In the spirit of contributing to the online discussion started by James Robertson here are my five tips for driving adoption of Enterprise 2.0 technologies. These come from personal experience and from talking with IT leaders in the trenches.In the spirit of contributing to the online discussion started by James Robertson here are my five tips for driving adoption of Enterprise 2.0 technologies. These come from personal experience and from talking with IT leaders in the trenches.
- Demonstate the Enterprise 2.0 technology. First, by making a working prototype available on your Intranet. Second, by using it for your own projects (you become your company's expert). Enterprise 2.0 cannot be sold via Powerpoint and analyst reports. Often IT doesn't like prototypes but you have to work past the resistance and somehow get the Enterprise 2.0 technology out there so people can see it, use it, and think about how it can solve their problems.
- Foster a community of users. By following tip 1 you will soon find others who have problems that can be addressed by the new technology. These people are invaluable. Keep them up to date on your progress and help them any way possible (like letting them use the prototype to test with their own projects). IT users are good to have but it is much better to have users from business units. These users tell success stories that will sell the solution to the rest of the company and show real business value.
- Make it easy to start using the Enterprise 2.0 technology. Nobody wants to wait for an IT project to get approved, signed off, funding allocated, yada yada yada. Deploy it in a way that eliminates all of that overhead. Self-service sign-up is one way of doing this. It should only take minutes (or seconds) to get a new wiki or blog created. In addition, the service should either be free or should be approvable by the lowest level of management.
- Help users help themselves. Keep the community going beyond service deployment. The traditional IT approach of creating job-aides, FAQ sheets, and documenting best practices in a spiffy-looking Intranet site can often be delegated to the community. If the Enterprise 2.0 technology is easy to use and solves real problems then you will have plenty of help from passionate users. Besides, if you are driving the adoption of wikis then the community site (also based on the wiki tool) becomes a working example.
- Get senior management support. This will help ensure funding and drive the most efficient use of the technology. Use the community to spread success stories that bubble up to business unit managers. A word of warning: if you use internal dollars to charge for an Enterprise 2.0 solution then be sensitive to what behaviors this encourages. By aligning deployment with senior management support you can drive the correct and desired behavior and make it easy to start using.