Plenty of companies have early success with Yammer. And then it stalls. Or they hit growing pains and the early enthusiasm wanes. This scenario can happen to any enterprise social network (ESN), but it seems most pronounced in Yammer.
I have been fortunate to work with and view many sites, intranets, digital workplaces, mobile and collaborative spaces since 1996. Many technology features and fads aimed at helping people have a good experience have come and gone. However, throughout this time, having a clear strategy with good governance to support your intranet, has consistently been shown to help meet your organisation’s key priorities and add measurable value.
Your strategy sets the direction you need to move in with a clear scope and set of aims to be achieved, aligned with other related strategy..
Continuously improving your intranet after launch will not only ensure it remains relevant to people and your organisation, it also demonstrates your value. Aside from developmental and design improvements, your maturing intranet needs to support new projects and help solve business problems.
The intranet design and launch project may have been a vast investment of time and energy, but that’s now in the past. You need to help make the intranet an integral part of the people’s ways of working. Creating and delivering specific training topics will give people the confidence and competence to make best use of the intranet.
Designing and launching a new, or revamped, intranet may be a massive project, but the success of your efforts isn’t the launch – the journey towards a useful intranet has only just begun. Some ideas on where you should focus next.
This is article 19 in the series the Art of SharePoint Success describing my four part framework for ensuring long term, measurable returns on your SharePoint investment. The four elements of the framework are:
Governance Strategy Architecture Transition
Your Adoption Approach
Table 1 presents a very simplified overview of my usual approach to adoption in SharePoint based projects. This is very similar to the approach that Microsoft Consulting Services use with their top 100 global clients.
So, you’re part of the implementation team of a new tech rollout and your users aren’t using the new thing. Could it be your fault? Well, I’m going to say… Yes. Probably….
Of course I can’t know for certain, as I don’t know you or your project. But in my experience, many people involved in tech implementations blame the users when things don’t work out, when they really needn’t look any further than themselves.
I’m not going to launch into a long list of reasons why people don’t adopt new tech systems. Long posts really aren’t my style, plus the variables are endless. But I will say that to get to the bottom of a lack of user engagement or adoption, you have to listen to the users...
Adoption, adoption, adoption. Sometimes it seems like that’s all anyone wants to hear about when it comes to collaborative technologies such as social networking, SharePoint, Jive, or intranets.
I’m on record as being a bit of a curmudgeon about adoption since I’ve seen it abused so frequently (particularly in the SharePoint space) by IT folks that don’t want to actually talk to the business about what they need and co-own the solution. I’ve written about this before in ’Driving adoption’ is a band ai...
Intranet social media can be one of the most powerful tools for internal communication. Unfortunately, the adoption rate of social media within corporations is dismally low.
Long story short, employees simply rarely take up internal social media. In fact, 72% of employees use intranet social media networks less than once a month. In comparison, most will use Facebook several times a day.
Why is that?
Are you wondering why no employees are using your company's new social intranet? Here are six factors that affect staff adoption:
The importance of culture
Senior leader support
Social media guidelines
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
read the full story at Ragan.com
User adoption starts at the beginning of a project, not at the end. I have been contacted more than once by companies – all large, reasonably well-resourced and with smart intranet teams – who want to talk about user adoption just before launching their new intranets. That rarely works well.
I have developed 5 key success criteria for user adoption and most start very early in the process. We reviewed these points with the members of IntraNetWork in Paris at our September work session. Several members are currently rolling out huge new intranets and the discussion was lively and full of real examples.
- Create a "networked governance" with no black holes.
- Involve users from day one
- Play the local management trump card
- Deploy operationally, not organizationally
- 5. Propose practical, decision-making tools
There are a number of motivational factors communicators need to understand when trying to drive participation on social intranets. By definition, when we say social intranets, we mean an internal organizational site offering tools for two-way (or many-way) discourse and collaboration, rather than intranets of the bulletin board variety—one-way posting areas used to push out information like a website.
I had the privilege of guest lecturing a social media class at New York University recently, ...
In May I shared details of Carphone Warehouse's award-winning business process management deployment, noting the IT organization "marketed" the initiative by creating a brand for it called How2. When it was launched to 1,000 call center agents, the lights were turned off and each agent got a plastic bag that said, “How2 Is in the Bag.” When the lights were turned on, employees got t-shirts and other swag with a How2 logo. As I wrote, "IT organizations might scoff at handing out tchotkes. But those that try to inject some fun into projects are likely to enjoy a better rate of success."
While the "fun factor" can improve adoption for almost any enterprise software, I think it's especially important for systems for which usage is voluntary. I recently read two pieces that highlighted companies that experienced great success in getting employees to use their intranets, largely by making them fun to visit.
I’ve always found it interesting why the various tools we’ve previously thoughts as the “right answer” are continually replace by tools we believe to be “the next right answer”.
We used to love e-mail back in the nineties – now we know hold it in disregard. We now think micro-blogging and activity streams will solve the e-mail problem.
I wonder how long it will take for us to complain about those tools and pontificate eloquently about the next right answer that should replace them.
The point? Almost every widely deployed technology today that has failed to meet expectations over time....
Behind culture there are one thousand things, more or less objective or real to explain with more or less sincerity what prevent organizations and people from changing. Enterprise 2.0 faces the same kind of problems even if it’s not specific to it.
Acknowledgement : it’s an real concern that can be counterbalanced by corporate culture in some cases. There are many and varied solutions to override this issue but all are imperfect and none is universal.
However, a difference as to me made between the impact of culture on behaviors than can be offset overtime with the right incentives and what has to deal with cultural identity that people will over try to protect against any change.
With the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT only one week ahead I really need to publish my thoughts and perceptions about the status quo of Enterprise 2.0 in Europe and our ideas towards what we want to achieve with this upcoming conference.
You might already have read the recent interviews (at Isabel Ayel’s blog or Wissensauslese) about my perceptions of the E20 developments in Europe. In brief I see the evolutions within the Enterprise 2.0 sphere very much in relation towards the “dissemination of a virus” - not yet fully spreaded but highly contagious to slowly infiltrate the whole organisation, corporation, industry and economy.
Last week Microsoft published a new white paper (written by Scott Jamison and Susan Hanley), on adoption for SharePoint 2010. My book, User Adoption Strategies gets a mention on page 6, which is very cool.
"Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 provides a vast number of capabilities that empower business users. However, even with this amount of power in hand, users (and the organizations they work for) can benefit greatly from having a clear SharePoint Adoption Plan. A SharePoint Adoption Plan describes how ...
Last month there was a discussion going on in a KM group I participate in regarding rewards. The question being asked was "what incentives are in place for knowledge sharing within your organization?"
Now, those involved in KM will recognize this discussion. It is a recurring theme, sort of like abortion, with no clear answer but lots of heated debate on both sides.
To summarize quickly, there are those who feel that incentives (ranging from simple acknowledgments to actual physical or financial awards) applied strategically can encourage participation and knowledge sharing. While others feel any form of reward system distorts normal behavior, resulting in "false positives" as individuals game the system to collect the rewards, without any real engagement in KM practices per se.
Does social software adoption have you singing the blues? If so, you're not alone.
In the enterprise social software world, everyone's talking about adoption. There are breakouts on it at Enterprise 2.0. Lots of smart people are blogging about it. There's LinkedIn forum. There's even a whole Council dedicated to social software adoption.
Why is adoption such an issue?
The standard response is to blame organizational culture. Eavesdrop on adoption conversations and you'll hear things like this
- "Corporations incentivize for knowledge-hoarding."
- "People over 30 just don't get social networking."
- "Workers aren't comfortable with transparency."
- "We have a culture of email that's hard to change."
To borrow a phrase from always-quotable Dennis Howlett: What a crock.
To borrow another phrase from the also-quotable Pogo: We have met the enemy and he is us.
Assuming you have a corporate culture that is to some degree ready for a constructive conversation with and among your employees, there is huge potential value in bringing social media inside the firewall (and if you don't have that kind of culture, you should stop reading this because you have much bigger problems to deal with). I'm an optimist. A sarcastic and sometimes cynical one, but an optimist nonetheless. So I like to believe most organizations, despite the Law of Corporate Cultural Inertia, are ready for the constructive conversation.
Yet as I chatted with communicators at a social media conference we co-hosted this week, I heard again and again how their organizations are still reluctant to use social media tools internally.