If you are a project manager, your email inbox will have:
- All your team progress
- All project documents (including all previous versions (including all team members editions of previous versions))
- All your higher management comments
- All your friends funny emails!
Whatever method that your email client tries to do to arrange it, it will still on that client, and each member of your team will have their own way of arranging them, and that was just an example. This is one of the main problems that gave the raise of Enterprise 2.0, here is a match between Enterprise 2.0 tools and functionalities:
Personal point of view expander, and an updates stream. So the project manager have a single point for announcements and their following comments and discussions, and team members (or employees generally) can put some ideas or whatever will benefit the others, and of course since it’s in their blog, and it’s publicly their idea, it will give them a credit.
As a collaboration data organizers and a semi-dashboard of the project or the department. Where every team member can see and change the latest data and documentation available, many collaborative processes take a lot of time and some of them sleep for a while in the inbox.
Internal Social networks:
Open and equal oppurtunity discussion platform. Employees will be able to share, chat exchange ideas in a neutral place, it’s much faster and more organised than email conversations. They are agile to do the same thing that the monster emails do.
The previous uses of Enterprise 2.0 tools clarifies that it’s all about visibility, as Austin Hardware benefited this principle to make transparency that helped requirements from customer service to reach product development. Without Enterprise 2.0 technologies those data have to pass through a log chain of managers and many others in the middle to look at it and then to decide whether it’s interesting to be passed through or not, it’s a great example to know the power of information flow and it’s not make since that managers and staff see everything through the email microscope. There are other examples that solved some difficulties which will be discussed in the next section.
Shortcomings & Engagement
There are little and technically temporarily shortcomings with Enterprise 2.0 technologies compared to the email, which are files attachments and instant notifications. But some of the main shortcomings, even if you set the policies and procedure, and assures every user of these technologies are aware of them are the implementation and engagement shortcomings, the change has to be gradually and here are two ways to do it:
- You can start from the most relevant department, the IT, as AL Essa CIO of MIT’s Sloan School of Management . They will like it because it’s about their careers and passions, and they would love to see it as an experiment, plus the bug fixes and features addition -which are expected to be a lot at the beggining- will be much agile there. The IT will be a marketable proof of concept.
- Or, if the management is really convinced by the idea, they can specify a non-email day or social day as the employees of NewsGator doing, such a day will let everyone try the technology specially the non-IT staff with minimising the risks
Finally, if many employees can see the data, means many chances that this data can go to the wrong path, as will as many chances that it finds non-expected useful path. It’s important to know that there can’t be information exposure without risks.