing? Will you charge for new product features?
  • Are they open to contract negotiations that meet the company legal needs & requirements?
  • What is the minimum contract period? Are there any discounts for long-term contract? Is there an option to exit during the contract and what are the terms & conditions, penalties?
  • How is the platform supported and maintained?
  • What SLAs are available – reliability, availability, performance, issues, requests etc? Penalties?
  • What types of credits are available if SLAs are not met?
  • Are the terms & conditions of the contract tied to the SLAs?
  • Is the exit strategy tied to the SLAs?
  • Is there a regular meeting (monthly/quarterly) to review the SLAs, issues, requests?
  • Who will be part of the SLAs meetings?
  • How are the issues escalated if the SLAs are not complied? Who can we escalate to in the management team?

Platform Adoption – Employees will adopt and use the platform more if they can “do” & “get” the work done more efficiently and effectively.  They will not find the enterprise collaboration platform useful “If”,

  • It is just one more place to find information
  • Not required to get any work done
  • Requires one more login/password
  • Not all the employees are on the platform
  • Cannot discover people/skills due to lack of profile completeness
  • Cannot find important information
  • Has more “white noise” rather than useful information
  • Lack of participation
  • Not used for organization wide communication & updates
  • Lack of communication on the purpose of the platform.

Develop a compelling strategy and business case based on the above information to get management buy-in for the implementation of an Enterprise Collaboration platform

Strategy

  • What’s the vision? Where do we want to go? Why do we want to go there?
  • How does it align with the organization’s strategy, goals, objectives & values?

Business Case

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Key Objectives? In terms of Innovation, Idea generation, Collaboration, Communication, Excellence, Learning & Support, Competitive advantage etc
  • How does it align to the strategy?
  • What are the key drivers?
  • Why now? How does having an enterprise collaboration platform help being a “True” & “Efficient” Social Enterprise and compliment traditional/offline collaboration methods?
  • How is this different from Knowledge management tools?
  • Who will benefit? Key stakeholders? Internal (employees), External (customers, partners, vendors)?
  • What are the benefits & “VALUE” in business terms? Productivity, Satisfaction, Process Improvement etc
  • How will engagement and morale improve?
  • What challenges, issues or pain points does this address? If not addressed, what’s the impact?
  • How does it impact other business processes?
  • Key sponsors (Management buy-in is very important on a continuous basis)
  • Investment required? Cost, time and effort?
  • ROI? How about ROE (Return on Engagement)? In this case, ROE should emphasize more on business outcomes, engagement rather than monetary benefits.
  • Identify the key metrics – adoption, use, impact, value etc
  • Last but not the least – What are the risks?

To become a true Social Enterprise, organizations need to

  • Understand Social Media and make use of Social Networks such as Facebook & Twitter to interact with customers and partners.
  • Implement an Enterprise Collaboration platform for employees to collaborate & communicate.
  • Create  Social Networks for Customers/Partners to understand their requirements better.
  • Develop and integrate Social Networks & Enterprise Collaboration platform with Enterprise Applications.
  • Listen and monitor activities, conversations to drive Business Strategy, Decisions & Development.

Contact Info

LinkedIn kchakkarapani@yahoo.com

Strategy Management, Alignment & Execution through Collaboration (Social Strategy) – What’s the Business Value?

Let me start with the basics…..What is Leadership? What is Management? What’s the difference.

What is Leadership? A leader sets the vision and direction of the company. Where are we going? Why we are going there? What’s the strategy? Explain and communicate this clearly to all. Inspire the team!!

What is Management? Management is how to get there? How how do we get from Point A to Point B? How do we align & execute the Strategy? What initiatives should we undertake? How do we manage this efficiently and communicate well?

How can they align and support each other to meet the Organization’s Vision, Strategy, Goals & Objectives?

There are numerous frameworks and processes to develop and execute the Strategy – Strategy Plan, Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Map, Strategic Alignment etc. There are many tools to manage this as well.

The end result – a big set of documents, colorful charts/spreadsheets, flashy dashboards etc that are displayed in the intranet for all the employees to view. They are updated may be on a quarterly basis.

How effective is this? Did employees at all levels get a chance to provide input to the strategy development & execution? Can they share ideas and address the challenges? Can they suggest initiatives? Can they ask questions on the strategy? Do they know how their work is directly affecting the strategy? Do they know all the stakeholders who are part of a particular initiative? Can they get a top-down or bottom-up view?

Remember the Knowledge Management tools of the past. Why did they fail? It was focusing more on content rather than the combination of content + people + collaboration.

Can the Strategy Development, Alignment & Execution be Collaborated & Crowd Sourced?

A couple of months ago, I visited my son’s kindergarten class to view some creative work developed by the kids.  There was a big jar filled with pencils on the table and a question by the jar – How many pencils are there in the jar? There was also a small jar with 5 pencils to help visualize the size of 5 pencils. Each kid partnered with one more kid – estimated the number of pencils in the big jar based on this, wrote it on a piece of paper and gave it to the teacher. The teacher then collected all the answers. Result: The collective average answer was 70 and there were 75 pencils in the jar. It was a perfect narrow bell-curve…not bad for Kindergartners.

I was truly amazed by this. The teacher explained to all of us (including the parents) that collaboration and teamwork will always help you to find the right solution and be successful. I saw “Collaboration & Crowd Sourcing” in action and couldn’t believe it this was happening in the Kindergarten class.

Crowd sourcing is so powerful and is the framework that powers the stock market, Google’s prediction market and Iowa’s Electronic market as well.

Why can’t this be applied to the Strategy Development, Execution, Alignment & Communication Process? Yes this can be done through Social Strategy– by collaborating, communicating, interacting and sharing in an enterprise collaboration platform. This will make the entire process more efficient/effective, generate new ideas, be creative & innovative and make employees be part of the strategic goals and objectives and also achieve high employee motivation and satisfaction. End Result: Help Leadership & Management reach meet the goals and reach the destination successfully with the help of their teams at every step.

Following is a simple Social Strategy Management framework/structure to use within the Enterprise Collaboration platform. This also helps in the adoption of the Enterprise Collaboration. (see related post).

  • Develop and manage Vision, Mission, Strategy Goals and Objectives (by area)
  • Develop and manage Initiatives to execute and align with the Strategy goals and objectives
  • Develop and manage Projects that aligns with the initiatives
  • Collaborate, communicate, interact and share on all the above

Business Benefits – Value

  • Efficient & Improved Strategic management process – Strategy development, management, alignment and execution
  • Efficient alignment of Strategy to Projects – Employees can quickly find out projects that are linked to strategy, ask questions, collaborate on ideas/challenges, share knowledge,monitor the updates etc
  • Efficient project management and collaboration – 
    • A project’s success is measured on how well you communicate and collaborate, this framework will help you to achieve that goal.  Project managers can share, communicate and collaborate on all the info related to a project (Summary, business need, business value, strategy alignment, sponsors, team info, stakeholders, status updates via blog posts/tweets, project blogs, RSS feed, work spaces, milestones,  project documents) all in one platform.
    • Reduce project communication/updates via email and file servers.
    • By managing this info in the platform, employees can quickly access and view information on a projects (content), share ideas, see who is part of the project (human element), collaborate on the info (human element + collaboration), subscribe to the project updates via RSS feed, subscribe to the project blog to get the latest updates. The value of managing a project in a collaboration platform is “limitless”.
    • Provide the ability to view the project info from any location, any device etc quickly and easily.
  • Dynamic & automatic strategy mapping – By tagging all the strategies and projects, you can generate a dynamic Strategy map. Employees can visually view the Strategy map, drill-down by business area or projects, see all the projects by tags. This provides a quick and easy way to find all the info. This is the framework that has made Twitter so powerful – “The Hash Tag”.
  • Improve communication, collaboration & interaction – By providing all the info in the platform, management and employees can communicate and collaborate better and will be lead to very transparent environment.
  • Increase in employee awareness of  strategies, goals and projects – This will employees to see quickly how they fit it to the overall strategy? Why their project is so critical for the organization? What value do they create and how does their project create value? Also see how others fit in the strategy as well. This helps improve the awareness across the organization (which is one of the primary goals of an organization as well)
  • Improve employee satisfaction – It provides an opportunity for employees to be part of the strategy development and execution. It also helps them in their career goals and objectives.
  • Find relevant information faster and easier – Finding info on strategy and projects is easy and quick (kind of an internal Google).
  • Share ideas, comments & solutions faster & easily  – All projects will have challenges. By sharing the challenges in the platform, employees can view and share solutions and ideas. A great idea always comes from one more idea.
  • Fosters innovation & creativity to generate new ideas and solutions
  • Drive towards organized communication (rather than in emails and file servers)
  • Eliminate or reduce email communication – strategy, project updates, status reports etc
  • Break-down silos – allows cross-functional collaboration and communication
  • Meet the strategic goals and objectives successfully

At any given point, employees can see the strategy at an organization level or business unit level and drill down to goals, objectives and related projects (top-down). They can also view the projects and see related the goals, objectives and strategies (bottom-up). See who is responsible and all the details at every level. Employees can collaborate, communicate, interact and share on all of this and this helps to meet the overall goals of the organization.

An enterprise collaboration platform is useful and will be adopted fully only if employees can “do” & “get” the work done more efficiently and effectively

Leverage Social Strategy to Collaborate, Interact, Communicate & Share to reach your destination

Appreciate your feedback and comments.

Contact Info

LinkedIn  kchakkarapani@yahoo.com

Social Business Strategy – 15 Key Steps for Successful Implementation

July 20, 2011 3 comments

    Key Strategy Steps & Activities for a successful implementation of “Social Business”  platform. These are based on my implementation experience (including lessons learned), reading best practices & articles and listening to other implementers/peers/experts in this space.

Implementing an Enterprise Collaboration platform is different from other projects. This is more of a business project (not a technology project) as it touches all aspects of the business and processes. I recently did a presentation on my “Enterprise Collaboration & Innovation platform” journey at Enterprise 2.0 and CIO: IT Leadership Conferences(Enterprise 2.0 Presentation Link, IT Leadership Strategies Presentation Link)

Well before I list the steps….we need to standardize on the name for this platform (I will leave this to the industry veterans and experts). These are the names I have come across so far – Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Collaboration, Enterprise Social Collaboration, Social Intranet, Social Enterprise, Social Business, Social Networking for Business.

For this blog, I will use the term “Enterprise Collaboration”. (Under the assumption that you can Collaborate if you are Social). By the way, I am very passionate about this area so some of the steps will be in detail).

Thanks to all who have provided feedback and comments on the steps/activities. I have taken all your input and updated this post. This is one more example of “real-time collaborating” that provides value to me and to all who are interested in this subject. We can/could get the same benefits and value within the enterprise – Share, learn, connect and network (:-

KEY STRATEGY STEPS & ACTIVITIES

STEP 1: Assessment – Understand the Current Environment/Readiness

  • Assess the leadership support and paradigm. What type of support exists from the leadership team to have an open and transparent collaboration platform in the organization?
  • Conduct surveys, interviews and focus group sessions with stakeholders to understand the challenges and issues they are currently facing, communication and collaboration issues, work flow issues, project delays etc.
  • Assess awareness of social media environment – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
  • Assess readiness of enterprise collaboration in the organization.
  • How is the job getting done? Projects, day-to-day tasks, communication etc.
  • How is the content created, updated, managed and shared? How is the content consumed?
  • What type of relationships exists?
  • Is there an overload or lack of communication? How is communication consumed and shared?
  • What are the current tools and modes of communication & collaboration? How is it used? Is it productive? Does it overlap?
  • What are other peer industries doing in this space? What’s the collaboration benchmark? This assessment will be helpful to know your current state and measure the progress over time.

STEP 2: Develop a compelling Strategy

  • What’s the vision? Where do we want to go? Why do we want to go there?
  • How does it align with the organization’s strategy, goals, objectives & values?

STEP 3: Develop a strong Business Case

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Key Objectives? In terms of Innovation, Idea generation, Collaboration, Communication, Excellence, Learning & Support, Competitive advantage etc
  • How does it align to the strategy?
  • What are the key drivers?
  • Why now? How does having an enterprise collaboration platform help being a “True” & “Efficient” Social Enterprise and compliment traditional/offline collaboration methods?
  • How is this different from Knowledge management tools?
  • Who will benefit? Key stakeholders? Internal (employees), External (customers, partners, vendors)?
  • What are the benefits & “VALUE” in business terms? Productivity, Satisfaction, Process Improvement etc
  • How will engagement and morale improve?
  • What challenges, issues or pain points does this address? If not addressed, what’s the impact?
  • How does it impact other business processes?
  • Key sponsors (Management buy-in is very important on a continuous basis)
  • Investment required? Cost, time and effort?
  • ROI? How about ROE (Return on Engagement)? In this case, ROE should emphasize more on business outcomes, engagement rather than $$$$, Measure the progress.
  • Identify the key metrics – adoption, use, impact, value etc
  • Last but not the least – What are the risks?

STEP 4: Develop a Road map/Implementation Plan

  • Develop a project plan (Agile project methodology is highly recommended)
  • Form a steering committee (advisory council or governance committee)
  • Define requirements & design
  • Evaluate vendors & select the right platform/solution
  • Develop an adoption strategy & plan
  • Develop communication, marketing, change management & training plans
  • Implement solution & adoption strategies (See related post on 10 Key Adoption Strategies)
  • Do communication & marketing
  • Conduct training
  • Listen, monitor and analyze usage
  • Do continuous improvements and changes
  • Partner & collaborate with the vendor

STEP 5: Form a Steering Committee (Advisory council or Governance Committee)

  • Define the goals and objectives of the steering committee/council. One of the main goals of this team should be to listen/communicate with the senior leadership and management team and also communicate to the organization as a whole for buy-in and adoption.
  • What are the roles and responsibilities?
  • What will be
  • What decisions will they take?
  • What type of information will they publish and communicate? One of the main deliverables should be ‘Leadership Playbook’ which details out the game plan, communication guidelines. This will help the leadership & senior management team to have an “Unified” message.
  • Identify members – It is recommended to have different members for different stages of the project. This will provide good support & buy-in throughout the project including after go-live. Initial stage – senior management, Design & implementation stage – mid-level management, Roll-out/Post go-live – mix of senior management, mid level management & employees.
  • Meet and communicate regularly with the committee.

STEP 6: Define Requirements & Design

  • Identify & document functional requirements. Map each requirement to the business value, benefits and collaboration patterns. Categorize it by importance and weight.
  • Identify & document technology requirements. Map each requirement to the functional requirements. Categorize it by importance and weight.
  • Draft a high-level business design & architecture diagram (see sample architecture, cloud security and single sign-on architecture) – in terms of people, process and technology.

Sample Enterprise Collaboration Architecture

Sample Cloud / SaaS Identity Management & SSO Architecture

STEP 7: Evaluate Vendors & Select the right Platform/Solution

  • Document technology vendor selection requirements & criteria (SaaS, Hybrid SaaS etc) linked to the above requirements. Following are some of the requirements to look for in the platform.
  • Click here for sample Enterprise Collaboration platform vendor selection criteria & framework (SaaS) under the ‘Vendor Evaluation & Selection’ section.
  • Evaluate the vendor solution across 4 main categories – Information sharing, communications, social networking and an integrated user experience.
  • Does it meet the SLATES requirement? Search, Links, Authoring, Tags, Extension & Links
  • What collaboration features & tools are available?
  • What’s the vendor product strategy, road map? Who is the management?
  • Does the vendor keep in the pace with the market especially the growing collaboration market?
  • What type of solution does the vendor provide? SaaS, Hybrid SaaS?
  • How is the product’s architecture and other features tie to the current infrastructure and architecture?
  • What type of APIs or web services are there?
  • What type of security and SSO is provided?
  • What are the licensing terms?
  • What type of support and maintenance provided? What’s the effort for internal IT team?
  • What is the total cost of ownership (TCO)?
  • What type of support will they provide for other integration vendors/partners?
  • Can the information be aggregated from multiple sources & formats?
  • What type of user dashboards/reports and management dashboards/analytical reports are available?
  • Assess how the vendor solution align with these categories and the requirements identified in Step 6?
  • Rank and select the vendor that meet your requirements & objectives.

STEP 8: Develop an Adoption Strategy & Plan (See related post on 10 Key Adoption Strategies)

  • What is the adoption goal, objectives, timeline, metrics?
  • What adoption strategies can be done to achieve maximum business benefit, value & immediate impact?
  • Identify the champions and ambassadors who will market and use the platform initially?
  • What are some of the current communication modes & channels that can be replaced to get maximum adoption?
  • Who will benefit the most? Does it align with the requirement that are ranked high on importance, business benefit & value?
  • What policies & procedures need to be set to get maximum adoption?
  • Identify & document functional adoption use cases – Intranet, RSS, external social media integration, organization wide calendar, resource library, corporate services (legal, IT, finance, HR, audit, administration, travel etc)
  • Identify & document technology adoption use cases – Single Sign-on to other apps, outlook integration, IM integration, document and video integration, audio/video conferencing integration, active directory integration (helps sync the profile data automatically)
  • Identify & document Application adoption use cases – Integration to CRM, HR/Payroll, help desk, BI applications to manage work tasks seamlessly via activity streams within the platform.
  • Identify & document Process adoption use cases – In terms of “In the flow” process, does it improve the process? – Project management & collaboration, communication, strategy alignment to projects, project status reports etc

STEP 9: Develop Communication, Marketing, Change management & Training plans

  • Clearly define and document the communication, marketing, change management & training plan. This is the most important step in the entire project.
  • Communication plan – What needs to be communicated? Leadership Playbook, Guidelines, Policies etc. More emphasis should be on business benefits & value, “What’s in it for me? rather than features and tools. How is this valuable than the email? Who needs to be communicated? What’s the frequency of the communication? How will it be communicated? Where will it be communicated – places, signage etc? How will the new features be introduced without overwhelming the users? Communication needs to occur throughout the project.
  • Marketing plan – How will this be marketed? Newsletters, video, management meetings, social meetings/games, incentives for users who have contributed to the most, social currency, buzz, trivia, innovative ways etc. This will help boost user’s morale and motivation to collaborate and share more info. This will also help them to raise their profile in the organization. Come up with a logo, tag line and maybe an avatar for the platform.
  • Change management plan– “This is the most important of all” – Clearly identify and define what existing processes, activities & tasks will be changed/impacted by this platform. Communicate these to key stakeholders and users earlier on and get buy-in. This plan will help the overall adoption.
  • Training plan – Identify the training requirements in detail – user awareness of social media and tools (see sample video from the guru himself), what training materials needs to be developed, what type of demos and training sessions need to be conducted, what will be the training format – classroom, hands-on, webinars, video tutorials? who will do the training (champions), how often will the training be conducted?

STEP 10: Implement Solution & Adoption Strategies

  • Review and refine the tasks based on requirements & adoption strategies by phase and priority to meet the overall. It is recommended to launch the platform in phases and introduce features gradually. Start with introducing basic features. This will help with adoption, training and usage of the platform and not overwhelm the users.
  • Get approval from management and steering committee.
  • Design, develop, test and implement the solution in a test mode.
  • Communicate on the release & training.
  • Release the solution in a beta/pilot mode, to a few business units.
  • Release the solution to the entire organization.
  • Implement & manage the adoption strategies (community managers, champions, evangelists) to help users to adopt to the new platform, create profiles, create communities, create & share content, use collaboration tools in conjunction with traditional methods, social games/prizes, implement & show the value of the collaboration platform related to the adoption use cases identified in Step 8.

STEP 11: D0 Communication & Marketing

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate – “This says it all”.
  • Communicate on the training.
  • Communicate and market on the business outcomes, benefits, value, use cases, customer testimonials (video recommended), process excellence.

STEP 12: Conduct Training

  • Conduct training sessions – demos, road shows, hands-on, classroom, webinars and video tutorials, Social media 101 sessions.
  • For the hands-on and classroom, conduct it more like a 2 part workshop rather than a presentation/demo. Pair the users (social + non-social media experts+champions), have the users create a page, join a group, send a message, create a project etc, give a group assignment that has many collaboration tasks using the platform, have them present their assignment in the next workshop – I guess you got the idea here.

Step 13: Listen, Monitor and Analyze Usage

  • Continuously listen and monitor the platform usage (metrics).
  • How are we measuring against the metrics?
  • Have a good support/help desk process & system for users to report issues, requests, suggestions & feedback.
  • Do data mining and analysis of the usage and change the implementation and adoption strategies.

Step 14: Do Continuous Improvements and Changes

  • Release changes, new features and improvements in a periodic basis and not all at the same time.
  • Communicate on the new features, success stories, testimonials regularly.
  • Conduct training sessions in many formats continuously.
  • Meet with users on a continuous basis to get their feedback and suggestions, show the new features and tools.
  • Meet with the steering committee/advisory council on a continuous basis (and change the membership regularly).

Step 15: Partner & Collaborate with the Vendor

  • Have a strong partnership with the vendor rather than a just a vendor-client relationship. You will need their support on a continuous basis. This will need to be “Win-Win” relationship.
  • Be part of the customer council/committee to hear about the new features, product road map and strategy, suggest features & enhancements.
  • Do presentations and webinars at the industry conference & vendor’s events. This is the best opportunity to showcase your solution, network with other customers/peers and provide a good opportunity to share & learn.

CLOSING THOUGHTS & COMMENTS

  • Effective Communication + Collaboration + Interaction + Sharing Knowledge & Ideas “Naturally Leads To” Process Improvement, Process Excellence, Break Down Silos, Creativity & Innovation across the Organization
  • In order to be a “True” Social Enterprise to efficiently & effectively collaborate & interact with customer & partners, it is very important for employees to collaborate and interact internally with the Enterprise Collaboration platform. This will also be useful and come in handy when software vendors (ERP, CRM, User Computing) start adding more of social collaboration tools to their products (many of the vendors have already started doing this).
  • The increasing number of young generation employees (Gen X & Gen Y) and the integrated global business networks are driving the need for new & better collaboration tools necessary. To meet tomorrow’s organization’s needs, we cannot work on yesterday’s tools? It is time to move and look beyond emails, file shares and static intranet (< or = Web 1.0) as the business communication & collaboration tools.
  • Enterprise Collaboration platforms should bridge the gap between Gen X/Y and Gen E, align with Gen E’s work processes, culture and gradually make them comfortable on using the new tools.
  • Encourage “Culture” of sharing & collaboration across the organization.
  • Last but not the least – Communicate on the value created by using the Enterprise Collaboration platform regularly.

Contact Info

LinkedIn  kchakkarapani@yahoo.com

Enterprise Collaboration Strategy – 15 Key Steps for Successful Implementation

July 2, 2011 9 comments

    Key Strategy Steps & Activities for a successful implementation of “Enterprise Collaboration”  platform. These are based on my implementation experience (including lessons learned), reading best practices & articles and listening to other implementers/peers/experts in this space.

Implementing an Enterprise Collaboration platform is different from other projects. This is more of a business project (not a technology project) as it touches all aspects of the business and processes. I recently did a presentation on my “Enterprise Collaboration & Innovation platform” journey at Enterprise 2.0 and CIO: IT Leadership Conferences(Enterprise 2.0 Presentation Link, IT Leadership Strategies Presentation Link)

Well before I list the steps….we need to standardize on the name for this platform (I will leave this to the industry veterans and experts). These are the names I have come across so far – Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Collaboration, Enterprise Social Collaboration, Social Intranet, Social Enterprise, Social Business, Social Networking for Business.

For this blog, I will use the term “Enterprise Collaboration”. (Under the assumption that you can Collaborate if you are Social). By the way, I am very passionate about this area so some of the steps will be in detail).

Thanks to all who have provided feedback and comments on the steps/activities. I have taken all your input and updated this post. This is one more example of “real-time collaborating” that provides value to me and to all who are interested in this subject. We can/could get the same benefits and value within the enterprise – Share, learn, connect and network (:-

KEY STRATEGY STEPS & ACTIVITIES

STEP 1: Assessment – Understand the Current Environment/Readiness

  • Assess the leadership support and paradigm. What type of support exists from the leadership team to have an open and transparent collaboration platform in the organization?
  • Conduct surveys, interviews and focus group sessions with stakeholders to understand the challenges and issues they are currently facing, communication and collaboration issues, work flow issues, project delays etc.
  • Assess awareness of social media environment – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
  • Assess readiness of enterprise collaboration in the organization.
  • How is the job getting done? Projects, day-to-day tasks, communication etc.
  • How is the content created, updated, managed and shared? How is the content consumed?
  • What type of relationships exists?
  • Is there an overload or lack of communication? How is communication consumed and shared?
  • What are the current tools and modes of communication & collaboration? How is it used? Is it productive? Does it overlap?
  • What are other peer industries doing in this space? What’s the collaboration benchmark? This assessment will be helpful to know your current state and measure the progress over time.

STEP 2: Develop a compelling Strategy

  • What’s the vision? Where do we want to go? Why do we want to go there?
  • How does it align with the organization’s strategy, goals, objectives & values?

STEP 3: Develop a strong Business Case

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Key Objectives? In terms of Innovation, Idea generation, Collaboration, Communication, Excellence, Learning & Support, Competitive advantage etc
  • How does it align to the strategy?
  • What are the key drivers?
  • Why now? How does having an enterprise collaboration platform help being a “True” & “Efficient” Social Enterprise and compliment traditional/offline collaboration methods?
  • How is this different from Knowledge management tools?
  • Who will benefit? Key stakeholders? Internal (employees), External (customers, partners, vendors)?
  • What are the benefits & “VALUE” in business terms? Productivity, Satisfaction, Process Improvement etc
  • How will engagement and morale improve?
  • What challenges, issues or pain points does this address? If not addressed, what’s the impact?
  • How does it impact other business processes?
  • Key sponsors (Management buy-in is very important on a continuous basis)
  • Investment required? Cost, time and effort?
  • ROI? How about ROE (Return on Engagement)? In this case, ROE should emphasize more on business outcomes, engagement rather than $$$$, Measure the progress.
  • Identify the key metrics – adoption, use, impact, value etc
  • Last but not the least – What are the risks?

STEP 4: Develop a Road map/Implementation Plan

  • Develop a project plan (Agile project methodology is highly recommended)
  • Form a steering committee (advisory council or governance committee)
  • Define requirements & design
  • Evaluate vendors & select the right platform/solution
  • Develop an adoption strategy & plan
  • Develop communication, marketing, change management & training plans
  • Implement solution & adoption strategies (See related post on 10 Key Adoption Strategies)
  • Do communication & marketing
  • Conduct training
  • Listen, monitor and analyze usage
  • Do continuous improvements and changes
  • Partner & collaborate with the vendor

STEP 5: Form a Steering Committee (Advisory council or Governance Committee)

  • Define the goals and objectives of the steering committee/council. One of the main goals of this team should be to listen/communicate with the senior leadership and management team and also communicate to the organization as a whole for buy-in and adoption.
  • What are the roles and responsibilities?
  • What will be
  • What decisions will they take?
  • What type of information will they publish and communicate? One of the main deliverables should be ‘Leadership Playbook’ which details out the game plan, communication guidelines. This will help the leadership & senior management team to have an “Unified” message.
  • Identify members – It is recommended to have different members for different stages of the project. This will provide good support & buy-in throughout the project including after go-live. Initial stage – senior management, Design & implementation stage – mid-level management, Roll-out/Post go-live – mix of senior management, mid level management & employees.
  • Meet and communicate regularly with the committee.

STEP 6: Define Requirements & Design

  • Identify & document functional requirements. Map each requirement to the business value, benefits and collaboration patterns. Categorize it by importance and weight.
  • Identify & document technology requirements. Map each requirement to the functional requirements. Categorize it by importance and weight.
  • Draft a high-level business design & architecture diagram (see sample architecture, cloud security and single sign-on architecture) – in terms of people, process and technology.

Sample Enterprise Collaboration Architecture

Sample Cloud / SaaS Identity Management & SSO Architecture

STEP 7: Evaluate Vendors & Select the right Platform/Solution

  • Document technology vendor selection requirements & criteria (SaaS, Hybrid SaaS etc) linked to the above requirements. Following are some of the requirements to look for in the platform.
  • Click here for sample Enterprise Collaboration platform vendor selection criteria & framework (SaaS) under the ‘Vendor Evaluation & Selection’ section.
  • Evaluate the vendor solution across 4 main categories – Information sharing, communications, social networking and an integrated user experience.
  • Does it meet the SLATES requirement? Search, Links, Authoring, Tags, Extension & Links
  • What collaboration features & tools are available?
  • What’s the vendor product strategy, road map? Who is the management?
  • Does the vendor keep in the pace with the market especially the growing collaboration market?
  • What type of solution does the vendor provide? SaaS, Hybrid SaaS?
  • How is the product’s architecture and other features tie to the current infrastructure and architecture?
  • What type of APIs or web services are there?
  • What type of security and SSO is provided?
  • What are the licensing terms?
  • What type of support and maintenance provided? What’s the effort for internal IT team?
  • What is the total cost of ownership (TCO)?
  • What type of support will they provide for other integration vendors/partners?
  • Can the information be aggregated from multiple sources & formats?
  • What type of user dashboards/reports and management dashboards/analytical reports are available?
  • Assess how the vendor solution align with these categories and the requirements identified in Step 6?
  • Rank and select the vendor that meet your requirements & objectives.

STEP 8: Develop an Adoption Strategy & Plan (See related post on 10 Key Adoption Strategies)

  • What is the adoption goal, objectives, timeline, metrics?
  • What adoption strategies can be done to achieve maximum business benefit, value & immediate impact?
  • Identify the champions and ambassadors who will market and use the platform initially?
  • What are some of the current communication modes & channels that can be replaced to get maximum adoption?
  • Who will benefit the most? Does it align with the requirement that are ranked high on importance, business benefit & value?
  • What policies & procedures need to be set to get maximum adoption?
  • Identify & document functional adoption use cases – Intranet, RSS, external social media integration, organization wide calendar, resource library, corporate services (legal, IT, finance, HR, audit, administration, travel etc)
  • Identify & document technology adoption use cases – Single Sign-on to other apps, outlook integration, IM integration, document and video integration, audio/video conferencing integration, active directory integration (helps sync the profile data automatically)
  • Identify & document Application adoption use cases – Integration to CRM, HR/Payroll, help desk, BI applications to manage work tasks seamlessly via activity streams within the platform.
  • Identify & document Process adoption use cases – In terms of “In the flow” process, does it improve the process? – Project management & collaboration, communication, strategy alignment to projects, project status reports etc

STEP 9: Develop Communication, Marketing, Change management & Training plans

  • Clearly define and document the communication, marketing, change management & training plan. This is the most important step in the entire project.
  • Communication plan – What needs to be communicated? Leadership Playbook, Guidelines, Policies etc. More emphasis should be on business benefits & value, “What’s in it for me? rather than features and tools. How is this valuable than the email? Who needs to be communicated? What’s the frequency of the communication? How will it be communicated? Where will it be communicated – places, signage etc? How will the new features be introduced without overwhelming the users? Communication needs to occur throughout the project.
  • Marketing plan – How will this be marketed? Newsletters, video, management meetings, social meetings/games, incentives for users who have contributed to the most, social currency, buzz, trivia, innovative ways etc. This will help boost user’s morale and motivation to collaborate and share more info. This will also help them to raise their profile in the organization. Come up with a logo, tag line and maybe an avatar for the platform.
  • Change management plan– “This is the most important of all” – Clearly identify and define what existing processes, activities & tasks will be changed/impacted by this platform. Communicate these to key stakeholders and users earlier on and get buy-in. This plan will help the overall adoption.
  • Training plan – Identify the training requirements in detail – user awareness of social media and tools (see sample video from the guru himself), what training materials needs to be developed, what type of demos and training sessions need to be conducted, what will be the training format – classroom, hands-on, webinars, video tutorials? who will do the training (champions), how often will the training be conducted?

STEP 10: Implement Solution & Adoption Strategies

  • Review and refine the tasks based on requirements & adoption strategies by phase and priority to meet the overall. It is recommended to launch the platform in phases and introduce features gradually. Start with introducing basic features. This will help with adoption, training and usage of the platform and not overwhelm the users.
  • Get approval from management and steering committee.
  • Design, develop, test and implement the solution in a test mode.
  • Communicate on the release & training.
  • Release the solution in a beta/pilot mode, to a few business units.
  • Release the solution to the entire organization.
  • Implement & manage the adoption strategies (community managers, champions, evangelists) to help users to adopt to the new platform, create profiles, create communities, create & share content, use collaboration tools in conjunction with traditional methods, social games/prizes, implement & show the value of the collaboration platform related to the adoption use cases identified in Step 8.

STEP 11: D0 Communication & Marketing

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate – “This says it all”.
  • Communicate on the training.
  • Communicate and market on the business outcomes, benefits, value, use cases, customer testimonials (video recommended), process excellence.

STEP 12: Conduct Training

  • Conduct training sessions – demos, road shows, hands-on, classroom, webinars and video tutorials, Social media 101 sessions.
  • For the hands-on and classroom, conduct it more like a 2 part workshop rather than a presentation/demo. Pair the users (social + non-social media experts+champions), have the users create a page, join a group, send a message, create a project etc, give a group assignment that has many collaboration tasks using the platform, have them present their assignment in the next workshop – I guess you got the idea here.

Step 13: Listen, Monitor and Analyze Usage

  • Continuously listen and monitor the platform usage (metrics).
  • How are we measuring against the metrics?
  • Have a good support/help desk process & system for users to report issues, requests, suggestions & feedback.
  • Do data mining and analysis of the usage and change the implementation and adoption strategies.

Step 14: Do Continuous Improvements and Changes

  • Release changes, new features and improvements in a periodic basis and not all at the same time.
  • Communicate on the new features, success stories, testimonials regularly.
  • Conduct training sessions in many formats continuously.
  • Meet with users on a continuous basis to get their feedback and suggestions, show the new features and tools.
  • Meet with the steering committee/advisory council on a continuous basis (and change the membership regularly).

Step 15: Partner & Collaborate with the Vendor

  • Have a strong partnership with the vendor rather than a just a vendor-client relationship. You will need their support on a continuous basis. This will need to be “Win-Win” relationship.
  • Be part of the customer council/committee to hear about the new features, product road map and strategy, suggest features & enhancements.
  • Do presentations and webinars at the industry conference & vendor’s events. This is the best opportunity to showcase your solution, network with other customers/peers and provide a good opportunity to share & learn.

CLOSING THOUGHTS & COMMENTS

  • Effective Communication + Collaboration + Interaction + Sharing Knowledge & Ideas “Naturally Leads To” Process Improvement, Process Excellence, Break Down Silos, Creativity & Innovation across the Organization
  • In order to be a “True” Social Enterprise to efficiently & effectively collaborate & interact with customer & partners, it is very important for employees to collaborate and interact internally with the Enterprise Collaboration platform. This will also be useful and come in handy when software vendors (ERP, CRM, User Computing) start adding more of social collaboration tools to their products (many of the vendors have already started doing this).
  • The increasing number of young generation employees (Gen X & Gen Y) and the integrated global business networks are driving the need for new & better collaboration tools necessary. To meet tomorrow’s organization’s needs, we cannot work on yesterday’s tools? It is time to move and look beyond emails, file shares and static intranet (< or = Web 1.0) as the business communication & collaboration tools.
  • Enterprise Collaboration platforms should bridge the gap between Gen X/Y and Gen E, align with Gen E’s work processes, culture and gradually make them comfortable on using the new tools.
  • Encourage “Culture” of sharing & collaboration across the organization.
  • Last but not the least – Communicate on the value created by using the Enterprise Collaboration platform regularly.

Contact Info

LinkedIn  kchakkarapani@yahoo.com

Enterprise Collaboration Project Recogntion by Computerworld 2011 Honors Program

Recipient of 2011 Computerworld Honors Program Laureate award under the “Collaboration” category for implementing Collaboration technologies that transformed business and created “true” value to the organization.

Technology Solutions included: Enterprise Collaboration & Innovation Platform, Document Management & Collaboration, Digital Media Management & Collaboration and Cloud Security & Identity Management.

Project Information Link: Enterprise Collaboration

Award Case Study: https://www.box.com/s/xj7g0q132nuv51t1uu2m

Collaboration Award Category Description

Recognizes organizations for the innovative use of IT to promote knowledge-sharing and enable collaboration on mutually beneficial economic, social, environmental,   health or research initiatives across organizations, industries, countries and/or continents.

Contact Info

LinkedIn  kchakkarapani@yahoo.com

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