IT Peer Network

7 Posts authored by: Warija

Chris wrote about the evolution of social computing at Intel in last few years, I would like to add to his post and share how we fared on Enterprise 2.0 in 2011.

 

In 2011, we saw a jump of 64% in using the enterprise 2.0 platform. Almost all visited the platform at least once, and 30K+ users actively contributed content. Another significant achievement was the use of the platform more for the business purpose than just socially connecting. It was demonstrated by the fact, out of the top 10 most active groups, 7 were related to work. We saw communities helping each other on technical issues, without having to go to the service desk.

 

We also added a few capabilities like Enterprise RSS and Enterprise Video Platform (pilot) to make the platform more complete. Social bookmarking was another feature we encouraged employees to use for knowledge management.

 

One of the challenges we faced is still the social computing matrix of 1-9-99, i.e. when 1 person writes a post, 9 persons reply to it, and 99 just view the content and do not respond. On our platform, there were many users creating content, and the viewership has also been impressive (9+ Million page-views in 2011). However,  there was less participation in the discussions by commenting and replying to the original content. This is an area we plan to focus on to improve effectiveness of the platform as a communication and collaboration capability

 

To increase the use of the platform for true collaboration, we are trying to build a pool of Enterprise 2.0 champions. These champions, who would be volunteers and passionate about Enterprise 2.0 are expected to be adept in using the Enterprise 2.0 tools and help others build the expertise – similar to train the trainers exercise. The idea is to provide tools and trainings to the champions, so that they encourage other employees to use the platform for the business needs and participate more in the group discussions.

 

We are expecting Enterprise 2.0 champions proliferate Enterprise 2.0 tools by identifying "Enterprise 2.0 patterns" and "anti-patterns" so that the business groups can model the workflow that is optimized for their business needs. We are planning to have a face-to-face event where the volunteers get together and share their success stories and pain points. We would like to we make 2012 truly the year of E2.0 champions!

Warija

Going social with SOA

Posted by Warija Dec 4, 2011

In my earlier blogs, I shared how we can use Social Computing within the enterprise (Enterprise 2.). In this post, I would like to discuss some of the adoption questions on Enterprise 2.0:

 

Will Enterprise 2.0 become as viral as the external social computing platform?

Will employees adopt Enterprise 2.0 platform to collaborate and connect with fellow employees and reduce the "degrees of separation".

Will the investment on Enterprise 2.0 platform bear fruits?

 

As the corporates continue to encourage employees to use the Enterprise 2.0 platform, there are certain challenges in adoption. No single tool can meet all the employees needs and we get feedback on tools not being intuitive or people having trouble leveraging all the capabilities. Does it mean, we need to change the platform?

 

There is a simple answer to this dilemma. Instead of changing th platform, we enable the capabilities through APIs/ Webservices, and integrate them with other line of business applications. Employees have day jobs and tools where they spend most of their time. By making enterprise social computing a component of their tools will automatically allow employees go social without even being aware of it.

 

When we integrated our Enterprise 2.0 with one of the portals that most of the employees used to get the corporate information, we saw a sudden spike of adoption. We are now planning to have such integrations with other tools in place, so that when employees think of collaboration, they don't have to worry about which tool to use.

 

In your opinion, what would you think will make use Enterprise 2.0 for collaboration? Is it a tool that will guide them or the process or intent?

Many times IT is focused in enabling new capabilities and adding more tool kits to the ever burgeoning list. We also find that many of these tools have similar capabilities differing in some features only. So combining multiple tools in a way that leverage the best capabilities of each one, we can get an efficient business workflow, without the need to buy or deploy new tools. With the advent of Web 2.0 and using mashups, widgets and Webservices, it is easy to create a portal with a mashups of different capabiltieis/ content. Understanding the information needs and building the information architecture is the key.

 

In my earlier post, we had seen how we can utilize Enterprise 2.0 (Social Computing) tools for better project management and collaboration. This is one instance of information architecture, where we study the workflow of a project manager, and create a project management model by combining the default PM tools with the enterprise social computing tools.

 

Similar exercise can be done for different usage scenarios. For example, in an organization, there are several operational processes. Most of these will involve sharing of information with the employees, 2-way engagements, and multi-point discussions. The management team depends on the dashboards and other status updates to track the progress of, issues faced by the organization and organization health check. The employees have a need to roll up their project status, operational health status and progress towards milestones to higher up to keep them updated. By understanding these information sharing needs, we can combine the traditional reporting tools and E2.0 tools to create a one-stop shop to the organizational team.

 

We are right now experimenting with a similar model for one of our IT organizations. We are in the process of information architecture. The idea is to start small with status updates, roadmap sharing and prioritization information. As the teams adopt the process, we will add more data there.

 

I would like to hear from you on how you are managing organizational information needs. Do you rely on traditional methods, manager pass-downs or face-to-face meetings?

Having setup the Social Computing platform for the enterprise, how does IT determine the success of the platform? Should IT be satisfied that one more tool-set is available for the employees to engage with? How does IT calculate the return on investment made in enabling social computing within the enterprise? Should IT continue to invest on this platform? What are the indicators that show that the platform is used for the benefits of the company?

 

There are numerous questions that come to our mind when we think of enterprise 2.0 platform. It is a challenge to calculate the productivity gain resulting from the enterprise social computing platform. I don’t think there a direct formula for “Return on Influence”, an indicator which says “A knowing B through the platform" has helped A solve a complex technical challenge” and reduce the cycle time for the issue resolution. However, we do know that the platform acts as an enabler for collaboration and knowledge management. We may not be able to identify the tangible gains, but intangible gain of connected workforce, reuse of information, preventing re-invention of wheels are significant gains from the platform.

 

At Intel, we do have our internal Social Computing platform. Some of the metrics we track are related to adoption – such as active users (creators, synthesizers, consumers) and “unique visitors”. However, these indicators may not accurately represent the success indicators of the platform. Quality of discussions, impact of these discussions on the users, problem resolutions, agility in solving issues, ability to find subject matters experts quickly could be different parameters which can really show how successful the platform is.

 

As we will start looking into social analytics more, I would like to hear from on how you measure your enterprise 2.0 platform. Do you feel employees are more productive and collaborative through the use of the platform? Or is there a cultural barrier in using the platform to its full potential?

One of the points emphasized in project management is to document key learnings from a project, as an ongoing exercise. In Intel, we have post-implementation-reviews (PIR) after each project where we document what went well and what we could have done better, among other things. The goal is to learn from our work and use the learnings in our new projects.


Is this process really working? Although the process of having PIR is well established, learning from the PIRs seems to be missing. How many of us search for old projects and get these learnings before we start new projects?


In the external world, deli.ci.ous* and digg* are example of some of the social bookmarking tools. These tools are used to find relalated information using tags. What if we do the same within the enterprise? The project managers/ team members can start tagging their projects with relevant labels. Then when a new project is spawned, the employee searches for related projects using the tag, and reuses wherever possible.


Technology-wise, this is an easy solution to implement using the existing Enterprise 2.0 tools. The challenge is with the user discipline. Unless it becomes a habit and people start tagging the projects, it is very difficult to implement social bookmarking to search for old projects. Though we have started embracing some of the enterprise 2.0 tools in our project management, social bookmarking does not yet have a place.


We would be interested in hearing from you. Do you use social bookmarking in your project management activities? If yes, how difficult was it to get the employees adopt the practice? Would love to hear from you on this subject.


*Names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Warija

Wiki, wiki, wah, wah

Posted by Warija Apr 5, 2011

In my earlier blog, "Enterprise 2.0 to the rescue of project managers", we discussed how Enterprise 2.0/ Social Computing can be leveraged for project management. Here I would like to discuss with you more on a specific tool - wiki, not specifically for project management needs only.

 

In Intel IT, we do use wiki for many activities. They act as a content mashup tool - a centralized location for all the related information, while the information may be stored somewhere else. We use it for strategy creation, project management, agenda sharing, storing the minutes. If you get a chance, please visit the Website http://wikipatterns.com, which shows how wikis can be used for different needs. This is a good source on how we can leverage wiki and structure our information accordingly.

 

Although not consciously using wiki patterns, I could see some of the patterns that we are using are:

 

Overview Pages

One Wiki space per Group

Scaffold

Agenda

and many more..

 

In your organization, do you use wiki? If yes, do you consciously select a wiki pattern for modeling your business process? Do you use wiki for project management? We would like to hear from you if and how wiki made a difference to your workflow.

 

When I got introduced to wiki, it has been no looking back.. I have been saying, wiki, wiki, wah, wah ever since. ( Similar to what Shakira sang for the World cup - Waka, waka, yeah, yeah).

As project managers, most of us would have banked on the traditional IT tools for managing our projects collaterals. Most of us would be using a content management system for storing and managing our documents/ collaterals, and have other project management tools for assisting in scheduling and tracking the projects.  We also end up spending considerable amount of time on communications – setting up face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings, email communications and phone calls.

 

This is where Enterprise 2.0 can help us out. Enterprise 2.0 is broadly defined as use of Social Computing platform/ Web 2.0 for business use. While project team members work towards a common project goal, a community is setup for people with common interests. By combining this mode, we have an opportunity to use the Social Computing tools, such as wikis, blogs, discussion forums, activity feeds for our project collaboration.

 

For example, instead of sending the status reports through an email, the project manager can use the blogs to share the status with the team and stakeholders. The advantage here is that, the status report does not get lost in the email archives, and the stakeholders and team members have an option of commenting on the report. Work gets transparent. Similarly, using wiki to create requirements or other collaterals, will reduce the needs for having meetings to collaborate.  Activity feeds can be used for sharing the status. If a team member A is waiting on team member B to complete her tasks, through microblogging/ activity feeds they can keep each other updated. Depending on how comfortable the team is with using these tools, we can develop a good workflow or business process model for project management.

 

At Intel, I see many groups using Wiki for their project management activities – as the container for their project work. Some of us setup alerts/ RSS feeds to get informed about the changes to these pages, which affect our work. We are yet to utilize all the capabilities listed above for our project management activities, but are planning to evangelize these capabilities to project teams.

 

In your projects, do you use Social Computing tools? Would you like to share your “ahas” with us, when you have used these tools, and moved out of the traditional mode of communication? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Filter Blog

By author:
By date:
By tag: