Tag Archives: Social business

Use Surveys to Find Collaboration Hot Spots within your Organization…


You have started the effort to introduce Social Business tenets within your organization.  Maybe you spoke to different business groups, you captured some key data on business processes, and have identified key stakeholders who could be part of your Social Business Program.

Hopefully you have executive support at the “CxO” level to have political support to continue the Social journey.   You will also need to speak to IT to understand the legacy technologies and new strategies coming in their roadmap.  Hopefully, your IT organization publishes its roadmap, but if they do not, you will need to work with executive relationships in order to understand and discover key projects that may impact your efforts.

Lots of HOPE…but….what if you don’t have executive support, or you have no quantitative data to show the organizational “pain” of being stuck in the web 1.0 world?  How can you discover the hard data that will allow you to tell the “Social” story? 

Simple, perform a survey….geared to the whole organization in order to understand how much time and effort they are wasting performing simple day-to-day tasks around collaboration.  In order to build that Social story, you need to create a day-in-the-life scenario from multiple levels in the organization.   This is a key point, it will be difficult enough to tell a story to a wide range of persons without having a connection to the various levels within the organization.  Upper management has a different experience sharing and obtaining information than lets say standard employees and lower management.  Conversely, there is more perceived risk in being a Social Business for senior execs than lower management and standard employees.

So below is examples of survey questions I have used to have created a complete story of the Collaborative pain points within the organization, building the narrative for transforming the company into more of a Social Business culture. 

I will show sample questions for several processes and technologies.  For many of the questions we want to capture the maximum and minimum times so we can average out the time allotted for each action.  This provides a better statistical distribution for more realistic results, which leads to realistic analysis of the efforts for employees and management.

Average time spent per day to complete the following tasks.

1. LOOKING FOR EXPERT or NEW INFORMATION (Looking for who is best qualified to answer a particular question or help out with an issue)  

This is a very typical problem with many organizations.  Most people do not leverage the corporate directory, and have poor enterprise search capabilities

2. SHARING OR SENDING INFORMATION MORE THAN ONCE(Duplicate requests for your information that you provide to others) –

This is probably one of the biggest pain point I have seen in any company.  Many companies have document or content publishing, but they can be spread across several systems that are not interconnected.  Many informational data types are documents which can take up large amounts of mailbox quotas or hard drives. 

3. SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION FOR MY OWN PROJECTS, ACTIVITIES or INITATIVES to get my job done (excluding meetings)

So this is another pain point that frustrates business processes owners and process consumers.  This will show just how poor the Search optimization efforts are, the lack of Content Management System & Processes, or how Siloed your company is when you cannot find the “RIGHT” or relevant information.  This is where a Social Business provides the ecosystem forming a “PULL” culture.  Employees can “PULL” information they need, to whatever device they choose, whenever they need it.

Working Across LOBs and Functions

1. Number of PROJECTS/PROGRAMS MANAGED PER WEEK (An activity is here defined as a set of tasks to reach an objective which requires the collaboration of several employees; (it can be a project, a sales or administrative process)

This question can be used to see how user’s work in their daily life.  Do they work within their own BU/Function, or do they regularly have the need to collaborate across the organization?

2. Percentage of the people you work with are inside your business Unit

3. Estimated days spent per month on BUSINESS TRIPS

While face-to-face is the preferred method of meeting for many people, having a robust collaborative infrastructure can alleviate the need for short 1-2 day or overnight  trips which for large number of employees become expensive.

Daily tools used to collaborate: How much time spent in each tool per day?

1. Phone (mobile or office phone)

2. Email

3. File Sharing (in Workspaces)

4.Intranet

5. Web Conferencing

6. In-Person Meetings

Collaboration requirements – What value do you see with the following capabilities?

High – Medium – Low – No Value – Capability unknown to me

1. A SINGLE Platform for Employees to share Knowledge, Blogs, Threaded Discussions, Forums, and Community-Based groups (i.e. Community of Practices, Community of Interest, Community of Experts) for information sharing and topics of interest?

2. Video conferencing?

3. Video Conferencing Room?

4. Desktop-to-Desktop Video conferencing?

5. To deliver collaboration capabilities to Mobile Devices?  Blackberry iPHONE, Android & Other Smartphones (Leading towards a BYOD opportunity)

6. Have a single Voice-mail for your desk and mobile phones? (unified messaging)

7. Instant messaging\Chatting\Presence Awareness embedded in: Intranet, Extranet, Various Web-Based Applications?

8. The need to collaborate with External customers and partners in a Centralized platform?

What do you think? (open questions)

1. From a collaboration point of view, what are the two most critical processes to be improved?

2. What are the two main barriers for collaboration in the organization?

Final Points

So this survey will provide some key metrics in understanding the state of collaboration within the organization.  What you should be looking for is the time spent collaborating within the organization, in how efficient and open collaboration is.  The results of this survey can be used to create a strong narrative in determining where to frame , how incorporating a Social Business culture in the organization.

The value however is in how to interpret the data collected from the survey.  Building the story of collaborative and business process challenges is one of the best ways to get executives and business stakeholders to recognize how moving the organization towards making the business more “Social”…..

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