IT Peer Network

4 Posts authored by: SteveBell

I spent the past couple of months working as the Program Manager of our internal Social Computing Program. Laurie Buczek just wrote "All I Want For Christmas is my E2.0". In her post, she points out  2009 and the state of the program. I want to talk about my experiences filling in for about the two months she was enjoying time away from Intel. My normal job is managing a number of program managers and systems analyst for Productivity and Collaboration of our internal users. I was asked to try something different, for a couple of reasons. First, I have a passion for social computing and feel that it does have a strong use cases for inside an enterprise. I have been blogging internally for just over three years. I have learned so much from my posts, that I decided to continue my passion externally. Second reason, I needed a break from being a people manager. Not that I don't enjoy managing people, but I have been doing it for over 26 years. Stepping away from it for a short time - really helped me with refreshing my batteries.  I saw this as a huge opportunity for me (and hopefully for the program team).

 

My temporary coverage time is now over. When I complete anything, I like to reflect on the experience and below are some of my key learning's:

  • There are some extremely passionate people pushing for E2.0 capabilities within the company. Besides the program team, we have a very strong sub set of users that are very passionate. They not only ask for capabilities but are very willing to help. Our internal community managers are a group of volunteers that not only want to evangelize usage but help with administering the guidelines. That is not the only ones that are passionate. We have many users that are stretching the limits, adding requirements and helping to develop strong use cases . Without these folks, I think the program would just be another set of tools and/or capabilities that would be available, but not used.
  • Lots of folks want to, but just need some help to get started. I spent much of my time meeting with individuals and teams discussing what E2.0 is and how it could potentially help. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard - "What is Social Computing?" or "How do I get started?"  Not having participated in many of those sessions in the past, I was somewhat surprised by the lack of understanding.
  • Please help to improve communications and collaboration across the organization. With many of the teams within Intel, they are very dispersed around the globe. With many I met with, they have the challenge of being in all geographies and meeting together is very difficult. Leaders were looking for ways to help get their message out to the organization. E2.0 capabilities can help with those issues and concerns, but it takes some effect and changes in order to be effective. With communications - just about every team has email blast communications, newsletters and web sites already. I would ask the simple question - "Are those effective today - really?" Adding E2.0 capabilities is just another avenue, if the message is not getting through - look at the message. I enjoyed looking for and watching the ah ha moments!
  • People just want to belong. New employee's come into a company the size of Intel and are overwhelmed by the size, team globally dispersed and all the new things they need to learn. There is time to ramp up, but speed of ramp is watched as well. If you are lucky, you may know some folks or your team is very willing to share. For the most part, you are left to fend for yourself. Making effective connections is key. E2.0 capabilities have that ability! For me, I have been with Intel for 27+ years - I have a network, just not digitally connected. I need to get reconnected to my network officially, so that the folks that work for me or know me - can use my network.

 

My temporary assignment lived up to its expectations; challenging, plenty of discussions and demonstrations, keeping the focus on releasing more capabilities and meeting new people. The hungry by internal end users for using E2.0 capabilities is large. Demand for additional demonstrations are still high. Our internal Social Computing program has gained traction, but there is still much to do. For me, I will continue to participate as one of those extremely passionate people that can improve communications and collaboration within Intel.

Hello again, it has been a very long time since my last external post. Sorry about that! I have plenty of excuses as to why, just none that are worthy of expressing. I was sitting down the other day, reviewing some of my industry RSS feeds, reviewing a few tweets for those I follow and spent time reflecting on my team's work in collaboration space for our internal Intel employees.

 

Industry experts, analysts and somethat say they are experts - point out their "right answers" to collaboration (which are blogs, wikis, social networks to name a few). Makes me stop and wonder, are those folks looking back at history of collaborative tools? Or are they focusing their energy on "the shiny new thing." Let's look back for a moment - do we think that collaborative tools are something new? (they really are not). Look at the past improvement attempts, like email. Here at Intel email is still the big collaborative tool. Would we say that was a success? If so, why improve it? It definitely has filled a gap for quite sometime. Many folks still use it - a lot (just go on vacation for a week and don't check your email to see how much). Some folks have move to Intelpedia (our internal wiki) for posting content. Intel's wiki use has taken off over the past 2 to 3 years. Maybe five years from now - we might look at wiki's in the same vein as email. What is next up? How will we feel about that one in ten years? We are being challenged to deliver new collaborative capabilities - which to me are solving the same set of problems that have been around for quite awhile (with a few new issues added).

 

While it's important to avoid locking ourselves in the past, or letting the past bias our view of current or emerging tools, it is extremely important not to forget the history of collaborative tools and the complex problems those tools attempted to address. The Web 2.0 vendors need to really look long and hard at those problems and use cases - rather than shining up something new (that meets some of needs). I come across challenges everyday when speaking to many Intel users and teams. When I attempt to get a better understanding of the problems that they are telling me, they point to a solution that they have seen. Some shined up version of something that could work, maybe.

 

Shiny objects always get someone's attention. We ran into a recent challenge around micro blogging at Intel. Many Intel folks are on Twitter (sbell09 for me) and this is great for external stuff. The questions comes down to, "Am I sharing something externally that I should not?" That question started internal use of Yammer - for the Intel group only. Grew to over 400 users. Many folks saw some value, others not but it all comes down to what you put in. A variation of the Twitter question was asked, "Is Intel IP secure?" Yammer is externally hosted. Someone pointed to why don't we just set it up internally within the firewall? That very weekend someone did just that.

 

We must not forget that these new technologies are not perfect. We must also not forget that the individual behavior changes that will come with these tools - is going to be a big change. That change must come with improvements to getting work done, quickly and securely.

 

What challenges do you face? Do you folks remember history? Do they care? How do we stay ahead?

 

It has been an extremely long time since my last post... I am just coming off of successful left hip surgery January 2.

 

Sam Lawrence's blog post - highlighted the definitions below: (http://www.jivesoftware.com/community/blogs/jivetalks/2007/05/30/social-value-networking-vs-bookmarking-vs-productivity).

 

 

 

Social networking

is that it's been focused on people connecting to people that they already know. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I love to find the people I know online but for me it's usually a quick, "I found you, cool now we're connected." I'm sure that there are stories out there -- particularly with job searches -- where social networking has been instrumental. Outside that, it seems that more often it's card collecting. I can see that Jill knows Steve but I'm no closer to knowing Steve, I just know that Jill knows him. I do like knowing there's a bag of potential contacts, even if I never use them.

 

Social Bookmarks

have a great purpose, too. I can see what other people mark as interesting content. I have no connection to them personally, but social bookmarking allows me to snoop "good readers" and track their information consumption. I follow the tags and feeds of a number of people but I have never said one word to them. I enjoy reading over their shoulder, though. It saves me a lot of time.

 

Social Productivity

is different than social networking or social bookmarking: it's about getting work done outside the team of like-minded people you work with everyday. With social productivity, an idea is introduced and all sorts of people get to chime in on it. These could be people you work with a lot, people you've never worked with or even people outside your company. Now all of a sudden your idea has been developed openly by all sorts of people who bring their own, valuable perspective. You can evolve those ideas into all sorts of collaborative or locked content but thanks to the social media, your original idea is maybe much stronger now.

 

There are many questions to be explored and answered. How do we get this to work in your company? Inside the firewall? Look there are many items that work for our outside interests. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn do some of the social networking. Do we need this inside the firewall? Are people going to take advantage of it? Will this just be an increase in email, IM and phone traffic?

 

How do we move forward to the real deal of getting work done. I spent some time with folks that provide tools in almost all of these spaces. In theory and watching them demonstrate how they work and can work - all look good. Basically, the real meat on this bone is how will we change our behaviors to make this successful?

 

 

SteveBell

Welcome to My World

Posted by SteveBell Aug 22, 2007

I look forward to sharing my thoughts related to the areas of collaboration and office productivity. I currently manage three teams within our engineering world. First, I will start with our office productivity team that is responsible for the client software packages for our Intel users. This team works in very broad spectrum from focused Microsoft Office products to extended office products from a variety of suppliers. Next up is our collaboration team that is focused on social media, async collaboration like meeting workspaces, team sites and much more. Last but not least, is the Learning and User Adoption team. This team is focused on providing content for training and focus on helping with users adopting the tools that could help them within their jobs.

 

I feel that we (IT shops) are being asked to keep the lights on, infrastructure running smoothly and doing this with the lowest possible budget that we tend to leave out the help that we could provide the end user with improved productivity and collaboration solutions. Within my world, we have been slowly introducing these items with mixed impact and effectiveness. Is it the products? Training? Acceptance from the users? Old dogs, new tricks? Boomers to Generation Y'ers? Too late to the party?

 

 

I am wondering what others experiences have been? Please share the good, the bad and helpful not the too ugly...

 

 

In the future, I am planning on each area in more detail. I look forward to discussing my experiences and gaining new knowledge from those that would like to share.

 

 

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