July 14, 2012

Business Considerations for Implementing a Collaborative System

Collaborative
Organization

The Collaborative Organization book by Jacob Morgan presents quite a few ideas and examples related to deploying various part of a social enterprise system with a business or company.  Should you just do it now using external tools, buy a specific system, or read the book first? 
According to Gil Yehuda in the book forward, you need to begin with this process: 

1.   Understand the issues by reading the book

2.   Measure and test what is going on in your company now

3.   Get help from an expert to prevent and fix problems

A phased approach is a good idea for any new application installation.  In this book a 4-stage approach is suggested, although stages 2 and 3 may be broken up into multiple sub-phases for implementation of new features or integrating with current corporate systems.  The stages are covered in detail in the “Adoption” chapter 10.  Below is a summary of the recommended stages:

1.   Deploy initial features (easy-to-use and understand first)

2.   Add more features (items that make individual and group work easier)

3.   Integrate with other systems (connect with CRM, ERP, HR, etc.)

4.   Execute best practices and ideation (full collaboration and strategy alignment)

Morgan says that is will be difficult to show an ROI on a collaborative platform, but the benefits can be seen and measured.  Here are a few things he says leaders to use for success metrics on page 234:

·        Ideas generated/submitted (count all verse only what is implemented)

·        Number of employees using it (percentage actively engaged)

·        Dollars saved (reduced costs or fewer new purchases)

·        Revenue generated (from new ideas implemented)

·        Time saved (from using tool for processes)

·        Employee satisfaction (feel they are being listened to)

·        Decrease in email (because using system to get info)

·        Improved productivity (because everything they need is in 1 place)

To make this a true guidebook, in chapter 14 Morgan includes a 20-step “Strategic Plan for Emergent Collaboration” chart.  Each step is mapped back to chapters in the book for review purposes.

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