Social Collaboration: A Work In Progress - InformationWeek

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Social Collaboration: A Work In Progress
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User Rank: Apprentice
5/30/2012 | 8:37:04 PM
re: Social Collaboration: A Work In Progress
Time to take a page out of the W. Edwards Demming playbook and build governance that lets teams (securely) implement the collaboration tools they want to use (i.e. allow folks to impact systems that impact themselves). All to often the reason not to do this is "risk", but a project that nobody uses carries with it the opportunity cost of doing something else that would have worked (both time and capital). Yes, supporting multiple platforms, as you note isn't something CIOs want to do, but you can't collaborate unless you're using the tool/system/solution you want to use. Work in progress? More like time for IT management to set a policy (that works) and get out of the way. --Paul Calento
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 4:49:17 AM
re: Social Collaboration: A Work In Progress
Hi Rob,

great article, thanks !

I have been in this E2.0 space for about 3 years now. My main role, in fact I am building a company dedicated to this entire subject, is helping companies with their adoption strategies and subsequent implementation of these strategies. These strategies are platform independent and so I work with platforms such as Jive and Quad. We have also developed a methodology around adoption called the Collaboration Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK), see

From what I have seen to-date I agree with everything you have said 100% and would like to add a few of my own insights.

1. The platform vendors such as Jive, Yammer and Cisco sell a set of blue sky benefits to the customer. these benefits can be realised but to actually achieve these benefits there is more to it than just rolling it out and telling everyone to use this wonderful new collaboration tool, which leads me on to point 2

2. The roll-out of these new tools needs to be treated as a change programme. You are asking people to change the way they work day-to-day. A few online pressos and videos won't do it. And, sorry to say this, but this requires investment in resources i.e. money & time.

3. The current approach for most companies to roll these tools out is to tell everyone it is like Facebook but for the enterprise. So you all know how FB works so this is similar, so go ahead and reap the rewards of collaboration.

This approach, if you have a reasonable number of people in your company, will probably have a few successes. Early adopters will give it a go and a couple of them will have a success story. i.e. emergent innovation. So when the person that promoted the whole idea of collaboration platforms is asked to justify the ROI they can reach out to everybody, find the odd success story, do some time/cost savings benefits anaylsis, extrapolate this out over 10 years and show how they have saved the company more than the GBP of the USA. Humour aside, there will be some success stories, some of them very real, but they are emergent and the company has no idea of the overall landscape of collaboration and where it would expect success to come from and thus how to allocate the appropriate resources at the right time to help this success be realised.

4. So we take a two pronged approach to collaboration. VIRAL (which is what I have described above) and MANAGED (supported by the CMBOK). This combines the emegrent innovation aspects but also puts a framework around the collaboration landscape so that the organisation can easily see what is happening across the organisation in terms of collaboration, they can build a change programme around this framework, and measure progress towards their goals. i.e. the best of both worlds.

So I am a strong supporter of these new platforms and I think fundamentally they are going to change the way we all work in the future, esp. as you see the integration of Unified Comms into these platforms (See Cisco QUAD as a case in point). However, companies need to realise that there is investment required to realise their full benefits.

Guy Thackray
Partner at CoTech International

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