The big issue? Whether functions are determined by job type(engineering, sales, etc.) or by market segment (consumer, channel, etc.), corporate priorities and initiatives typically cross function. That may not seem so bad, except that each functional head understands the priorities just a little bit differently. One function may see the number 1 priority as 10x more important than the number 2 priority while their colleague may see them as roughly equal in importance. That has huge implications on how many and which resources get assigned to different initiatives. Below is my simplistic graphic of this problem:
why don’t companies staff initiatives instead of functional groups? For example, a corporate initiative could be to increase customer satisfaction.
I think initiative focused cross-functional teams would be an interesting way to approach this problem. Hire pure resource managers to manage people who are ‘on the beach’ as we used to say in consulting and between initiatives. In my mind that would give individuals one primary goal – for the length of the initiative (which could be multi-year if it involved expanding into a new market). Communities of practice could then be set up – using social software – to help share skill-specific best practices across individuals.
“We are going to look at this moment as the transition from the world in which the U.S. made things that were physical and tangible goods to the U.S. making things that are intangibles, ideas, not just services but things that have some longevity and value to others€¦In the interim here, we will see an enormous amount of unemployment and dislocation. But if we look forward a couple years, we are going to see an economy is in fact creating jobs, just a different kind than we are used to.”
In this approach, it is more important to find key issues on which to collaborate (and learn to better collaborate) than to identify “collaboration skills” that would afterwards be deployed through training. I think that training can only come as a support of a wider methodology.
ROI Smoke and Mirrors €“ social media metrics based on investments in the future
Some mentioned ROC €“ Return on Change, some took the low costs as an argument for not caring about revenues, others took detours with more or less complex thought experiments, others use a lot of opportunity costs in their reasoning (what would you loose if you are not among the first movers).
That’s not really surprising. But actually €“ it is surprising, Businesses do run on money, they need to make more than they spend, so why could they be so relaxed in measuring success? Im am afraid, that they are not. Maybe some initiatives have been started without business case or roi calculation, but they will probably be the first to be stopped as soon as there are any restrictions or cost cuttings coming up.
It is a not so lightweight process to find testers
enterprise usecases need big documents, big processes and big communities for testing €“ or they will just not be realistic
introducing a tool (even as friendly user only, limited support not warranty testrun) can be a big pain; removing a tool can be pain as well (users will keep asking for the old one instead of using the new one)
How do you want to decide on if it is a success or not, how can you analyze usage data €“ once your audience has been more than 20 people? Sounds like another lot of work.
ROI or Satisfaction Dashboards would be cool features of 2.0 software. Stay tuned to learn more.
So, here’s my read of the Enterprise Web 2.0 trends based on many conversations with my clients and vendors. I will focus specifically on wiki and social networking tools used to improve internal collaboration and knowledge sharing. These are gaining momentum and acceptance within the enterprise.
There will be a slowdown of IT-driven collaboration projects in 2009. But there will be increased interest in business-driven collaboration projects.
However, for business-driven internal enterprise Web 2.0 collaboration projects, I see growth. Why? Because the business will find their collaboration needs to grow in 2009, while they see IT providing them with fewer services. Collaboration needs grow as a result of layoffs, mergers, and deepening external partnerships (requiring new infrastructure to collaborate outside the firewall with trusted, external partners). And this happens while IT’s services shrink as a result of layoffs, a focus on streamlining operational costs, while not taking on new projects.
But many organizations cannot, or will not, allow themselves to house their intellectual property on someone else’s servers €“ no matter what the vendor says to assure them.
Now, there are good on-premise collaboration tools in the market today that are poised to solve this battle €“ depending on what your IT infrastructure is. The challenge I see is that many of these vendors are not sure to whom they are selling their solution €“ to the business, IT, or the fragile partnership between the two. Remember, partnerships encounter stress during tough economies. It’s hard for IT and the business to work together when they are eying each other’s budgets.
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