In December 2010, McKinsey released a study which found that social businesses outperform competitors in both operating margins and market share. CXOs everywhere are pressed to rapidly define and implement a social strategy to advance their market position and meet the needs of employees who are seeking a better way to get work done. If you haven’t already, now is the time to add a social layer to your organization.
Once a high level social strategy has been outlined and a vendor has been selected (Yammer of course! Hint, hint…) – then what? Is bringing social software into your business as easy as flipping a switch? The answer is no.
Like any technology deployment, maximizing the value of your enterprise social network requires thoughtful planning, diligent execution and, most importantly, a balanced and well structured rollout team.
“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.”
– George William Curtis
In the same way a sailing crew is critical to a successful voyage, a rollout team is critical to the success of your enterprise social network. You have selected a tool (the ship), clarified the measures for success (your destination), now its time to engage your team (your crew).
There are four elements that make up an effective rollout team: Leadership, Network Facilitation, Change Management and Technical Support.
While social software may grow virally, without the sponsorship of key leaders, your business will never fully embrace the technology. The rollout project itself must also have a clearly identified Project Manager to successfully coordinate efforts and steer the project towards success. These are the Captains of your ship.
Enterprise social networks need to be moderated and facilitated in order to maximize their value potential. Community Managers help make sure the network is active and engaging, Power Users help coach new users and guide them through the application, and Use Case Leaders lead the implementation of pre-identified value drivers (i.e. HR On-boarding, Sales Force Effectiveness, Crisis Communications). These are the Deckhands ensuring the crew is operating effectively.
The introduction of technology into an organization is always challenging. While social software may be much more intuitive than other applications, it is still very important to make sure people are on board and aware of what is changing. Communication, Training, and Human Resources Managers should be involved to help manage the technical, organizational, and cultural change that will be fueling your organization forward. These are the Sailors keeping the ship on course.
The most successful rollouts occur when the user experience is as frictionless as possible. Integrating Yammer with existing systems such as SharePoint and Active Directory is essential to building a valuable network so Technical SMEs to integrate these systems is critical. These are your Boat Engineers.
To be successful in implementing your social strategy, you must first identify the team that will steer your ship towards improved operating margins, increased market share, and a more engaged workforce.
Photo source: Xavier Donat
For more information, access the Rollout Team Overview deck attached to this post.