Social Software Adoption

I read a great post today on the blog written by Kathryn Everest on Social Software Adoption tips for the enterprise.  To sum it up, here are her five points:

1)  Make sure you are engaging the right people when getting started.

2)  Explain the story of social software from multiple perspectives as one size does NOT fit all.

3)  Focus more on “why” than on “how” in your training program.

3)  Make sure you have a way to measure success that is meaningful to business sponsors.

5)  Monitor and intervene when usage is not what you expected.

These are excellent points (especially #5 as noted by Luis Benitez as this will constantly change) but I would also like add a few of my own…that could be 6-10 on this list

6. Senior Leader buy-in/understanding/desire/appetite

If you are indeed going to roll this out, make sure you have an awareness of senior leadership.  I am not saying they need to be writing a daily blog, but there is an awareness not only of the software, but the change that is occurring.  Change does not happen overnight, and it usually does not have 100% participation.  Change takes time and patience.  If people want to change, they will help those change agents get there.  When there is a lack of understanding, change agents can be punished rather than rewarded.

7. Budget

Ready to rollout social software?  It ain’t cheap (in these times of cost cutting).  Make sure a budget is in place to get everything up and going.  Pilots are fine and dandy (and needed) but if your pilot takes off, make sue the money is in place to get it implemented.

8. Open it up/make it accessible to all

As mentioned above, pilots are fine and dandy, if you are going to do it, then do it.  Be ready to have it rolled out to everyone (or at least available).  One of the advantages of the social software is connecting with people who you did not know before.  If they cannot access your social software, they might not come back and you could lost that connection (and knowledge).  If someone finds a blog/forum/shared event/wiki etc, sign-up should be 2 or 3 clicks away.

9. Streamlined software

I agree with Kathryn that the software and how to use is not highly important…but it does have importance.  Most 2.0 software is not hard to learn…but some can cause time to be wasted.  For example, software should have integration with your current systems when possible (from you Office suite to your internal Operational systems).  The more places people need to go (for example, the wiki is a separate application then the blog than the forum than the virtual meeting room, etc) the more people are going to be confused where to go, have too many bookmarks and too many passwords.  A nice eco-system is preferable.

10.  Encouragement/PR/Marketing

I have seen good applications within enterprises be ‘disabled’ because not enough people understood the value/were using it to justify the cost.  Thus, get the word out, not only for people to discover it, but so value can be seen enterprise wide.  Keeping it a secret will help no-one.  It is also helpful when your boss (listen, some companies will remain top-down for a while) announces to everyone what a great job you did leveraging the wiki and sharing with your colleagues.  Everyone likes a pat on the back from time to time.

OK, that is my 5.  What do you have?

Update – Found a few more Adoption points from the Fast Forward Blog


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