Tags: benefit, best practice, digital workplace, engagement, money, research, value
This is the first in a series of posts showing examples of the benefits and savings organisations have gained by shifting work to a digital workplace. It draws on my previous posts on how you need to plan your strategy, governance, and management of content, tools, and services for a digital workplace. This is essential when transforming your intranet into a digital workplace.
I will be using examples from the Digital Workplace Group’s report ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working?‘ that show what can be achieved if your organisation can take the right approach. My first example is how improved productivity can lead to huge savings in your time working and show on your organisation’s financial bottom line.
How to make the savings
I have posted on what you need to do to make productivity savings:
- Usability: clearly labelled content that’s easy to find
- IT capability: right tools to make best use of digital workplace
- Security: confidence in privacy of sensitive content
- Involvement: contribute to plans, make your needs known
What can be achieved
Organisations that have implemented these successfully have found:
- Improved productivity is the benefit that will have the most impact with senior management
- Work that happens in traditional offices is often inefficient
- Employee engagement is stronger with flexible working
- Engaged employees work harder and better
- Increased productivity through people working half the week from home
- Flexible work programmes improve productivity
- Investment is needed to increase productivity through new ways of working programmes
- BT now has 15,000 homeworkers out of 92,000 people who are 20% more productive (I know! I have been a homeworker for many years)
- Microsoft improved productivity by 28 minutes per person per day ($86m) through use of unified communications technology
- UPS homeworkers increased productivity by 17% and job satisfaction by 86%
There are more examples and details in ‘What is the financial value of investing in digital working‘. My next post in this series will cover declines in absenteeism.
Tags: benefit, digital workplace, money, plan, strategy, value
When you are proposing a Digital Workplace to your organisation you need to decide how to present this to your senior managers as well as what the benefits will be. Here are a few tips I have found have helped me and my clients to succeed:
1. Don’t use any technical terms
Find out who you will be presenting, meeting, or discussing your proposal with. Use the language that your audience understands best. Don’t use technology terms or abbreviations.
2. Really understand what your organisation needs
What is the overall strategy for your organisation? What are the key priorities? How can a digital workplace support them?
3. Find a quick win
Try to identify something within your control, needs little time or money to achieve, but will make your senior managers look up and take notice because of the difference it will make when achieved.
4. Find something which will have a big impact
Maybe a difficult and inefficient process? Maybe an activity that can make a big saving in money? Maybe something which affects everyone? It has to make a difference that will get everyone’s attention.
5. Show slides with before and after scenarios
You need to make sure you explain clearly with examples of what is happening now and how it will change afterwards. Your examples need to show money saved, time saved, extra revenue, better productivity, etc. They can be shown words or graphic but they must be clear and easily understood.
6. Be honest about timescales
Senior managers quickly get turned off from a project if the reality is different to the expectation you have set. Make sure you can justify what you are showing.
Tags: benefit, beta testing, intranet, money, strategy, user testing, value
I recently discussed this subject with some intranet practitioners in Copenhagen at an IntraTeam community of practice meeting. Several people there had yet to experience the excitement of knowing a business case had been approved or the disappointment of one being rejected.
I know how both of these experiences feel from first-hand experience when I was the BT intranet manager! It was the frustration rather than the disappointment with the rejection of a business case that has stayed with me longer. Frustration because I couldn’t get the people deciding to ‘get it’ and realise how much it would improve the intranet, the experience of people using it, and the business overall that I felt so passionately about.
How to succeed
You need to ask yourself if a business case is needed at all. Maybe by using open source technology there will be no costs that need you to ask for funding? Maybe you do need to later when you have something more convincing, more persuasive even more tangible, in the benefits you can demonstrate have been achieved by what you are doing.
Tip 1: Pick your timing to give yourself the best chance.
You need sponsors, preferably senior sponsors, better still the CEO as your sponsor. The more strategic and senior the level of support gained by you in your organisation, the better your chances of success and your efforts and time to achieve it will be rewarded.
Tip 2: Build up your relationship with your stakeholders.
You need to be complete in your business case. That means include all the costs – technology, licences, support, training, and implementation. But don’t forget all the savings – paper, accommodation, time, benefits – productivity, better decision making, risks avoided to brand, and reputation. There could also be revenue generated from extra sales because what you offer could mean more time and ability to compete than before for new business.
Tip 3: Don’t leave off something which could come back to bite you and affect your credibility with future business cases.
You need to consider the wider context for your business case. Is your organisation looking to expand or is it just trying to survive? What is your organisation’s strategy? Is your intranet strategy in line with it? Is your business case connected to your strategy (make sure it is!)? You need to align what you will achieve with the organisation’s values – teamwork, openness = collaboration tools.
Tip 4: Choose your agenda and use the language your audience will recognise.
You need to make your business case as compelling as possible. That means showing as many savings – money not leaving the organisation – and income – extra money coming in – that can justify. While there will be many benefits from productivity and reduced risks, it is the bottom line that will be the main focus and the hardest to achieve.
Tip 5: Focus on the savings and benefits which are most important to your organisation.
Lastly don’t forget to use every weapon in your artillery to help convince your sponsors of what your proposal will achieve. In addition to the five tips you can highlight how it fits with the organisations’ values, the downside of not approving the business case and risks being taken by that decision.
Good luck, be passionate about your business case. GO FOR IT AND WIN!
Tags: benefit, collaboration, engagement, measure, money, sharepoint 2010, value
You have developed a strategy. You have built a governance framework. You got the buy-in from stakeholders. You factored in the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches. You have started implementing SharePoint 2010.
So now, how do you to measure the value to show the investment made has been justified? Easy to say but harder to show!
I believe you can measure the value at three levels. These are:
1. Improved productivity
- SP2010 can help speed up how quickly a business problem can be solved.
- You can measure how many fewer people are now involved.
- Compare the time taken now with solving similar faults to what was previously taken.
- Maybe the skills and grade of people needed previously to solve the problems are not needed now.
- Using SP2010 tools to improve the quality of the content, preventing mistakes made in the past, such as accessibility and link checks.
All of these can lead to large amounts of financial savings. The challenge of course is to show what people did with the time saved. More effectiveness rather than more efficiency needs to be demonstrated.
2. Reduced costs
- SP2010 can reduce the cost of licences, technical support, servers, and helpdesks used with existing publishing tools.
- Reducing the variety of tools used the licences (and administration) can save money.
- As existing tools get old they may need increasing support to keep them running.
- Servers need updating which costs too.
- SP2010 should be easier to use than existing tools saving training, helpdesk and online guidance and support costs.
You need to make sure SP2010 is a good fit for your organisation’s needs to save costs. That means getting your strategy and priorities right first!
3. Increased revenue
- People can be more productive saving time and effort with sales bids.
- People can create and share knowledge more easily giving organisations a competitive edge.
- Customer service improves with problems solved quicker leading to increased customer loyalty.
- Better customer solutions with better collaboration through using SP2010.
If your SP2010 strategy is closely aligned to your organisation’s strategy it can exploit this opportunity to add overall value that shows through on the bottom line.
Tags: benefit, best practice, bt intranet, homepage, measure, money, research, usability, users, value
I have been invited to speak at a pan-European Conference on Intranet and Portal Management. It will cover portal and intranet evolution, enhanced internal communication and collaboration, and steps towards an Enterprise 2.0 platform.
I have been asked to talk about ‘Getting the best value from managing your intranet and portal’.
- Making the most of the space available on your portal
- Measuring user satisfaction
- Improving productivity
- Valuing exploited and unexploited less tangible benefits
- Making money from your intranet
For those who are interested but are unable to make the conference you can find my slides here.
Please spare a thought for me. I will need to wake up at 04:30 to catch a train, plane and taxi to the venue in Berlin for my presentation at 11:15 local time. I hope I stay awake during my presentation…………………and the audience do too!
Tags: benefit, bt intranet, homepage, money, search, value
In a recession every penny spent investing in BT’s intranet is closely monitored. So the chance to generate some revenue is very welcome. Whenever I say BT makes money from its intranet to people they raise their eyebrows and ask the obvious questions ”What?” and “How?”.
Here are two examples showing ‘what’ and ‘how’ BT’s intranet has made money.
External advertising on intranet
BT allows external organisations to advertise on one intranet site only. This is our corporate news site, BT today. People in BT have accepted for years that adverts appear in the magazine as they do for other newspapers.
We extended advertising to the BT today news site in a way that didn’t distract users from their main purpose for using the site – finding the latest news – while encouraging them to click on the adverts. It brings in valuable revenue – tens of thousands of pounds each year.
We haven’t had any complaints about adverts being too invasive or distracting.
Sponsored links on search engine
BT has a business partnership with Yahoo! Intranet users have a BT Yahoo! internet search option. It means Yahoo! gets more clicks to its internet search and BT gets a % of the sponsored links people in BT click on when searching. This has come to several thousands of pounds over the past year.
Tags: benchmark, bt intranet, measure, money, value
Last August I posted about BT testing out a new methodology that gives a fuller picture of the overall value your intranet gives your organisation and promised to update you on progress made.
Well, it has taken a long time BUT it has been successful!
I now know how much BT’s intranet is worth in £s, how that is worked out, the different levels of value and can start to use it for future investment funding decisions.
BT has measured the exploited and unexploited value of our intranet in terms of the business processes it delivers. It breaks down into three main types of business value:
- cash saved and revenue generated
- time savings converted into cash
- less tangible benefits such as risk reduction, increased satisfaction and emissions savings
I can’t reveal the exact figures as they are sensitive – sorry. What I can say is that for every £1 invested there is £20+ exploited value achieved and £5 unexploited value still to gain. As BT invests many £millions you can see what a breakthrough this can be in the value everyone can see in our intranet!
BT worked with IBF to develop their financial value tool and have shown the methodology to be sound. The results are as accurate as the information you provide on costs, etc, for the tool to assess.
In the 1990s methodology was developed to measure the value of brands and shown as an organisation’s financial asset. This can now start to happen in a similar way over the next few years with intranets.
Wouldn’t it be good to know what your intranet is worth and contributing directly to your organisation’s bottom line?
Tags: applications, benefit, bt intranet, content, money, value
Joni Mitchell sang on ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ the words “Don’t it always seem to go that you dont know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. I was reminded last week while on holiday of these words.
I was staying in a lovely cottage (Eliza’s Croft in case anyone is interested) in Cornwall away from everything – work, people, daily routine, etc. – and really enjoying the experience and weather. But there was something different that I noticed. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for me either!
I had no mobile signal, the TV had no teletext feature and there were no internet or broadband connections. If I wanted to check out a place to visit or eat I had no information apart from talking with people, trying to find a leaflet or just taking a chance.
As I said before it wasn’t a problem and fitted with my easy going type of holiday but my point in this post is I noticed it and it made a difference to me.
It made me think what it would be like our intranets weren’t available.
Would it be very difficult or impossible to work with all the information and applications you need to do being online as an integral part of your intranet?
Or would most people still be able to do their work easily and have easy work arounds to get their work done because it wasn’t on your intranet?
If it is the latter then you should worry. You should work out how you can move them to your intranet and build resilience in so they are always available.
Then prioritise them and build business cases starting with the top one and justify the benefits to be gained by doing this.