Tags: digital workplace, intranet, mobile, research, strategy
In my last post ‘Letting the mobile genie out of the bottle‘ I said mobile is one of the key drivers for the transformation of intranets into digital workplaces which could become mobile workplaces but progress is patchy. I asked how do you manage this so it benefits your organisation and people while managing the risks of bring your own device (BYOD), intellect property, consuming and contributing content, and using apps that are available anywhere, anytime?
It is no surprise if I say a mobile strategy to set you in the right direction is a good start to make. Setting the right direction for your organisation with mobile is critical. To do that you need to know why is your organisation considering mobile access to your intranet. You need to develop a strategy aligned to your overall business strategy and other strategies that may conflict, support, or overlap with your mobile strategy e.g. IT, Communications, Security.
Your mobile strategy will need to show how it will help to improve the performance. You need to first research how productivity can increase with people more mobile. You need to find out which content and apps are most needed while people are mobile. Ask people what tasks need doing most or have the biggest impact if done with a mobile device.
Without a mobile strategy, with clear priorities shown, there is little chance of creating a successful business case that can help people and your organisation. But who should be responsible for sponsoring the implementation of your mobile strategy?
You need to find a senior manager who will champion this or, better still, a group of senior managers from across your organisation. Consider who will have the biggest influence on your mobile strategy. Check out who will be most affected by your strategy. Lastly, who has the biggest interest in a mobile strategy being adopted.
Involve these people and any people they nominate in developing your strategy and working out the best way to get your organisation to adopt.
When you have achieved this you will need governance so your mobile strategy sets out and continues in the right direction. More on this in a future post.
Tags: digital workplace, governance, intranet, mobile, strategy
I believe many organisations want to move towards greater mobile access to content, collaborative tools, and apps, but it is fear of the unknown which prevents them doing this. Part of that fear is about letting the genie out of the bottle.
While there are some surprising examples of organisations like Yahoo! and Google reacting negatively (in my view) to this trend, many are starting to test the waters by putting a (mobile) toe in and finding it a warm and pleasant experience. They are not getting out of their depth either by planning what to try out first, how it fits with the wider picture, and understanding the benefits.
How do you manage this so it benefits your organisation and people while managing the risks of bring your own device (BYOD), intellect property, consuming and contributing content, and using apps that are available anywhere, anytime?
It is no surprise if I say a mobile strategy and governance helps to achieve this. Setting the right direction for your organisation with mobile which is supported by the right framework is vital.
Over the next few posts I will shed some light on how to manage mobile devices once people can use access their online environment. What will help you most? Let me know please…….
Tags: benchmark, benefit, best practice, digital workplace, governance, research, strategy
I have recently been enjoying reading through Jane McConnell‘s latest Digital Workplace Trends Report for 2013. It is a feast of appetising information on the latest trends in the digital workplace. It gives great hints and tips. It is also very topical in view of the news about Yahoo! homeworkers and the known benefits of the DW that I have posted about recently.
The Digital Workplace Trends Report 2013 is very helpful for anyone who is involved with the digital workplace, whether you are starting to think about it, already planning how to transform your intranet, or wanting to check if what you have implemented is along the right track.
The real beauty in this great treasure trove of DW information for intranet practitioners will be:
- Trends – seeing how areas have stalled, accelerated, and the reasons why
- Layout – key findings shown as bullet points, graphs and bar charts to easily see key data
- Case study examples – a great addition and fascinating to read about real examples
- Dip in and out – choose to read one section, many, all sections. Whatever you decide this report will suit your needs.
If this was a printed instead of a digital document it would already be well-thumbed through with the corners bent by the times I have been reading sections again and again to learn more each time.
Don’t miss out on this unique research about the digital workplace.
Tags: digital workplace, governance, sharepoint 2010, standards, strategy
I am really looking forward to my first time at the Congres intranet conference, Congres 2013 (Twitter #intra13), on 18 and 19 March in Utrecht, Holland. Many people have told me about the great time they have networking with other intranet people and learning from the workshops and presentations given by great speakers.
I am very pleased to be asked to run two workshops on SharePoint and the Digital Workplace on the first day and a breakout session on the second day. For those of you who have not heard about this (where have you been ?!) this is the fifth annual Intranet conference designed for senior managers, communication people, information and IT professionals engaged in intranets, enterprise social media and corporate employee portals.
Speakers this year include Luis Suarez – The Evolving Knowledge Web Worker, Euan Semple, Eaun Semple – The Future Proof Intranet, business as usual?, Jonathan Phillips – The Coca-Cola Intranet: from research to delivery and Steven van Belleghem – Internal Communication is dead.
Congres 2013 (#intra13) offers you the opportunity to learn about current innovative intranet solutions, new developments and best practices. In addition to acquiring all that knowledge, the networking as a big factor at the conference.
And if you want to find out more about how to plan and implement strategies for the Digital Workplace and SharePoint and how to manage them, join my workshops and say “hello’ in person as well as on Twitter, etc. I will be very pleased to welcome you!
Tags: digital workplace, strategy, value
Recently I talked at Intranett 2012 about how your organisation can transform its intranet into digital workplace to save costs and reduce unproductive time and workspace. I define the digital workplace as “Work is what you do, not a place you go to”.
The intranet is a key ingredient in an evolving world of work and technology called the digital workplace. If you are working from a cafe on a smartphone, accessing IM, sales data or online expenses forms, you are in the digital workplace. I want to cover in my next few posts how you can help make this happen starting with how you create a strategy for your digital workplace.
Vital to align your digital workplace strategy
Your digital workplace strategy must align with your organisation’s strategy. There is no point moving in one direction if your organisation is planning to go in a different direction. You need to be clear what your organisation’s strategy is and make sure your strategy shows how it will help to achieve it.
Digital workplace strategy is wider than intranet
A digital workplace strategy will usually be wider than your intranet strategy. It’s more than the traditional role for information published online. It will also cover the online user experience where you will be working e.g. while mobile, at home, in cafes; how you will be working e.g. using laptops, smartphones, and maybe personal and/or public PCs; what you need to do your work e.g. completing tasks, sharing knowledge.
Plan for the short, medium, and long-term
Your plans need to cover the short-term (0 – 3 months), medium term (3 – 12 months), and long-term (over 1 year). You need to prioritise your action plan to give the biggest benefit to your organisation based on best positive impact on people; most savings for your organisation; quickest to implement; and cheapest to do.
Who will have the biggest influence
You need to identify the senior managers, your stakeholders, who will have the biggest influence on your strategy. You need to build and maintain good relationships with them for your strategy to a) be implemented and b) have the best chance of succeeding. Typically they will represent Finance, CIO, HR and most importantly, your business units.
Identify who will be affected the most
You need to identify who will be most affected by your strategy. You also need to maintain good relationships with them for your strategy to a) be implemented and b) have the greatest chance of succeeding and make sure they are clear what to expect and understand how they will be affected. Typically they will be from your business units most influenced by the digital workplace.
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: 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: governance, intranet, publishing, sharepoint 2010, standards, strategy
In all the time I have been involved with SharePoint 2010 the one area which causes the most discussion and raising of concerns is SharePoint Designer. For those new to SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Designer is a fantastic/awful feature which helps/ruins the look and feel of pages and add/remove functionality.
As you can see by my use of language it can be a fantastic feature that can help people to innovate or can cause anger and frustration if used differently and causes problems with the user experience.
To quote Microsoft “Using SharePoint Designer, you can rapidly create SharePoint solutions in response to business needs. Compose no-code solutions that encompass a variety of common scenarios, from collaborative sites and web publishing to Line-Of-Business data integration, business intelligence solutions, and human workflows, all leveraging the building blocks available in SharePoint in an easy to use environment. Developers can use SharePoint Designer 2010 to get a quick start on SharePoint development projects.”
And that’s the challenge because SharePoint Designer can be great when used in line with business needs but can be a nightmare if used by someone who maybe isn’t aware of even worse, doesn’t care, what impact using it has.
So is SharePoint Designer a friend or a for you? Well, it can be both or either really! It is how you choose to use it on your intranet.
If you have a culture that has a loose governance and your organisation is strong on innovating then you will probably see SharePoint Designer as a great tool which helps you to make big changes using this technology that help improve effectiveness.
If you have a very controlled environment where your organisation seeks permission before trying something new/different then allowing people to use SharePoint Designer will be an anathema to how you want your intranet to progress and be managed.
In reality most organisations will have an intranet that is managed somewhere between these two examples. What you need to do with SharePoint Designer is no different to how you approach any technology used on your intranet.
- What are the benefits of people using it?
- What are the risks of people using it?
- How can you manage it?
- How does it fit with your intranet strategy and plans?
When you have answered these questions you will be in a better place to know whether SharePoint Designer is a friend or foe!