I am quite interested in social media, and grabbed for you during the Microsoft Tech Days how implementing such practice in large companies could be a challenge. Orange Business Services witnessed during a session about successful deployments of internal social media, this week, based on the Plaza project deployed in Orange and its digital consulting activity.
Context. OBS made a short reminder about social media in large companies, highlighting how hard it is to accommodate old management based on hierarchy, with the new spirit of open and collaborative 2.0 world. Daniel Gonçalves from OBS consulting reminded that most of the underlying principles required to establish a social media framework were already familiar to IT managers with people directory, document sharing, and collaboration enablers. Social media is just a mean to integrate all that experience in one tool, with turbo user experience, as users have a rich profile, can join community and follow and work on their reputation.
What is at stake ? It is demonstrated that all together people can be a smart as few experts. There are different reasons why a company would like to be smarter : to have more collaborators involved, to find new objective or new direction for the company, to boost innovation, to boost information exchange and learning. In Enterprise 2.0, to reach such goal, you develop communities of people. And for that, you need to have a good project team to roll out the plan.
Will the project leader fail ? Well maybe. From OBS experience, there are few things project managers should know to avoid committing suicide during the project :
– Social media learning takes time and takes your time;
– Do not under estimate the coincidence – hard to admit that 50% of campaigns success is viral, meaning coming from a propagation that you do not understand or predict;
– If naturally your company does not have the spirit of sharing and collaborate, you may have trouble to become a success stories in TechDays one day – it may happen but it will be seriously harder for you;
– Adoption of new tools requires that they are understood, and that their positioning is clear compared to others tools (I hate duplicating operations for my boss, right, so please if you give us two tools, convince me they do not overlap);
– There will be a hard battle happening between social media used for private circle (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) and the great social media you plan to roll out. Great effort on the design and usability will be a must. Especially if your early adopters are already web 2.0 oriented;
– 90/9/1 is the contribution rate in communities, for 90 social media observer, there are 9 social media punctual contributor, and 1 social media regular contributor – one, yes, 1 on 100 people will post in information, so pray it will be relevant;
– The contributors are diva : they must know what is their interest to contribute, they must be confident using the tools, they wanna know the rules of the game, they must have fun, they must be sure their boss will appreciate it… You want them to give their best, you need to nurse them;
– The new technology adoption has very well known cycle : everyone speaks about it, people enrolls end contributes like hell, and 3 month after your dashboard indicates one comment per week. As such you need to inject your energy at the right moment and try to maintain engagement from the users.
Will you succeed ? Hum… maybe. The good news is that if you reach the end of your project according to the key success factors that you hardly negotiated at the beginning with your sponsors … Oups ! Nobody told you that you need sponsors in HR department *and* lT department *and* top management? Well, if you are able to reach the end of the project, you are a super hero. Actually you should be a super heros team. OBS Consulting shared also some interesting operational advices to increase your chance of success as a project team. Reporting here the one I preferred :
– Set up a good team with transverse skills, including developers – as you will have to customize the solution;
– Have an iterative approach and an open mind as your users will ask you the killing feature you did not think about;
– Have some relay or ambassador locally to explain and drive adoption (yeah, I know we said you need to be best friend with your CEO, but also best friend of your communities, but remember, you are a super hero).
Speaking product. Finally a demo was made by Huu-Phuc Tran from Alsy, an OBS affiliate. This could illustrate the features of what Microsoft considers as a good social media product, Share Point 2013. I must confess that the module demonstrated were impressive in term of user experience: Creating profile, joining community, winning badges to manage reputation, checking activities, interacting with others. All the basics were available, but it was demonstrated that customization would be required to roll out a serious plan.
In the end. It was clear to the audience that the challenge of social media in companies was residing in the needed transverse and collaborative efforts. Good luck to the enterprise 2.0 world, I think you have a lots of energy to spend. Between you and I, I wish you’ll succeed, because as a user, I already love what you promised me.
Note : Picture ‘Super Hero’ by D. Boyarrin under Creative Commons – http://www.flickr.com/photos/boyarrin/
Note : Other posts related to Microsoft Tech Days 2013 : Big Data, they unveiled the secret, Microsoft message to developers and A trip from a Digital Ocean to Orange’s Plaza [by Franck Martini].