Accelerated ECS adoption is the primary goal when rolling out any Enterprise Collaboration Software (ECS) solution. This article lays out the best practices for accelerated ECS adoption to improve ROI and reach a critical mass for usage.
There are important challenges of accelerated ECS adoption and an important one is the need to documented Enterprise ROI. The best ECS reporting show detailed current usage reports, letting admins count active users and measure the level of communication in the ECS. While these tools can help you see and measure initial engagement, experts believe that it takes months or years for social media to become completely established in an organization. The average adoption of a business tool is only 10%, and only 1% of that are highly active users. Analysts point to key areas such as perceived deficiencies of social intranets and the inability to tie critical business processes to the ECS for low adoption levels.
The Accelerated ECS Adoption Best Practices
Hosting a Planned Adoption Event
Planned adoption events aid in accelerated ECS adoption. There are proven reasons for having an organized adoption event to help introduce the ECS as the established collaboration tool. Events send a clear message to attendees that the ECS is important and central to their job and provide an open forum to stress the benefits of ECS to the attendees. It also gives an opportunity to address usage guidelines and expected network etiquette. Events let people know where to go for help and who the company experts are if they run into problems. Attendees will leave the event with a call to action to start using the ECS as much as possible to make it a real roll out. Adoption events can be fun too. Some of the most successful adoptions have events with themed food, printed tee shirts, and creative event decorations. An ECS launch party can ease the anxiety around the adopted ECS, making it a fun learning experience.
Integrating with Existing Business Systems
Accelerated ECS adoption cannot be achieved without the successful integration of existing business practices. Adoption drastically increases when the Enterprise Collaboration Software integration can be used alongside or in place of existing business tools. One example is the Microsoft SharePoint integration. Users have become accustomed to finding documents, tasks, and user pages related to what they are working on. Accelerated ECS adoption comes from working well with the company’s existing SharePoint presence. One indicator of accelerated ECS adoption is when the built-in document management system of the ECS is being used in place of SharePoint document management.
Making The Intranet HomepageProminent
The intranet homepage is where users should come at the start of their shift or to check in on activities. A dashboard or intranet homepage needs to draw attention to the top discussion threads in the communication network. Users should be able to easily navigate to any activity stream. Beyond quick status updates, users need to be able to communicate larger discussions through wikis and blogs. All feeds, Wikis, and blogs need to allow for in-line and visible comments so that anyone can contribute their expertise or knowledge to the topic of discussion.
Support and Participation by Senior Management
With any new tool, people that are not the early adopters use it based on who else is using it. Successful adoption of ECS software starts with energetic participation by the senior management. A scheduled and internal blog from the CEO is one best practices to get people to check into the ECS to read it.
The Voice of all Employees
With acknowledgments, comments, and likes, the ECS becomes the voice of all employees. It gives employees a platform that is heard by peers, coworkers, and senior management. Adopters soon realize that the ECS is an un-moderated forum for open questions to executives. Teams can take complicated issues beyond their desks and get expert contributions from outside of their small circle. ECS also help management by keeping them informed about real employee sentiments.
Time to Reach a Critical Mass
Adoption of ECS culture can’t be accomplished just by turning on a new communication tool. Cultures need time to grow and for the adoption level to reach a critical mass. Successful ECS vendors work side-by-side with your organization during the roll-out to fine-tune the experience. When enough people’s initial expectations are met, adoption will naturally occur.
Allowing Non-Business Content
Hard work pays off. but so does social interaction among employees. Allowing non-business related content to be in the ECS network is essential for drawing users’ interest to log in and communicate. One example of success among adopters is a “Picture of the Day” group. Colleagues submit a picture of what they see in or out of the office. “Picture of the Day” is especially well received by geographically dispersed organizations. Employees may never meet face-to-face, but they sill get to know their coworkers.