Friday Feb 19, 2010

Realizing the Benefits of Enterprise 2.0 - Q&A from the KM World webcast

Last Tuesday, I co-presented a live broadcast on "Realizing the Benefits of Enterprise 2.0" with Andy Mulholland, the Global CTO of Capgemini. From my perspective, it was a very enjoyable webcast with a highly interactive format as Andy and I discussed best practices for adopting an Enterprise 2.0 strategy and more importantly, highlighted key customer examples showing how it can be done today. If you missed the webcast, you can catch a replay here.

There was lot of interest in the broadcast as we had over 700 people sign up and over 350 attendees. I was very happy to note the high level of audience participation in some of the polls we conducted and in the Q&A session. In fact, there were so many questions, that I have decided to take a crack at answering them in this blog post, grouped by the most popular topics:

Q: What are some best practices to overcome the initial resistance for people to start adopting the newer E20 ways of working?
A: There is no easy answer here. Some of the approaches that I have seen work well include:

• Integrate use of E20 technologies into employees' day-to-day activities and workflows
• Senior leaders model/champion technology
• Provide informal incentives (e.g. expertise rating/recognition) for meaningful contributions
• Integrate E20 approaches with other modes of customer/partner interaction


Q: How do you match use of E20 with organizational culture?
A: You definitely need to consider organizational culture when rolling out Enterprise solutions. Enterprise 2.0 is all about empowering users to be more efficient in executing business goals. An important part of the enhancement is around using more flexible, collaborative tools that facilitate improved knowledge sharing - which in most cases is best served if the culture is more transparent and less hierarchical. For many organizations, comfort with transparency and lateralization will be a long-term process often involving new hires, training and new organizational incentives. Of course, increased transparency has to be moderated with regulatory and other legal requirements in many industries.

Q: What is the difference between collaboration and knowledge work?
A: The line is definitely blurred especially as most knowledge work (which I would define as working with information assets) involves working with multiple people either in collaborative teams or in workflows where work products created by one person are consumed by another person.

Q: How do you create a business case and measure results for the benefits of E20 to an organization?
A: This is probably the most often asked question that I hear. What I recommend, based on my experience talking to customers, is to focus on how Enterprise 2.0 solutions can help you better achieve your business goals. Ultimately, it comes down to how E20 can enhance the various business processes in your organizations. If you already measure your key processes, then by using E20 tools, you can measure the delta improvements in pilot deployments which, when combined with qualitative user feedback, can form the basis of a business case for larger deployments.

Q: What are some of the key business benefits companies have gained as result of using E20 technology?
A: This really depends on your deployment and measurement approaches, but generally, the following areas result in measureable gains for companies that have been using E20 the longest:

• Greater ability to share ideas
• Improved access to knowledge experts
• Reduced costs of communication, travel and operations
• Decreased time to market for products
• Improved employee satisfaction


Q: How can we balance demand for Enterprise 2.0 with the need for tighter governance?
A: Many organizations struggle with providing their users with more flexible E20 tools while maintaining regulatory compliance with the needs of the business. The E20 tools need to be able to leverage existing security and governance systems, in particular, data privacy and regulatory rules that are often centrally defined. One way to achieve this goal is to use an enterprise-class E20 platform that is designed to integrate with existing IT systems and enterprise applications so that organizational governance is maintained as users create and share content via collaborative E20 tools.


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