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Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Pt 4: Financial Impact, Future Changes, and Lessons Learned


Posted by on February 6, 2012

This is the fourth and final post in a series of posts on how the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (The Foundation), is implementing emergent collaboration strategies and technologies within its organization. You can read part 1 on Business Drivers, part 2 on Organizational and Culture shifts, and part 3 on Technology Adoption and Operational Impact.

The Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention, care, and treatment programs.

The Foundation, currently working in 17 countries, was founded in 1988 and experienced significant growth in the last five years, with its employee base increasing from 200 employees in 2006 to over 1,500 in 2011. This was due in part to increased funding from new global health initiatives, such as the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The full case study on The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation can be downloaded for free along with many other emergent collaboration case studies and resources.

The Foundation is a former client of Chess Media Group. We helped with vendor evaluation, use case development, and definition of business objectives. We spoke with Keith Fleming, IT Manager, and Sara Teitelman, Senior Technical Editor who shared their insights with us.

Financial Impact

Technology costs amounted to less than $50,000 in the first year and are expected to be roughly $40,000 in subsequent years. One full-time employee was hired to support roll-out of the peoject, but all other project requirements are being shared among existing staff.

Like many companies today, The Foundation is not measuring the success of their Enterprise 2.0 projects in dollars and cents but by improvements in overall company morale and anecdotal evidence from employees who are telling them that they are now able to do their jobs more efficiently, more effectively and more productively.

What Are Your Future Plans for Changes and/or Enhancements?

Single-sign-on functionality and full mobile functionality are in the works. More integration of video and legacy systems is also a priority. Enhanced training and education programs are being looked at with the possibility of integrating an existing e-learning solution. Finally, adding collaborative team spaces (both public and private) to allow more dynamic sharing and development of content and idea exchange among work groups and those who share common interests.

What Lessons Have You Learned?

  • Involve diverse team members and form a task force early on before building your strategy and selecting a technology solution. Include front line employees who understand how the organization works. Initially, keep goals simple and attainable.
  • Temper employee expectations, for example, do not promote this as something that can “solve all your business problems.”
  • Be realistic with expectations – organizational change takes more time that you think it will.
  • The design, branding, and naming of the platform should also be a part of this collaborative process early on. This will give employees a sense of ownership, and help them understand that the platform is an integral part of their work, not just a stand-alone tool.
  • Team dynamics are important. The core team needs to be able to work together effectively and harmoniously.

Do You Have Any Horror Stories To Share?

The core team had fears that something bad would happen on launch day, such as content disappearing or systems shutting down, but none of this occurred. There was some basic trouble shooting required around passwords and accessibility, but that was to be expected.

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  • Sara Mackey

    Excellent post Jacob.  I know the feeling of launching a start up just for one thing to go haywire, and in my case it was financing.  I tried an old fashioned bank, but they were not flexible.  Crowd funding was unreliable.  Angel investors were hard to find.   Money ALWAYS seems to come up short, especially in this economy.  “Closing the deal”  in terms of getting financing has been my weakness, but I’ve been reading other blogs like http://www.connexx.com/closing.html to get some pointers on how to make it happen.  Good post Jacob, I look forward to reading more from you!