A few years ago, our PO Sandra Brückner wrote about the 4 questions companies should ask themselves when thinking about introducing a social collaboration tool within their company. Today these questions are more relevant than ever, because, as Sandra pointed out, “a fool with a tool is still a fool”.
A question that companies often face today is not: What is social collaboration? But rather: what is the status of our efforts? Experience has shown that most companies know perfectly well what modern collaboration is. They are no longer asking: What is Web 2.0? What is a blog? What is social business all about? Instead, they are interested in the maturity level of their own collaboration initiatives. This concern is usually accompanied by questions such as:
Companies without a clear vision of what they are trying to accomplish and without a well-defined process framework will be unable to answer these questions in a way that furthers their aims. Thus they should first be well aware of the current state and know where they stand on the issue and know exactly where they want to go.
However, for some of the reasons noted below, many clients fail to ask these questions.
1. Starting point:
“Modern collaboration – at the level of a ‘social business’ – is not present in my company, so I’m starting from scratch.” Is this really the case? Informal systems of collaboration have developed in most companies over time as more and more Millennial employees have joined the workforce. Whether it’s WhatsApp or a Facebook group for an after-work beer or the use of an external chat client such as Skype for quick communication while working, modern collaboration exists in many different forms.
2. Goal definition:
“We know exactly where we want to go with our collaboration initiative.” Are you really well aware of everything that such an initiative entails? Have you examined questions such as: How do my employees communicate? Who are the stakeholders? Which IT systems do I use? It is important that you have sufficiently analyzed all aspects of what’s currently in place before taking further steps to implement a social business platform.
3. Employee collaboration:
“We know exactly how our employees collaborate.” Do you really know this or do you just think you do? Employees often find ways to communicate that circumvent corporate guidelines. Engage in dialogue with front-line employees in order to get to the bottom of such questions as: why do they bypass the rules? Why are other forms of communication better for them?
“We have already decided to use a particular solution, so we don’t need to conduct a pre-implementation review.” Be sure to remember that “a fool with a tool is still a fool.” The right technology is a crucial factor in determining how frequently modern collaboration and social business tools will be used. Here usability and simplicity are key factors. How can you be certain that one solution – out of all of the tools available – is the right one for your employees? Be sure to involve them in the decision-making process and familiarize yourself with how they currently collaborate.
You should find answers to all of these key questions before rolling out a modern collaboration and social business platform in your company. Through a so-called “collaboration review,” Pokeshot works closely with our clients to do just that. We support you in finding the right answers, identifying gaps in your strategy and providing you with a road map that allows you to successfully realize your modern collaboration initiative. Get in touch with us!
Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot in the beginning of 2014 and has served for more than two years as Chief Product Officer for all products.