Today I am posting out of frustration 🙂 I've heard of a company that seems to be interested in approaching the enterprise 2.0 way of working. However, their first decision point is to calculate a business case (in this case an excel file) for the return on investment of the approach. Of course there is no progress in the project because no partner – not even the technology folks that are so keen on getting their licenses sold – were able to provide the quantified forecast of business contribution (side note: what company would share methodology or numbers on an internal evaluation in that field as a use case??).
I am not surprised. I am rather frustrated. Why hasn't it sunk in with all corporations that the ideology behind enterprise 2.0 (motivating employees to behave in the same agile, pro-active and networked way as they do it in social media) is obviously the key to unlock all the potential that lies within their best assets: their people and the intelectual property that's driving value creation.
Yes, yes, yes. Contribution IS measurable. Improvement of productivity and work efficiency CAN be quantified. Measuring sales acceleration and innovation speed (go to market) IS possible. Sure. I am only challenging the sense in spending hundreds of thousands of Euros in creating benchmarks, driving people nuts by analyzing their daily work and somehow raising the suspicion that there's something going on that might affect corporate headcount… Since I am quite close to the guys in our Customer Interaction business (contact centers) and their project around task work I am aware of the fact that there are methodologies and ways of measuring work place performance. When it comes to taks work and the key indicator of throughput I even agree that initiating projects requires some kind of quantified trigger. Information and knowledge work, where the main goal is to follow the (yaawn) old marketing rule of 1+1=3 shouldn't be approached in that way.
If you disagree of if you have a strong opinion here please(!!!) respond to this post by Twitter, commenting, DesireIT-Group or sending me an email to philipp.rosenthal (at) gmail.com. I am so keen on sparring my thinking with others that have experience in this field. And if you have experience in the actually conducing studies and evaluations in the information worker productivity and networked knowledge field: please share it with me :)) I am eager to learn!
Discuss with me online!!
Please submit some comments, ideas and thoughts at: http://goo.gl/8H6MZ – I am really really keen on getting more beef to the bone of ROI calculations!
Here some background information and source of my inspiration when it comes to my thinking around enterprise 2.0 and its add value:
Networked enterprise finds its payday (by McKinsey)
The graphic attached to this post was taken out of the article posted by McKinsey in December 2010. What I would really like to know if the respondents have actually (methodologically) measured the stated improvements or if a more qualitative study was conducted with employees to get their feedback on how they perceive and experience the change…
Six ways to make web 2.0 work (by McKinsey)
Even though I consider it pretty common sense I'd like to share the 6 ways McKinsey has stated in their report that contribute to potential success of the transformation towards a web 2.0 inspired corporation:
1. The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top.
2. The best uses come from users—but they require help to scale.
3. What’s in the workflow is what gets used.
4. Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs—not just their wallets.
5. The right solution comes from the right participants.
6. Balance the top-down and self-management of risk.