Organisation & Transformation in the Digital Age
19 Feb 2014 827 hits

Collaborative platforms. Why users just don't show ?

Why collaborative platforms don't work.

[...]For enterprise social networks to flourish, organizations must address apathetic employees, deployment challenges, and institutional disincentives to collaboration [...]

Users’ engagement is of the essence to get the most of collaborative platforms. Despite the many promises of collaborative work in the fields of innovation, management and general organisation, it seems that the use of appropriate tools is still difficult to implement. In the article I curate today, the author sees 4 clear principles that should be applied whenever implementing such platforms:

  • Empower an executive champion.
  • Build on early successes.
  • Revisit the incentives
  • Encourage Sharing, Support Your Executive Champion and Early Adopter

Overall, the use of such tools is linked to the degree of appropriation people have of it. If the tool is merely another 'nice to have bust such a waste of time' thingy, then it will not work. Users have to clearly understand the benefits the use of the platform will have for the organisation, but also for them. And because such tools are about collaboration, reviewing incentive and evaluation techniques is important because you cannot expect people to engage in group work while remaining individually evaluated. there has to be a degree of collective performance evaluation, so that collaborative and individual work remain distinct.

Also, it is better to ask end users what they feel about the tool that will be implemented to maximize adoption. Implementing a tool completely disconnected from the realities of your workforce often is counterproductive. People want to have now the same experience with Corporate IT Solutions, as they have with their mobile phones, or other digital devices: simple, easy to operate, user friendly, intuitive, ergonomic.... So giving them yet another labyrinthine system will certainly not favour adoption. 

Last, communities are important. You cannot expect people to follow leaders, and give in to some corporate desires of transversality and transparency if they are not exemplar. And in collaboration, it means that they are also responsible for group dynamics in a virtual environment. And that is no easy task. Without communities and leaders (champions), it is almost impossible to successfully implement collaboration solutions.

Have you identified your communities? Do you know your change champions? Did you ask end users what they would want as a tool and for what purpose?

Read the full article here

Marciano Alves

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