While I was at the Employee Portal Evolution Masters conference I was struck by the number of organisations who were interested in using social media tools but were not sure what approach to take.
To justify any investment funding you need to have a strong business case – even more so in these difficult economic times – that clearly shows the benefits to the organisation of adopting social media tools. That justification has to have good reasons backed up by clear evidence of how it benefits the organisation.
Here are a few points to remember and use:
Have an idea of what you need to do. Try using personas to help identify a typical group of people with a similar need. Find a few volunteers to test out what the tool will do. I talked in a previous post about beta testing with people as you develop a new tool.
You need one friendly person in IT, a PC, maybe a small server and the software. You need to make sure it works – no fancy design, just out of the box functionality – before you start to testing.
Go with the flow!
Whatever you think it needs to do let the volunteers testing it set the direction that helps them most. They will be using it in future – not you!
Keep it cheap
It is important to avoid any unneccesary costs. If possible try something for free. By keeping it to a small number of people testing and just one PC or server you avoid high star-up costs.
When you have clear evidence of benefits, more people wanting to use it, buy-in from IT, you can then build a business case showing how it will help your organisation. You may be asked for more or better examples but it is less likely you will get a ‘NO!’ response.
Then consider what guidance, training, education and governance is needed.