Digital Workplace Trends 2014 now open

Open now

For the 8th consecutive year, NetJMC’s Digital Workplace Trends survey is open.

Participating to the 2014 edition will give you a chance to see where you stand compared to other similar organizations.

The themes covered this year are:

  • What makes up the digital workplace
  • Impact on the physical workplace
  • Social collaboration
  • Enterprise social networking
  • Video and e-learning
  • Information management and discovery
  • Mobile
  • Business impact of the digital workplace
  • Leadership involvement
  • Strategy, governance and decision-making
  • Change and challenges
  • Preparation for the future workplace

Why should you participate?

While downloading the final report is essential, participating is even better.

As a participant you will receive:

  • A free copy of the “Digital Workplace Trends 2014” report (worth US$ 530)
  • A customized Digital Workplace Scorecard allowing you to see where your organization is at compared to other similar organizations

On top of these benefits, you’ll be able to read and reflect on all the questions. Some of them will surely be revealing and give you hints right away to start improving your own digital workplace.

The survey closes on 28 October, sign up and participate now.

Please get in touch with Jane McConnell if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in digital workplace | Leave a comment

Recipe for a good YamJam

Yam Jam

If you type ‘YamJam’ in google, you will eventually see a jar of jam made of yam, a tuberous root vegetable, that is purple and is being used in a variety of desserts mostly in the Philippines.

You might wonder what all this has to do with the digital workplace? Well, if you look further down in your google search results, you’ll eventually also find a logo of Yammer, the enterprise social network recently bought by Microsoft.

YammerYamJam is the name used by many Yammer networks to define a focused online discussion, where a group of people get together at the same time to share ideas, questions and views usually on a single topic. YamJams can broadly be considered like online press conferences with everyone having a voice.

We’ve just conducted our first-ever YamJam and I wanted to share some findings for those who would like to conduct similar online events (in Yammer or any other enterprise social network).

Getting ready!

“To be prepared is half the victory.”
(Miguel De Cervantes)

  1. Start by choosing a topic and a speaker.
  2. Define your audience (public or private) and create a group dedicated to YamJams.
  3. Pick up a date and send a 60 minutes appointment to all participants.
  4. Choose a topic to tag all posts (usually a #tag).
  5. Create a page where participants can add questions before the YamJam.
  6. Announce the event well in advance using regular internal communication channels (emails, posters, intranet) as well as your enterprise social network. Clearly indicate when the YamJam will happen, what it will be about and provide some guidance:
    1. Say what to expect
    2. Provide a link to the page where participants can add questions
    3. Give tips to use your enterprise social network (login, refreshing the screen…)
    4. Remind participants that the YamJam will be accessible even after the event allowing them to come back at any point to continue the discussion
  7. Establish a YamJam team that will support the speaker during the event and will
    1. Prepare links to materials that might need to be shared during event
    2. Prepare short welcome and closing messages
    3. Test, test, test in a dedicated group
  8. Contact champions and stakeholders who might be involved in the conversations and ask them to be online during the YamJam.


“The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.”

  1. Start by getting the YamJam team together in a room:
    1. The speaker will answer questions and participate in the conversation
    2. The YamJam manager will manage the conversation, point the speaker to new questions or comments and ask the questions that have been posted by participants who are not be able to attend the live event
    3. The YamJam ‘DJ’ will monitor the conversation, ‘like’ messages, add the #tag to all posts and will also provide tips for participants
  2. 10 minutes before the YamJam starts, send a reminder email to say that YamJam is starting soon!
  3. On time, let the speaker kick of the event by welcoming everyone and setting the scene (this is when to share the short introduction message prepared in advance).
  4. If nobody asks a question, start the conversation by using one of the questions that participants added to the page in advance.
  5. Manage the questions as they come in
    1. Have one single question per thread to keep the conversation organized
    2. Look carefully at notifications to avoid missing any questions or comments
    3. Try to keep the pace of the conversation slow enough for participants to follow
    4. Ensure that stakeholders are @mentioned by the speaker
  6. When the end of the hour approaches, let participants know that the YamJam is about to end and allow one last question before thanking the speaker and everyone involved.

Keep the momentum…

  1. At the end of the YamJam, post a poll about the event (Did you enjoy it, would you like to see more…?)
  2. Compute a few key success factors and share statistics about the event (we did it using an infographics that showed the number of: people online during the YamJam; active contributors; questions asked; posts; and ‘likes’).
  3. Gather feedback in regular internal communication channels and already start planning for future YamJams.

I hope that following this recipe will lead you to illuminating YamJams with great conversations and creative thinking! 🙂

Yam Cake

PS: Our YamJam was made possible following great advises on how to get your Executives to participate on Yammer.

Posted in adoption, enterprise social network, yamjam | 4 Comments

Digital Workplace Trends 2013

Digital Workplace Trends 2013The Digital Workplace Trends 2013 report has just been released by Jane McConnell, marking a turn in what has become over the years an institution.

Using a completely new layout, this year’s edition has been designed as a direct communication tool to be used in meetings and conversations.

It contains 169 pages of insightful findings, facts and concrete examples that will surely make it an essential reference and practical tool for Digital Workplace practitioners.

The excitement could be felt in the Digital Workplace Twittersphere on its release date, almost ‘Harry Potter’ like.

Digital Workplace Trends 2013 Twitter reactions

Whether you have a senior position in your organization, are directly involved in the management of one of the dimensions of the Digital Workplace or have a genuine interest in the potentials that the combination of applications, tools and Intranets that people use to do their job can bring to your organization, this report is for you.

The Digital Workplace Trends report is very handy, it will save you a lot of time when you need

  • a quick snapshot of the current trends
  • critical success factors of the early adopters
  • inspirational and tangible examples of what was done successfully
  • facts and data to build a business case
  • a direction for your future investments and budget planning
  • ready made slides to discuss with your colleagues on specific topics
  • terms clearly defining the Digital Workplace and its various dimensions

The report can also serve as a starting point to reflect on issues surrounding the Digital Workplace including

  • the diversity of job functions needed for its management
  • the  leadership and organizational strategy required for an effective implementation
  • what leads or might lead you to a solution in the cloud
  • the (re)definition of you target audience

The report will tell you that Digital Workplace initiatives are officially part of many enterprise transformation programs and provide you with other key points, including:

  1. ‘Organizational intelligence’ and ‘efficiency and cost savings’ are the top 2 drivers for a Digital Workplace
  2. ‘Colleagues and peer behavior’ are more effective for facilitating change in social collaboration
  3. Few organizations have already integrated social collaboration into their enterprises processes and thereby fundamentally rethought how they work

The Executive Summary will surely convince you to quickly get your own copy of the ‘Harry Potter’ of the Digital Workplace Trends 2013.

Posted in business case, digital workplace, report | Leave a comment

2013, the year of new ways of working?

As we can wish a happy new year until the end of January, it’s probably still possible to attempt a prediction for the new year: I bet that new ways of working will make a breakthrough in 2013.

What Everett Rogers described as the “early majority” will start adopting new ways of collaborating, interacting, communicating and engaging with the consequence of shifting away from the ’email – share drive’ couple that has ruled the world for the past 20 years.

Innovative organizations have already been witnessing benefits from the adoption of new ways of working. These organizations are at least one step ahead of the others. They are already looking and talking about agile work or the end of the workplace as we know it.

Most organizations are however slower in their willingness and ability to change. Even those who have already put in place the platforms that support new ways of working haven’t yet experienced a high rate of user adoption.

But this situation might change as employees that were so far reluctant or hesitant (“the early majority”) are now used to new ways of interacting, sharing and communicating in their private life. Their increasing private use of smart phones and tablets is also impacting positively their maturity and readiness to adopt new ways of working.

Provided this turns true and employees adopt new ways of working, we will see in parallel an increasing pressure on IT departments to deliver optimal solutions.

The “I want what I get at home” symptom will indeed force them to deliver solutions that:

  • offer the same user experience that we can find on the web and apps,
  • are available on the employees’ own smart phone or tablets,
  • are social by nature,
  • are tied together trough a unified navigation and super search (google experience).

Employee hearing their IT department say “Sorry, this is not possible. Sorry, this can’t be changed. Sorry, we do not have the resources.” will not hesitate anymore to use “pirate” solutions in the cloud (the term “pirate” has been inspired by @claudesuper).

We are at a frontier where the old model is being directly challenged in its existence and the new model is still a sort of “Wild Wild West”.

From a coordinated and unified Digital Workplace point of view, this move to new ways of working will not necessarily be done in the most efficient way and we might very well live in a sort of “Intranet +” situation for some time.

Oh, by the way, happy new year! 🙂

Posted in adoption, collaboration, digital workplace, intranet, user experience, ways of working | 3 Comments

How to sell the Digital Workplace to senior management?

If the Digital Workplace concept is gradually becoming an accepted term, it’s still hard to sell the concept to senior management.

What is the financial value of investing in the digital workplace?‘, the new report issued by the Digital Workplace Forum , brings a new perspective on this issue, and provides new arguments to help you defend your business case for a Digital Workplace.

Through a lot of concrete examples and data, the report lists 6 non technical areas where evidence shows that the Digital Workplace can achieve results and is worth investing in:

1. Reduction of costs associated with office space thanks to the ability to work anywhere and on any device.

2. Improvements in the way people work while away from the office thanks to flexible work arrangements and not being disturbed by colleagues.

3. Increased staff engagement thanks to the availability of alternative ways of working that impact positively staff turnover. Happier employers are less likely to leave.

4. Business continuity guaranteed in case of a disaster.

5. Reduction in the environmental impact by reducing travel and commuting.

6. Reduction in absenteeism.

The report rightly argues that investments in a well implemented and integrated Digital Workplace is a prerequisite for starting to see these results.

Have you witnessed any of these results? or used these arguments to sell the Digital Workplace to your senior management?

Posted in business case, digital workplace, intranet | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Building a perfect Intranet using lego blocks

Which Intranet manager has not been dreaming at least once to build a perfect Intranet in 20 seconds? you’ll see at the end of this post that my son was able to! 😉

Did I say building a perfect Intranet using lego blocks?

It all started from our willingness to engage our audience in helping us build our new Intranet. We wanted the end result to be something concrete, not just words. We decided to use legos of different colours to represent the building blocks of an Intranet and asked our audience to build their perfect Intranet.

Our Intranet building blocks:

  • Content
  • Collaboration
  • Social
  • Activity (or ‘task based tools’)
  • News and Events

The results were surprising. Whereas we might have thought that ‘social’ and ‘activity’ were what people would want to see on the new Intranet, the results showed that our audience wanted mostly ‘content’ (38.3%), then ‘social’ (19.7%), ‘collaboration’ (17.2%), ‘news & events’ (16%) and finally ‘activity’ (8.8%).

Some examples of the resulting Intranets built using legos:

I conducted a similar exercise with Intranet Managers from one of the JBoye groups. The results were different and their focus went into ensuring that their Intranet doesn’t fall apart and is well integrated.

Far from being a scientific exercise, the outcomes showed nevertheless that:

  • ‘content’ always seems to be the base on which other parts are added
  • ‘news’ is still the entry door
  • ‘activity’ is an ‘enabler’
  • ‘collaboration’ is intertwined with ‘social’
  • and the ‘social’ dimension is often considered to be the ‘glue’ that holds it all together

It’s a fun exercise that will help you

  • engage with you audience (sometimes in very funny and constructive way)
  • get direct feedback
  • better explain what constitutes an Intranet
  • raise awareness about your future plans

I recently read this quote from a Toronto Customer of Intranet Connections (101 Intranet Ideas):

“The Intranet is not something that’s made out of stone, it’s made out of lego”

The building exercise we’ve conducted seems to confirm this!

Here is your challenge for this summer: can you build a perfect Intranet in 20 seconds? 🙂

See how my son was able to:

PS: Update July 2013: @reklov drew my attention to LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, a concept that confirms the possibility to use Lego for business purposes.

Posted in digital workplace, intranet | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Will enterprise social network replace Intranets?

It’s interesting to see that some organizations are starting to use Enterprise Social Networks  (#ESN) as a replacement for their Intranets.

  • The social network becomes the entry door (or ‘Intranet’ homepage)
  • Content is no longer static but interactive and dynamic
  • The Intranet can suddenly be accessed from any devices, anytime, anywhere
  • Users start to adopt the Intranet and do not miss their traditional Intranet in a matter of days

These moves are often justified by the ease of use provided by most Enterprise Social Network solutions, their quick implementation and relatively low costs. To be successful, they require an increase in the resources dedicated to community management. We knew that Enterprise Social Networks were starting to replace emails. The debate is now opened: is the future of collaboration and communication Not the Intranet (by @bmosherzinck)? The answer is probably yes. But that doesn’t imply that the future will only be Enterprise Social Networks. Enterprise Social Networks are just one of the dimensions of what many have been describing as the Digital Workplace. They are the social layer that should go on top of every tools and be, in a sense, the glue that holds it all together. Some vendors are starting to realize the potential of replacing Intranets and are starting to offer Intranet like features. Most however still lack a few essential features of advanced Intranets such as:

  • The ability to integrate with enterprise systems beyond providing links
  • The ability to manage structured content
  • The ability to create and manage authoritative content
  • The ability to manage processes

It’s great to see how Enterprise Social Networks how have brought fresh ‘blood’ into traditional Intranets. It is equally exciting to see how some are increasingly improving their features to the point of willing to replace Intranets (and they are quicker to develop new features than most Intranet team is able to). Overall, I think however that we will continue to see Enterprise Social Networks coexist alongside traditional Intranets for sometime to go until they can be fully integrated into the Digital Workplace.

What are your views?

Posted in digital workplace, enterprise social network, intranet | Tagged , | 3 Comments