Scaling enterprise collaboration success across platforms

Apr 29, 2013

"There is a familiar saying in the project management space: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. What may seem common sense to most — developing a governance strategy for your collaboration environment — can quickly fall to the bottom of the list of priorities when budgets get cut or delivery dates become urgent (along with “nice-to-haves” like testing and training) but proper planning is essential to ensuring your urgent projects are delivered on time and within budget.

Governance can be defined as the method by which you define, measure, and manage performance of a system to meet user and corporate expectations. The analyst firm Gartner Research says that most social collaboration initiatives fail “because they follow a worst practice approach of ‘provide and pray’, leading to a 10 percent success rate.” Almost every project methodology, whether some version of agile or the waterfall method, advises the need for adequate time up front for planning, as the cost of a change increases dramatically over time. ...

Gartner’s research into the social collaboration efforts of more than 1,000 organizations has identified several prominent patterns. The most apparent was that social collaboration initiatives that have a clear and compelling purpose from the outset tend to succeed. While this may seem obvious, the vast majority of organizations treat collaboration as a platform decision, rather than a solution to a specific business problem or a route to a desired outcome.

As organizations experience growth, or seek to gain competitive advantage, they often look to technology to propel the business forward. However, what should be viewed as a business solution, owned and managed by business users for the purpose of meeting business requirements, are instead treated as IT initiatives, sometimes without direct involvement from key business stakeholders. Governance is often the missing link between the two sides of the business, helping to open up communication and link technology initiatives to specific business goals."

To do:

  • Regular reviews and discussion with key stakeholders, organizations can quickly identify problems and work together to find solutions.
  • Use cases and feature requests can be prioritized, identifying which will provide the most value to the business.
  • Governance virtual teams who often review trending data generated through system logs and activity reports to help an organization to perform better system analysis and tie change requests (new features, system improvements) to measurable improvements in end user engagement and platform adoption.
  • Healthy governance practices in one area of the business, which leads to the sharing of best practices across other segments of the business. This makes perfect sense: management teams see improvements in one area, and will look for ways to make similar improvements elsewhere.

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