Open Enterprise 2009 Winning Team Interview: Booz Allen Hamilton

The BrainYard - Where collaborative minds congregate.

Oliver Marks, Contributor

August 7, 2009

3 Min Read

After I presented the Open Enterprise 2009 award to Booz Allen Hamilton 'Hello' team lead Walton Smith in Boston (also on behalf of Stowe Boyd and the conference), I had an opportunity to catch up with team members Megan Murray & Donna Lucas, who are in the trenches working with technology and change management respectively at Booz Allen.If you were in Boston for the conference you'll notice we're actually outside and the sun is shining: this was recorded during the final hours of the conference when the rain finally stopped!If you register (free!) on the Enterprise 2.0 conference site you can see my 15 minutes talking about the open enterprise 2009 research project and Walton Smith presenting the winning Booz Allen Hamilton ('BAH') case study, which gives added context to this video.

open enterprise 2009 award

I'll briefly summarize the above video but strongly recommend watching it - 8 minutes of very useful information.Donna and Megan start with a a useful discussion about the teams' success with rapid adoption, with 41% of employees using the system, which they attribute to a rapid amount of 'press coverage' within the organization.Buy in from senior leadership - active and visible executive sponsorship has really helped with change management and in driving adoption. Donna finds that just getting new users to fill out their profile is enough of a catalyst to expose them to the utility of the system so they come back and get involved.Silo busting is successful, albeit with some 'kicking and screaming'. Requests for very narrowly focused communities for small parochial teams are met with an effort to open up topics to a much broader community, in order to more widely share information.Connectivity between business units has greatly increased cross domain and cross solution through community management, as users realize other parts of the organization are focused on similar needs to their own.Stimulating conversation across community really helps build adoption patterns, while email traffic and usage is gradually finding a viable alternative in the BAH environment.Carefully listening to feedback from users has helped make the system better, faster and easier with continuous iteration of improvement.Metrics are an important component to measure success and had just been gathered in a detailed audit by Donna at the time of this interview. This provides rich detail around what to do and where to go next in planning future strategy which is on point for user needs.Middle management is 'the toughest nut to crack' but are seeing benefits in saving a few hours a week through greater efficiencies and cutting back on redundant email communication.Change management includes dealing with 5,000 new employees a year in a 23,000 person company, which adds a layer of complexity to the rapidly evolving ecosphere served.There is a culture of bringing users at al levels into the feedback loop and then using that information to make the resources better, faster and easier.It is a continuous effort to drive momentum in most cases although there are pockets of users who are now self sustaining, these are people of all types and at all levels who see the environment as the best way to get their work doneCongratulations again to Booz Allen Hamilton on a well deserved victory!See also my companion post on ZDNet

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