Tags: communication, digital workplace, governance, intranet, plan, strategy
Communicators’ first priority is to communicate. Their first reaction to collaboration between employees using blogs is to increase the frequency of communications and their prominence on the intranet.
But digital workplaces are used by employees primarily to do things or find information or people, not to read communications. They still do read communications but it is not their main purpose or first priority.
This is a dilemma that communications will need to resolve as they find a new role that continues to add value to the organisation that is more strategic. It is NOT a good approach to seek to own the digital workplace from the view of communications being its main purpose. It isn’t.
While communications still has a key role, increasingly it is human resources, knowledge management and business functions that are largely affected by or have a high influence on how the digital workplace is created that are increasingly involved.
A group of senior representatives who are stakeholders in the digital workplace should form something like a digital board, responsible for strategy, high-level decisions, and priorities for collaboration, communications, tools, and mobile use.
This group should have cross-organisational recognition and support that needs to be seen to be acting in their interests. A clear strategy and prioritised action plan for the short term with owners and timescales will achieve that.
But there still needs to be a leader of the digital board whose authority is accepted. The obvious choice would be the CEO of the organisation. However the reality is the CEO probably won’t have enough time to focus on leading the digital board.
The next best solution is for the CEO to nominate someone or, if not possible, for there to be a senior person who is naturally seen as the ideal candidate by other digital board representatives. The main criteria are someone whose finger is on the pulse of the organisation, is involved and aware of the key decisions being taken, and has the respect of everyone involved.
It is essential to have the right people in place who own the digital workplace strategy and future direction it will take that will benefit both the organisation and everyone working in it.
Am I unfair in my views on internal communications?
Who do you believe are the best people and functions to own the digital workplace?
Tags: benefit, communication, digital workplace, governance, intranet, sharepoint 2010, standards, strategy, value
Why is SharePoint 2010 so widely used? I believe it is because it offers for the first time one technical solution that meets many business needs rather than just one.
If you want to improve knowledge sharing you will have many tools to consider. Again if you need to manage your documents you will have a wide choice of vendors. But if your business has more than one need or can see how solving one will create other requirements then a solution like SharePoint 2010 comes become more attractive to consider.
What if your organisation needs employees to use your intranet while away from their place of work? There are huge savings in office costs and increases in productivity if employees can use the intranet to help them with their work while they are mobile.
Before we can consider if SharePoint 2010 can help meet these needs and provide these benefits there are other important steps to take first.
Why is your organisation considering mobile access to your intranet? You need to develop a strategy aligned to your overall business strategy that sets out how providing this need will help to improve the performance. Without a clear, agreed, mobile strategy in place there is little chance of creating a successful business case for a solution that can help employees. You need to research which content and tools are most needed while employees are mobile.
Who should be responsible for sponsoring the implementation of your mobile strategy? You need to find a senior representative who will champion this or, better still, a board or steering group of senior representatives from business functions across your organisation. Make sure the role is clear, and you have the authority to make the decisions needed, supported by funding.
Who needs to use a mobile device for their work? You need to be clear which employees will benefit from having a mobile device. It probably will not be everyone. Even if it is, you will have to prioritise who has the greatest need. Factors like the number of employees involved, time spent away from their place of work, what contribution they can make, will help decide the greatest need.
As well as having a champion for the use of mobile devices your governance framework needs to include the standards for owners of content and tools to follow so mobile devices can be used by employees. Roles and responsibilities need to include meeting the needs of mobile users for content and tool owners. The content and tools must not be a complete duplication of what exists already.
Will you let employees bring their own devices to work or will you provide your own? That decision is critical and will depend on your organisation’s corporate values, type of employees, security (more below on this), funding and speed of adoption. Once that decision is made you can then focus on what devices your organisation provides or you recommend employees have that offer the best experience for what they need to do while mobile.
How can you be sure the right people only are using your intranet? It is vital you have a representative from your Legal team involved as well as from IT. You need to find the right balance of secure but easy access. It is no good if it takes ages to authenticate who you are before employee can access your intranet. But you do need some intelligent software working in the background to ensure you know who is accessing content with a mobile device.
As I said at the beginning most organisations are either considering using SharePoint 2010 or are in various stages of rolling out to meet their needs. One of these is increasingly the need to provide content and tools that is needed by employees while mobile.
The problem with SharePoint 2010 is the ‘out of the box’ experience can be a bit underwhelming. It is a text only version which most mobile users of internet sites will feel is like going back in time. It may be improved by the next release of SharePoint but can your organisation afford to wait that long?