User adoption strategies for Sharepoint - part 2 #intra12

Part 2 of my notes from the workshop about User Adoption strategies for Sharepoint by Michael Sampson. (Part 1 can be found here.)

We're at stage 3: Enlivening Applicability. Ways to do this:
  1. Over the shoulder watching: show how people use the tool in practice and learn from them
  2. Group re-imagining: help a group see beyond current work practices
  3. Embedded champions: one participant mentioned she connected to secretaries to speed up and encourage technology adoption. (I agree!)
  4. Sandbox for experimentation: don't go live right away, but start small, let people play with the technology and use the technology for the roll out itself.
  5. Easy first steps: closing down the options, focus on some affordances of the technology not all.
  6. Built it and they will come: set up the tech and see if users will adopt it by themselves
Next phase (4): Making it real. How do you make it real?
  1. Provide zero other options. E.g. take away all other platforms but one. Experience from the participants is this works very well.
  2. Offer start doing, stop doing patterns
  3. Bulk loading party. Use when lots of content has to be migrated, for instance. This strategy is hardly used.
  4. Internal User groups
OK, but how do we measure user adoption? Drucker says: You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Sampson shows how a company built a business case for a collaboration platform, focusing on hard numbers (savings, productivity, etc.). Focus on the affordances on the tool, process and organization level.

What to do if nothing works? Change jobs or go back to the user adoption phases and find out what you're doing wrong.

And that rounds up the pre-conference workshop!

User adoption strategies for Sharepoint - part 1 #intra12

My notes from the pre-conference workshop with Michael Sampson about User Adoption strategies for Sharepoint. (This workshop is part of the Intranet Conference.)

Technology is easy compared to getting people to use the technology. Most people aren't first wave users. They don't say: Give the new tech to me. They ask: "Why should I use it? What is the reason for the new technology? My work has to be improved by the new technology." They basically tolerate the tools. If something is easier it's better for them than that it is perfect.
Most organizations assume adoption will be 100%. So, there's a problem. The objective is not user adoption. It's the overal effectiveness of the organization for instance. Or, improve work.
The overal approach to user adoption is very important. (Refer to the Collaboration Roadmap.)
Research shows that people are least satisfied when IT rolls out and the most dissatisfied....

Sharepoint is a platform. This means there are loads of ways you can use it. "Users need to know to much to use Sharepoint." Sharepoint roll outs are mostly too IT focused.

Roadblocks to adoption:
  1. Roadblocks from individuals, like bad previous experiences, the system is terrible, gives transparency, etc.
  2. Roadblocks from groups, like group habits, irrevocable change, work practice and technology are inseparable, etc.
  3. Roadblocks from organizations, like organizational culture, inconsistency (vision, direction), time, playing politics and other systems.
  4. Roadblocks from nations, like strict privacy laws (Germany and France).
Five models of change:
  1. Stages of change: change is a process, not an event.
  2. Diffusion of ideas: people follow 'opinion leaders' and that becomes the new 'social norm'
  3. Culture and work practice: work practice is part of culture. Culture is not the first and only issue. It's the start of the conversation not the end.
  4. Sticks and carrots: incentives, beat people...
So, change is a process, people follow people they respect, it's a non-lineair process, cultural change takes more than technology change and increased utility is a big motivator.

Four stages model of user adoption:
  1. Winning attention: what are others doing?, how we get them interested?
  2. Cultivating basic concepts: explain how stuff works (e.g. the Sharepoint in plain English video), train
  3. Enlivening Applicability: explore reasons and value
  4. Making it real: make is personally relevant
When you roll out a new technology, like Sharepoint, make sure you focus on 5-7 key affordances people will have when using the new platform. W.r.t. Sharepoint this can be lists and document versioning for instance.
Classroom training and web-based training is a way to support the successful adoption of new technology. But, again, make the training focused on a couple of points and relevant to their work. Also, pages on the intranet can be used to train people. Example for Sharepoint can be found here.

This is part 1 of my pre-conference workshop notes. Part 2 will be published in a bit!

A week in the digital workplace by @s2d_jamesr

What’s it like in the digital workplace? James Robertson recently published a report to answer this question. He took a storytelling approach and gave us insight in what working in a digital workplace looks like.

In this way he hopes to make the digital workplace more concrete. This is necessary because James there's lots theoretical and abstract talk about it. James’ report wants to bring the digital workplace closer to us.

I enjoyed reading the report. In several steps James takes us through the digital workplace. He shows how a new employee would use the workplace during the week using all kinds of concrete examples. Like a personal welcome message, a pre-populated tasklist, information about working methods, mobile intranet, accessing operational information about e.g. hotel bookings, an overview of company numbers and real-time performance data.

James rounds up his report by listing 6 keys to the digital workplace (Identity, Awareness, Trust, etc) and also points to organizations that show the digital workplace is happening now.
I do think one important key is missing though. Clearly the digital workplace can only come to be if there is an integrated backend. Shouldn’t 'integration' be a 7th key? Or is integration tackled in the keys 'Access' and 'Design'?

The sub-title of this nice report points to the future. For many this is the future. And still, the examples of the week in the digital workplace aren’t futuristic. Maybe a next report should address the futuristic digital workplace. For instance, extend the mobile intranet with a location-sensitive expertise locator. Or automatic, real-time updates on any devices based on where you are?

Finally, what is the digital workplace? Shouldn’t the report contain a short definition? Or don’t we know what it is yet? James seems to have a broad view of the digital workplace. It’s not only digital but also hardware, like laptops and other devices. To me the digital workplace is the sum of all the digital, web-based tools a knowledge workers need to get his/her work done. And if this implies some information should be accessible via mobile devices (hardware), we’ll have to get that done as well.
If the definition is broader than my definition I agree with Efraim Freed on the ThoughtFarmer blog, we should then also extend to other hardware, like sensors, GPS etc.

I hope you read the report! Let’s continue the discussion here or on James’ blog. What’s your definition of the digital workplace? What are the challenges and where do you see it happening?

Reflections on the Enterprise 2.0 Summit 2012 #e20s

Another reflective post... Hey, it's Friday! :-)
This post is long overdue, but I promised I would reflect a bit on the Enterprise 2.0 Summit. I'll keep it short.

I enjoyed the Summit and hope to be there next year as well. What did I enjoy most this year and hope to see more of next year? Here's my list:

  • Some of the speakers shared the failures and dark side of enterprise 2.0. I think we need to more of these kind of examples. Not to focus on the negative side of internal social media, but to learn from failure and the unexpected.
  • I agree with Ana Silva we need more, deeper and detailled stories about e2.0 deployments. How did they really do it? And then we can discuss the cases, share experiences, etc. This implies we need good stories and storytellers, and excellent workshop/discussion moderators. 
  • I hope we'll hear more about mobile and location-based systems. Most of the cases were about social networking and microblogging platforms inside the organizations. What happens when we extend them outside the company? Of course, some of the platform are mobile by default, like Yammer and Socialcast. How are companies using mobile to improve their internal and external business?
  • Finally, I saw a huge gap between the Summit participants. There's a small experienced group and a large group of beginners. Making sure the Summit is interesting for both groups is challenging. I think the focus on stories and discussions could bridge the gap. Fresh thinking from the beginners and experienced thinking from the experts: we'll learn from each other!

What are your thoughts on the Summit? What should next year's conference be about?

Have a nice weekend! ;-)

Reflecting on the Digital Workplace Trends Report

Recently I published two posts about Jane McConnell's Global Intranet Trends Report 2012. I shared some of the interesting information that can be found in it. In this post I'd like to reflect a bit about the findings.

The usual suspects
Last year I wondered if any progress was made in the intranet space. Some improvements could be seen. But the topics like intranet governance, search and measuring gave lots of organizations a hard time. This hasn't changed much this year.
Even though most intranet managers know these are the topics that can get your intranet from good to great, not very many spend a lot of time on them. Or, and I think this is mostly the case, the intranet managers simply don't have the time and money to spend on them. The intranet is a nice-to-have tool, but not essential to the business.

Share more stories
A big topic for next year's survey could be: How have some moved from a good to a great intranet or digital workplace? What advice do we have to share? I think there is progress to be seen, as I just said. The report shows more are connecting the intranet to the business (processes). And the fact that intranet is being called 'digital workplace' more and more also underlines this trend. It's not the intranet as an extra tool anymore, but the intranet is becoming the place where work is done. It's becoming the employee's workplace.
I enjoyed reading the short quotes in the report sharing little nuggets of advice. Isn't it an idea to share larger nuggets of advice? To made the survey deeper instead of wider? Hopefully this will help the intranet space to really tackle the issues of governance, search and measuring?

Mobile intranet
I'm really curious what next year's results will tell us about mobile. The numbers mentioned in Jane's report relate to what I see and hear in the market. There are organizations working on mobile intranet and investment is up in this area, but not very many are working on it. Relating to the growth of mobile web, this could change rapidly. Also because lots of senior managers have an iPad and want access to the intranet from the iPad...
I also wonder what the respondent's definition of a mobile intranet is. For instance, companies using Yammer or Socialcast have an impliciet mobile intranet. The Yammer and Socialcast app is used a lot. Most of the companies I know have this kind of mobile intranet up and running.

More Dutch participants
And, finally, we have to get more Dutch companies to participate in the survey... I counted just 2 Dutch companies in the list of participants. It's on my To-Do list! ;-)

What do think Jane's survey should focus on next time? Leave a comment and we'll talk about your ideas!