0

Some Thoughts on Relevance and the Value of Intranets; #relevance #socbiz #socialbusiness #intranet #enterprise20

Summary: over the last months I have been confronted with almost the same question in various cases: “People don’t read what we publish. What can we do?” Unfortunately I have only come to one – not always embraced – recommendation that I keep repeating: “Make relevance more visible and accept that some information means nothing to some you might like to see as your target group.”.

The major challenge: relevance to operational work.

In many articles I have emphasised that the key to a valuable digital workplace lies in its clear and tangible support of the work that information and knowledge workers do every day. Thinking about the “communication intranet”, so the part of a digital workplace that is meant to provide important information to employees, I might have to specify my thoughts a little but more.
In one of my last workshops I came up with a little sketch:

Relevance

It’s read like this: there are three connections of information to the work of an individual.

  • Support: it makes it easier to do my work
  • Enablement: without it I cannot really deliver correct results
  • Execution: it is a direct part if it or could derive from my work as e.g. best practice

Information that supports or enables has a certain “distance” to the individual. The more it directly affects the personal environment (work critical) the more relevant (close) it is to the person – the more likely it is to be perceived and the more critical it is that the person is made aware of it. The next level (relevance to the larger work context – business critical) is slightly more distant from the person but still close enough to understand the effects. The outer part (not even touching “My Work” anymore) is the communication that is most likely to be ignored. The majority of people will not be able to make a connection to the content and the effect on the personal employment/work situation. Here’s the tangible example for each category:

Supporting ME: best practice for the work I am conducting.

Supporting US: a new range of product marketing that the sales team I work in uses.

Supporting the COMPANY: the CEO message on the quarterly results.

Enabling ME: a new purchasing guidelines for parts that are key to my deliveries

Enabling US: a new mandatory travel policy that affects expense processes for us as a sales team

Enabling the COMPANY: a new HR guideline on the personal use of the internet at work

Here’s the essence of the challenge: if the flood of information that touches all of the categories mentioned above is in no form or way targeted or indicated in relevance the recipients will simply turn numb. The will start to ignore all information and miss out on the essential and critical parts as well.

How to address the challenge?

Introduce targeting and indicate relevance.

It might be something that sounds like a tremendous effort. To create an editorial model that is able to specify and deliver information to pre-determined target groups. To provide intranets that are geared towards users and resonate on their role, geography, position and other relevant factors. To maybe even tailor the same message to different target group.
Rest assured. THAT is where the ROI on internal communications comes from. Not if you make it social, a stream or add pretty pictures to everything that is published – or (even worse) a strict “must read” rule that puts people even more work on their table through the required analysis & research efforts.

Introduce the indicators for a “call to action” (if there is one).

If you want people to react: tell them. Introduce the option to distinguish if a certain action is required (e.g. read, read & confirm, read & implement etc.). Make it easy for the user to classify information as urgent, critical or important. Allow them to invest only a little to follow what you want them to follow. For everyone’s sake…

0

#ROI of going #enterprise20; quantification obsession is a killer; pls discuss #e20

Mckquaterly-web20payday

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??).

Surprised?

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)

http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Six_ways_to_make_Web_20_work_2294

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.
0

#ideo #intranet #thetube – no formal impact evaluation; via #managementexchange.com

via managementexchange.com:

Benefits & Metrics

Some utilization statistics:
  • More than 1,000 Project Pages created in that feature’s first six months (these pages have fields for project storytelling and document collections and sharing. They automatically include all team members who have billed to the project, as well as start date, budget, client information, and more.)
  • Over 10,000 wiki pages in the wiki’s first 14 months, on subjects as diverse as presentation guidelines and template to travel and sightseeing tips around the world.
  • More than 55,000 wiki pages as of today — a large number for a 500-person company
  • 95% of employees voluntarily take ownership of their personal pages (which include their personal blog, fields for long and short biographies, status messages, image sharing, and project work reporting)
  • Over 40 special-interest blogs created by teams and individuals, which address company-specific issues such as career growth and office updates, as well as general-interest topics such as social impact, sustainability, and health and wellness projects.
Apart from utilization statistics, IDEO has not formally evaluated the impact of the Tube. Anecdotally, we have seen an increased sense of participation in the greater community, especially among those who are in smaller-sized and isolated offices. The team has seen a great deal of collaboration and sharing of information around areas of passion, such as social impact, particularly in the wiki pages. For example, prior to the Tube, IDEO had many people who were interested in doing meaningful design work in the developing world, but no single office had a critical mass to establish a like-minded community. Through the Tube, a community called “Social Impact” formed and became a major force in shaping this new and increasingly important direction for IDEO. The Tube provided the infrastructure this community needed to organize and support itself from locations around the globe.

Full article
http://goo.gl/OkwyW
My comment
This article is another indication that’s it not always about pulling out Excel sheets…sometimes common sense will tell us that there IS something in for us and the organization. And w/ rgds to the level of collaboration and efficiency in communications these days the room for improvement is HUGE
0

#ROI on #marketing investments 2.0: #marketingspend / #opportunityvalue (like)

in all fairness: marketing should be measured on the opportunity value that it generates – not net sales or gross revenue; simply because it's not down to marketing to turn opportunities into revenue (yes, they are partly responsible for lead quality but those goals are usually defined by sales as part of their briefing)