Monday Aug 13, 2012

Upgrading Your Approach to Social Collaboration Success

We're fortunate today to have a guest post by John Brunswick, PMP, Principal Solution Consultant, Oracle.

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Upgrading Your Approach to Social Collaboration Success

John BrunswickEngulfed in a sea of buzzwords and new technologies, it is easy to loose sight of the core goals that social collaboration tools support. The "cool" factor of these tools is undeniable, which can actually complicate our ability to zero in on making deployments objectively successful.

Further adding to our challenges, our projects do not exist within a vacuum and are influenced by resource constraints, organizational politics and depth of strategic knowledge within our organization and partner teams.

Seeing as how these factors may not change, how can we close the gap on success with socially collaborative deployments? Wouldn't it be great if we had a few tools to guide our decision making in and around social collaboration technologies?

We inherently approach and judge projects with our own perspective - our "Lens" into the world of social collaboration. If we can enrich our lens to become conscious of new senses for measuring aspects of social collaboration - like Friction and Subtraction, we are better able to critically evaluate our projects.

In Six Counterintuitive Best Practices for Social Collaboration, we introduce with 6 new vantage points to help enable success with your projects. Our session omits buzzwords and discusses objective findings, experience, anecdotes - even daring to suggest you should “Throw Out Your Intranet Home Page” and why.

To prime ourselves for this week's webcast, let's consider the following as we start down a path of upgrading our lens onto social collaboration

Social Collaboration is a Spice - Not the Main Dish

Just as a spice, social collaboration enriches a solution, but does not in and of itself offer the complete solution. We would never eat a tablespoon of cinnamon by itself, but it can make a high value food like oatmeal much more accessible to people interested in having it for breakfast.

In the whitepaper "Three Key Tenets of Optimal Social Collaboration" I propose that the most powerful social collaboration is always ultimately tied to a business entity - the oatmeal in our analogy.

Consider the efforts placed into a new marketing initiative. Social collaboration capabilities can enable participants involved with the new marketing campaign to share in a seamless, collective dialogue and exchange materials related to the initiative. This ultimately offers an accessible means for people to more naturally work around the marking initiative entity that would otherwise span a variety of traditional systems like email, document management and discussion forums.

When thinking about where social collaboration can "spice" up existing process in a line of business, look for the following or similar key words within the process "coordinate, resolve, facilitate, discuss, determine" to gauge the level of applicability.

As Mike Fauscette from IDC pointed out on Monday, many organizations undertake social business initiatives as a grass roots effort, namely because they occur in a place that will make a difference. Social collaboration applied to a problem - because it objectively helps, not just for the sake of using social collaboration, is where the technology shines.

Cataloging process challenges within a given line of business is an excellent starting point for understanding if and where social collaboration can add value.

Become Aware of Social Ergonomics

Perhaps your organization already has social collaboration tools targeted toward a business process like the one highlighted above, but adoption is slow at best. How are your Social Ergonomics?

Software packages are constantly striving to deliver innovation through a myriad of features and functions. If the features and functions are on target with the business needs - what could possibly hinder adoption?

Let's consider our physical world for a moment. What if throughout the course of your work day you needed to correlate information from sources that resided in various buildings in your office space and within each building a ladder was required to access boxes containing the information you required to complete your tasks? In the physical world we instantly rationalize that this does not make sense. We would demand that it be rearranged, as it drastically hinders our ability to work within the environment.

Unfortunately, it is often difficult to recognize where hurdles in our virtual world exist and they often go unrecognized. After all, our organization implemented social collaboration tools, right?

To better understand this critical, but difficult to understand disconnect, let's examine the opposite end of the social ergonomic spectrum. Which systems can we use as examples of excellent social ergonomics? They are the ones that people flock to using - because they are easy and add value to the process that they are supporting. They are not social collaboration for the sake of social collaboration.

If a system has excellent social ergonomics, the technology becomes transparent to the end user.

Getting Your Social Collaboration Critical Tools

Through a series of atypical subject matter, anecdotes and statistics in Six Counterintuitive Best Practices for Social Collaboration, you will become equipped with new tools to critically evaluate and shape your social collaboration experiences to get the most value from your investment.

I look forward to sharing and receiving questions and comments and hope to see you on the webcast.


If you enjoyed John’s thoughts above, you’ll love the upcoming next webcast in the Oracle Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series this week: Join me for this upcoming webcast6 Counterintuitive Best Practices for Social Collaboration Adoption featuring John Brunswick. 

Looking to implement social and collaboration technologies in your workplace? Sometimes the best tips are the not so obvious ones. Join John Brunswick as he analyzes a series of counterintuitive ways to help increase the return on your social collaboration investments by sharing a series of best practices that may seem counterintuitive. Reviewing practices like "Why Five Users are Better than Five Hundred" and "Throw out your Intranet Home Page", will help shed light on some common misconceptions around how and where intranets and collaboration provide value, to help organizations to grow, manage these systems and ultimately maximize return on their efforts.


John Brunswick is a WebCenter Solution Consultant at Oracle Corporation, specializing in enterprise portal and content management solutions. Prior to this he was a Consulting Practice Manager within BEA System’s Business Interaction Division Professional Services Group. He managed their Enterprise Portal and Business Process Management practices in Canada and New England, helping Fortune 500 companies create solutions to a wide range of business challenges.

He actively contributes to the enterprise software business community and has authored a series of articles about optimal business involvement in portal, business process management and SOA development, examining ways of helping organizations move away from monolithic application development. Brunswick served as an affiliate at Harvard University’s Berkman Center in 2009, focusing on educational Web strategies.

In 2006, he developed ServiceMountain, a commercial software package to help manage small service businesses, which was acquired by a medium-sized software vendor.

John actively leads the Boston Computing Review user group which he founded in 2005, educating members about emerging technologies and industry trends. Prior to working at BEA Systems John was an Implementation Manager at Plumtree Software. Before working at Plumtree Software, John directed Jniche Technology Associates, a small web application development and networking group. John graduated from Boston University with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems, is a PMP and holds various technical certification credentials.


Thursday Jun 21, 2012

Organic Business Networks -Now Available On-Demand!

TUNE IN TODAY - Webcast Now Available On-Demand!
Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series

(Originally Broadcast on Thursday, June 21st 10am PST) 

Organic Business Networks: Doing Business in a Hyper-Connected World

Organic business networks connect people, data, content, and IT systems in a flexible, self-optimizing, self-healing, self-configuring and self-protecting system. Join us for this webcast and hear examples of how businesses today can effectively utilize the interconnectedness of emerging business information environments, adapt to changing conditions, and leverage assets effectively to thrive in a hyper-connected, globally competitive, information driven world.

Listen as Featured Speaker, Michael Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC, discusses:

  • Emerging trends in social business that are driving transformative changes today
  • The dynamic characteristics that make up social, collaborative, and connected enterprises
  • Effective ways that technology combined with culture and process provide unique competitive advantage through new organic networked business models.

Register Now!

(Now available On-Demand)

Watch the fifth Webcast in the
Social Business Thought Leaders Series,

“Organic Business Networks:
Doing Business in a Hyper-Connected World.”

About

Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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