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Enterprise 2.0 - factors to a successful implementation

A cracking post from Andrew McAfee, What's Most Important for Success with Enterprise 2.0?, that I think everyone looking to bring in "Enterprise 2.0" (definition) should consider before (BEFORE) starting on the track.

From my own experiences I would highlight the following as sticky points that I have stumbled across (and worked through but it's been hard work):

Tools are intuitive and easy to use
I have a view that web software (as it's always web based apps we're talking about) should never need a manual, FAQs, help or training sessions. If it's come via the consumer world (YouTube, Yahoo!, Twitter ...) then that's generally the case but, unfortunately, hardly ever the case for software designed for the work place.

MOSS (SharePoint 2007) is a case in point.
A while ago I had a discussion with Michael Sampson about what training should be made available for users with a MOSS implementation. I re-iterated my view that it should be so obvious that people don't need training in the "how" (the "why" is different and part of explaining the reason the organisation works the way it does which the tool, in this case MOSS, should merely support).

I am now of a different opinion with MOSS as it's just not good enough with it's basic usability. It's good, don't get me wrong, and a whole lot better than before but still not obvious. Case in point - compare these "settings" pages, can you tell me how to restrict access to content which is a very common and important part of any "content" system:

I think you'll see it's a lot harder with one than the other - it's making me think!

There are three others that I have fallen foul of:
  • Slack exists in the workweek
  • There are lots of young people
  • Goals are clear and well-explained
And I think they generally come under the label "we're too busy fighting the battle to stop and consider the weapons". In my experience, despite great words from upon high, if there's not the demand, the space and the experience (it's where young uns come in, they generally live this stuff) then it's a hard sell and an even harder implementation. Hard is OK, but be aware of it.

As to Andrew''s final point (there is pent-up demand for better information sharing) here in New Zealand we are lucky that the underlying 'culture' of people is to share. It might not seem like it during your day-to-day workings but take a moment to stop and think as to the reason why that person said no to your info request. Was it because fundamentally they didn't want to or was it just "too hard"? I'll contend that the majority of the cases it's the latter, it was "too hard" - the systems didn't allow it to happen with a click of the button.

Love to hear your thoughts - leave a comment ...