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Archive for the ‘Enterprise 2.0’ Category

Here’s a post worth reading on wikis over at the Socialtext blog. Just like we’ve evolved proper email etiquette over time, so will proper wiki etiquette need to evolve as well. This will be dictated by the culture of the company and will involve a feeling out process before standard practices and habits become the norm.

Many are familiar with the Wikipedia etiquette where everyone contributes to a single document on a particular topic. In the work place, employees will be able to contribute but the way in which the editing is done will vary from a Wikipedia style to more of ownership mode where one person owns the wiki and others make suggestions on updates to that wiki by posting drafts that don’t alter the main page.

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I like this excerpt from Shiv Singh’s The Workplace Blog regarding Information Week’s recent Enterprise 2.0 article.

Companies say collaboration and information sharing is important and as we saw in the 1980s and 1990s have been willing to invest a lot of money in it. But the article does not discuss why specifically it is important and why employees will be motivated to collaborate. In my experience, the unfortunate reality in most organizations is that employees don’t believe the benefit that much when they go out of their way to collaborate and communicate. Organizations need to make the case for collaboration more strongly before implementing any technology.

This is an excellent point. Today, business collaboration is done in one hour blocks in a meeting room with 1 person typing on a laptop or by passing a document between a couple of people through. Both could be considered collaboration but both are limited by time and tools.

Unfortunately, this is the business model supported by most companies and used by most employees. This is where Enterprise 2.0 comes in. To have real collaboration and information sharing, every employee should have the tools to view a working document and edit it from any where in the world while also seeing other employee edits in real-time. No longer would different versions of documents be floating around in people’s email boxes. A small team or company with thousands of employees could all see one document, talk about it, and it edit it all at the same time. No more emailing a document to the team and having each person on the team make their changes and pass it back to the team leader who then has to figure which edits to keep and which to get rid of. With Enterprise 2.0 real collaboration starts with everyone working together in a single space that isn’t governed by time and place. However this shift in thinking and process requires

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I apologize for the light blogging lately. I’ve been sick for the past few days. My daughter loves to bring the latest colds home from day care and pass them along to me.

Anyway, I’m getting caught up on all the action going on the past few days and came across this InformationWeek article on Enterprise 2.0.

What I find fascinating is how these technologies will get rolled out. At my company, if blogs and wikis are available for us to use, then its not public knowledge. It’s the responsibility of the IT department to make the tools available, however, I’m sure these tools would be easier to find if people were asking about them.

There is a 2 pronged challenge here…finding room in the budget for Enterprise 2.0 tools that aren’t in currently in high demand by employees and teaching employees that these new tools are available and how they can benefit them.

This brings us back to the chicken and the egg problem. When I talk to my colleagues about using a shared spreadsheet or wiki they’re confused. They have never needed these tools in the past and aren’t sure what’s wrong with the current way of doing things. Many people get set in their ways and it’s only through teaching and training that they begin to understand the benefits of changing an old process.

In order to have a successful roll out of Enterprise 2.0 tools, a company needs to have a plan for how to use such tools. Just making them available won’t be enough to ensure success.

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Excellent blog posting for those interested in learning more about implementing an Enterprise 2.0 environment into their business. I originally wrote my view point on this but accidentally closed my Firefox tab. Until I get over wasting the last 20 minutes, I’m only going to provide the link to Andrew McAfee’s post.

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