The sites I use most frequently for the latest news or to order something I want to buy or to help me with a problem e.g. travel directions are not unique sites. There are alternative sites I could choose to use but I don’t. I keep using the same ones. Why is that?
Firstly the site I keep using obviously meets my needs but if we take news sites as an example there are many that provide the latest news. It is not just that it provides me with news, there are other reasons why. A new design may be compelling for the first time and new features may also encourage me but to keep me coming back again and again it needs something more.
It is more likely to be the consistency in the look and feel; navigation to help me find related content quickly; help when I need to find out more e.g. contact the content owner so I am confident that I can rely on what I read as being accurate and up to date. In other words it is a place that is well-managed and applies some form of governance to give me a consistently good experience whenever I use it. That is what keeps me coming back for more.
When I think of some of the great internet sites I use like Amazon, Wikipedia, BBC News, it is because they also have a great governance framework which is the foundation to giving me a great experience every time I visit them. Without it these sites would miss something which would sooner or later make me try an alternative.
The same analogy that I have applied to a web site will also apply to any mobile app, intranet, digital workplace or collaboration tool. The size and complexity of the online space being managed is irrelevant. The same principles of governance will always apply. Those which are well-managed will be used more because they give a more consistent user experience and can be relied upon more to provide whatever you need.
Since 1996 when I first started my journey with intranets, collaboration tools, digital workplaces and mobile workspaces I have appreciated how important it is to have a governance framework that supports its purpose. It can be the crucial factor that causes a quicker adoption, increased usage and higher satisfaction with people to help with their work.
Posted in benefit, best practice, digital workplace, governance, intranet, standards
Tagged benefit, best practice, digital workplace, governance, intranet, standards
I recently posted on how you create a strategy that helps you to implement SharePoint successfully. I then posted on how you to develop the right level of governance to manage SharePoint well. But how do you gain the full benefits that SharePoint offers? And how should you be measure it?
There are three areas you should prioritise:
- Productivity improvements: time saved solving problems using SharePoint instead of meeting in person to do this. There are the costs of travelling avoided too.
- Savings in hardware, support costs and licences from moving content and tools on existing technology to SharePoint.
- Business intelligence can lead to opportunities to increase revenue through quicker responses to sales leads and customer service problems.
You may have other areas. The key is to understand what business benefits you could gain from using SharePoint.
My first-hand experience at BT and from working with clients is that you benefit from using SharePoint. It is your approach which is critical!
You can out more information on how to measure the full value of SharePoint to help you
Posted in benefit, best practice, content management, intranet, SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, value
Tagged benefit, best practice, digital workplace, intranet, sharepoint, sharepoint 2010, value
I have written many blog posts on SharePoint based on my first-hand experience from developing strategies through to the full implementation of features such as TeamSites, MyProfile, etc.
One of the most common requests I get from clients is “How is the best way to manage their intranet while using SharePoint?” This question is asked because SharePoint is a ‘big beast’ and needs a more rigorous and broad governance framework that is good enough for the challenge.
Your approach needs to consider:
- Restricting use: stopping some features from being used e.g. SharePoint Designer
- Encouraging best practice: making sure guidance and training are available
- Preventing problems: checking content before it is published
Each of these approaches can support your governance strategy for
SharePoint. The key is to understand what you need to use SharePoint for most of all.
My first-hand experience at BT and from working with clients is that well planned and managed governance is good enough to gain the benefits from using SharePoint. It is how you approach this which is the critical success factor!
You can out more information on how to build good SharePoint governance to help you.
Posted in benchmark, best practice, content management, digital workplace, governance, intranet, plan, publishing, SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, standards
Tagged benchmark, best practice, bt intranet, content, digital workplace, governance, intranet, plan, publishing, sharepoint 2010, usability standards
Recently I posted on how to develop an intranet strategy and how to develop a digital workplace strategy. One of the key factors either strategy must consider is the growing needs of people who use mobile devices to access information needed to help with their work. I believe it is so important that it justifies its own strategy to help achieve the full benefits.
When developing a strategy for people who are mobile it is important you consider the following factors:
- Research with mobile workers what exactly their requirements are. Don’t guess! And don’t accept the experience is good enough just because the content or app can be accessed from mobile devices.
- Involve mobile workers in testing as you develop your intranet to make sure it will be a good experience for mobile devices before it is launched. Don’t assume it will just be alright on the day.
- Be clear how many different operating systems your organisation can justify supporting. While wanting to support the different operating systems for mobile devices it is stupid to aim to support every system. A balance between IT costs and capabilities with mobile users’ needs to be agreed.
- Decide on your approach to responsive or device specific designs for mobile users. Do you want/need to publish the same content in more than one place? Is the management of one piece of content too heavy for all types of devices that need to access it?
There are some key principles which you can apply to help you create a mobile strategy for your organisation. Find out more information on how to develop a mobile strategy.
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
I reviewed my predictions for 2013 and believe they are happening more as we move towards 2014. So what has 2014 got in store for us? Here are my five predictions:
Organisations will more seriously consider what approach will best meet their requirements. Factors that will need to be considered before a final decision is made are:
- How much will it save compared with the costs of keeping it within the firewall?
- Will you have better business resilience? Will it remove the single point of failure problem?
- What will be the levels of service?
- Who do you trust with your data?
- Will your content be secure?
I know a lot has been said about mobile and how it is driving the transformation of intranets towards digital workplaces. But how many employees still only use their smartphones for emails and texts? Organisations need to get serious about realising the benefits and consider:
- Increased productivity by people able to find information, complete tasks, share problems and knowledge when they need to without delay
- Save accommodation costs and reduced dedicated workspace so people share as and when they need it
- Support new ways of working with distributed teams and managers enabling and facilitating rather than controlling or limiting activity
- Fear of the unknown is not a good business reason to stop employees using mobiles for their work
- Bring your own device is a solvable problem when everyone wants to reach agreement over intellectual property, security and building trust and behaving sensibly
I am starting to see real examples of collaboration which showing through on business’ bottom line and getting the attention of senior manager. This will bring benefits as it is taking more seriously and investment decisions are easier but the pressure to continue delivering larger savings will also increase. Examples include:
- Project teams sharing and creating online documentation without having to meet face to face or email each other
- Solving problems more quickly using tools to find people with similar skills and experience
- Sharing knowledge that helps others to solve problem and the organisation’s culture increasingly supporting this way of working
Organisations are realising, especially if they are implementing SharePoint, that all the areas where content is published need to be managed. The problems of gaps in information managed and risks it can create are being recognised more. More robust frameworks are being developed and used. Examples include:
- Different types of content such as accredited e.g. policies, news articles, and collaborative e.g. comment in discussion group, blog post are being accepted
- All the different areas for content are being joined up e.g. content management, document management, project spaces, and news.
- A hierarchy which sets out roles and responsibilities help identify overlaps and gaps in managing information
- Publishing standards are being applied in smarter ways taking less time and effort with digital workplace teams
As intranets are transforming from their original purpose as communications tools towards digital workplaces that are critical business tools that people in that organisation increasingly need to rely on for their work, so their value is increasing and the need to measure that value. Examples are:
- Productivity savings are accepted in principle now even if the amount is not agreed by everyone
- The impact on property usage and type is becoming more linked to new ways of working
- The value an organisation places on a person’s digital assets e.g. knowledge in documents is starting to match that of any physical assets e.g. computer
- Business resilience is critical to organisations and along with plans to use the cloud are plans to benefit from a more distributed workforce that no longer has to be in just one location
This is my last post of 2013. I hope anyone reading this has had a great 2013, will have a relaxing break over the Christmas period, and be hoping for more success in 2014!
Posted in collaboration, communication, content management, digital workplace, governance, intranet, mobile, news, SharePoint, standards, value
Tagged blog, bt intranet, collaboration, communication, content, digital workplace, governance, intranet, mobile, publishing, sharepoint, standards, value