Recently I posted on how to develop an intranet strategy and how to develop a digital workplace strategy. I now want to cover SharePoint because it is used by so many organisations. I have covered in earlier post if SharePoint is good or bad and what organisations need to do to help decide if it is.
This post focuses on a strategy for using SharePoint. Note it is NOT a SharePoint strategy! This is a mistake organisations have made and it can have serious consequences. A strategy for SharePoint needs to consider far more than just implementing technology:
- Be afraid, very afraid, of implementing SharePoint without a clear set of business requirements. Make sure SharePoint is the best match for these requirements.
- Have clear priorities for what SharePoint needs to help with first. Without these how will you know what can requirements can be met first or have the biggest impact on your organisation?
- Make sure you have a robust governance framework in place before you start using SharePoint. You will need it! I find it is the most common reason for causing problems.
- Make sure you also have a clear structure, an information architecture, that is logical and predictable for people using SharePoint to find what they need.
- Consider the culture and wider behaviour that exists across your organisation before you start using SharePoint. They need to fit so the features can be used to their full benefit.
There are some key principles which you can apply to help you create a strategy for SharePoint to be good for your organisation. Find out more information about how to develop a strategy for SharePoint.
Posted in best practice, content management, digital workplace, governance, intranet, SharePoint, SharePoint 2010
Tagged best practice, digital workplace, governance, intranet, sharepoint, sharepoint 2010
Recently I posted on how to develop an intranet strategy and about Jane McConnell’s report ‘The Digital Workplace in the connected organisation‘. So it is perhaps inevitable this post is about how you develop your strategy for a digital workplace.
A digital workplace strategy is different to an intranet strategy for the following reasons:
- A digital workplace is much wider than an intranet. It may well have the intranet at its core but knowledge sharing and completing online processes are also covered by a digital workplace.
- A digital workplace will have a higher profile so more senior managers in your organisation will need and/or want to be involved as they can influence its direction.
- The impact of the digital workplace as a business tool will have a wider and sometime unforseen impact on the organisation and employees who use it.
- There will be more ‘sacred cows’ and ways people behave which they are very protective or defensive about which you will need to prepare good sound reasons for their removal or need to change.
- There will be a stronger expectation for you to justify and be able to show the benefits to the organisation for developing a digital workplace that you must include in your strategy.
There are some key principles which you need to include with your approach when creating a digital workplace strategy. For more information read how to develop a digital workplace strategy.
I have recently been reading Jane McConnell’s report ‘The Digital Workplace in the Connected Organization‘. You will have to go a long way and use a lot of effort to find another research report that will be as interesting, insightful and better value for money. If you haven’t bought a copy then please consider seriously doing so.
What is new this year?
The Digital Workplace Scorecard
The main innovation is the Digital Workplace Scorecard, which is based on the nine dimensions of the digital workplace model described in this report. The Scorecard works from self-assessment: scores are calculated based on several hundred data points from the responses to the online survey questions.
All participants receive (privately) their own scorecard and can compare themselves to others in their industry by looking at the industry-specific scorecards or to the Early Adopters. All industry scorecards are published in the report.
The digital workplace in the context of the organization
This year’s report represents a major step forward in understanding how the digital workplace impacts and is impacted by organizational processes, structures, leadership, culture and mindset. The survey covered these points in addition to the traditional questions about people capabilities, mobile services, finding expertise, sharing knowledge and so on.
Twenty-three “In Practice” Cases
“The Digital Workplace in the Connected Organization” contains 23 “In Practice” cases that are developed in more detail than in previous years. The organizations selected for these cases stood out during the data analysis process, either because of high scores or because their comments and examples are relevant to challenges many organizations are facing today.
There are so many great insights and highlights that I was spoilt for choice on what to write about. Three highlights for me are:
Jane identifies this as a critical factor defined as ‘the values, expectations and ways of thinking that determine how people and organizations act’. My experience with intranets successfully transforming into digital workplaces requires senior managers to lead and encourage employees to change their way of working. Even more important is for senior managers to demonstrate by example how they are using it to help themselves for employees to follow.
Many organisations have just started to adopt digital workplace ways of working. Many of my clients are in this position. Factors like access to real-time information, finding out information from people you don’t know and resilience when bad weather or other problems can affect service. Adopting the digital workplace can help to remove these major business issues with benefits of improved customer service and productivity savings.
As Jane says in her report ‘People are increasingly deciding how they want to work and which tools suit them best regardless of corporate policies.’ with organisations recognising this as becoming the new reality with many employees saying they are ‘discouraged but accepted’ when using personal devices for their work. To me that feels like a major shift from a year ago and one of my 2014 predictions.
Overall this research can be referred to many times as you continue your jouney to a fully integrated digital workplace for your organisation.
Posted in benchmark, best practice, digital workplace, engagement, intranet, mobile, research
Tagged benchmark, best practice, digital workplace, engagement, mobile
Intranet strategies can vary from one type of organisation to another. I have found from working with clients there are several common reasons why this is so:
- Size: A small start-up company with a close-knit team will have a different approach to a global organisation with over 100,000 employees in many locations.
- Type: What makes sense for a large manufacturing company won’t necessarily work for a government body or a small business.
- Purpose: What is different about your organisation? What is its purpose e.g. online marketing company, charity or public sector?
- Complexity: A global based organisation in different time zones with many activities compared with a small team who know each other by their first names.
- Culture: Is it a command and control approach or a more transparent, collaborative, open to criticism way that your organisation adopts?
It is not often that I recommend on my blog information to read that I believe is helpful and easy to read. Today is an exception (not just because I played a very small part in its creation)!
ClearBox Consulting with Kilobox Communiqué noticed that while on the top level of intranet sites there is good quality content, as you get into the lower levels standards start to drop. Often people have been trained on the publishing tool but had little guidance on how to get the most from an intranet as a channel e.g. how to write headlines, how to phrase links, etc.
They have created an excellent set of 10 FREE guidelines, each 1-2 pages long, covering the following topics in plain English:
- Effective headlines: help people choose what to read
- Images: attracting interest and conveying meaning
- Links: how to link to pages and files
- Layout: how to structure articles for scanability
- How to help people search for, and find, your content
- Content: write for your audience, not for your boss
- Documents vs pages: when to use PDF, Word, and other formats
- Engage: writing to start a conversation
- Channels: how to reach the right audiences with your content
- Mobile content
I recommend you read and share these with your publishers to help improve the overall experience people have with your intranet.
Thanks Sam and Wedge!
Posted in best practice, communication, content management, engagement, help, intranet, mobile, publishing
Tagged best practice, communication, content, engagement, help, intranet, mobile, publishing
In my post ‘Showing the value of your information’ I wanted to help you to show to people using your information how valuable it is. I asked ‘What is it you can do for people to realise your content is of value, it is useful, reliable, and authoritative?’ and what pitfalls should you avoid.
I want to show you how knowing who owns your content can help people realise how valuable it can be. When I was the BT Intranet manager there was a publishing standard which made it mandatory for all accredited content e.g. news article, company policy to show on every page who the owner was.
The smart part was to also link to the content owner’s contact details in the Directory, which were automatically updated, so you could easily choose the best way to contact the owner to seek further information or clarify anything.
If you don’t show the owner or editor of the content how can anyone feel they can rely on it.
For collaborative content e.g discussion groups, it isn’t so easy to show the owner. However it is possible to show who owns the community and any comments should have an owner that ideally is linked to their contact details. This allows for some communication to continue directly with the owner if more appropriate.
I don’t recommend anonymous postings to blog, micro blogging, or forums. If you have a comment to make you should feel confident that it will be accepted in the right spirit as long as it meets the terms and conditions e.g. no abusive content. The culture of your organisation should encourage sharing of ideas and problems and a mature debate on how to move forward with each one.
Lastly you need to have a good governance framework which covers roles and responsibilities for publishing and managing content. A publishing standard on how you show you own content will help too. Having a template for entering your details helps and a process for reminding when the content needs reviewing is essential.
Posted in best practice, collaboration, community, content management, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, value
Tagged best practice, collaboration, content, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, value
The 8th annual survey – Digital Workplace Trends 2014 – is now open. It will close mid-October. You are invited to participate in the survey and in return you will receive:
- A free copy of the “Digital Workplace Trends 2014″ report on 31 January 2014. (This report is commercialized at US$ 530 for non participants.)
- A customized Digital Workplace Scorecard. The scorecard is calculated based on responses to a selection of questions in the survey. It gives a sense of where the organization is at compared to other similar organizations. (Available in the first part of February.)
The survey will take you from 45 to 60 minutes to complete. You can exit the online survey platform at any time, and return later to where you left off. Just sign up
to get started.
Themes covered this year:
- What makes up the digital workplace
- Impact on the physical workplace
- Social collaboration
- Enterprise social networking
- Video and e-learning
- Information discovery
- Business impact of the digital workplace on the organization
- Leadership involvement
- Strategy, governance and decision-making
- Change and challenges
- Preparation for the future workplace