This is the fifth and final post in a series on how a mid size medical association is implementing emergent collaboration strategies and technologies within its organization. Part 1 on Business Drivers, can be found here. Part 2 which covers some aspects of change management is here. Part three which looks at the roll out and technology is here. Part four which explores culture and financial impact is here. Today we are going to be looking at the financial and operational impact on the organization as well as culture challenges that had to be overcome. The contents of this case study are based on a series of conversations and interviews that took place in July and July 2011, and conducted with an IT professional who leads the Enterprise 2.0 project at a mid-size healthcare organization. This individual wishes to keep their employer and identity anonymous. All communication took place in June and July 2011. The full case study can be downloaded for free on the Chess Media Group Resources page. Several other case studies and resources can also be found there.
What are the future plans for the company?
For now, the future is really going to be focused on implementing various adoption strategies and trying to integrate the collaboration platforms around other business applications such as CRM, business intelligence, and other enterprise applications and systems that they use. They do not have a very long-term approach today because things change so quickly. Instead, they look out maybe around 3-4 months ahead.
What didn’t work?
The company felt that they did not do a good enough job of making sure that all of their champions were on board. Some showed interest and passion but never did anything with it. Even though people are social in the real world, it does not mean they are social in the online world and vice versa.
What were the lessons learned?
The company learned four things. The first is that organizations should never underestimate or overestimate employees’ fluency with any type of social media or collaboration solutions.
The second is that as soon as most executives and decision makers hear the word “social” they automatically assume Twitter and Facebook. There is a big difference between Twitter and Facebook, and other collaboration platforms. When you communicate this, it is important to not use the word “social” but instead, “enterprise collaboration.”
The third thing is, do not expect adoption to happen automatically even though the platform might be cool. A company might have very strong adoption for the first few months and then it can plummet.
Finally, it is very difficult to handle risk management if you are new to this type of a project. There will always be known and unknown risks. Known risks are issues such as adoption challenges or leaks of confidential information, which can be anticipated and planned for. You have to address these risks beforehand and identify what they are and how you will deal with them. The unknown risks will test the adaptability of the company. You cannot plan for these risks since they are unknown but you can anticipate that there will be issues beyond your control, and then roll with it.