Every new disruptive medium or technology goes through a life cycle. Open / social business tools such as Yammer or Jive will be no different. The five phases of this disruptive technology life cycle are:
- Phase 1: Eager early adopters. Users eagerly experimented in the newness of the medium. Early adopters attempt to apply the medium to everything.
- Phase 2: Ubiquitous usage. Rapid adoption put the medium in the hands of the masses. Adoption exceeds expectation.
- Phase 3: Relevant rationalization. Enterprises apply the medium to the right business use cases and processes.
- Phase 4: Fatal fatigue. Inundated with communications, bombarded with irrelevant content, and tired of the newness of the medium, employees begin tuning out.
- Phase 5: Revival and Rejuvenation. Maturation of the medium ushers an improved era of engagement
Where many of the Yammer type tools stall within organisations is the belief they can avoid some of the fundamentals processes within a business. ‘Just deploy it and let it grow’ or viral / organic adoption (or adaption) to work processes only go so far. Engagement plans are good but you need some basis steps such as:
1 – Review the organisations business strategy
2 – Look how the tool can assist the business strategy and create your own ‘collaboration / KM’ (or whatever you wish to call it) strategy and get it validated by the appropriate body
3 – Develop your content strategy (what goes where) which is clear and understood by the business
4 – Clearly articulate your roadmap for adoption (plan this – don’t just let it ‘happen’ although organic growth will be part of it
5 – Get use cases that support the overall business strategy and work with those groups on how to get best use of the tool
6 – Build the case studies and use them as collateral as you move into areas of the business, in a controlled phased approach to adoption / adaption throughout the business, building champion and advocates as you develop.
7- Develop your KPI / metrics dashboard that ties in with key sponsors / stakeholder initiatives