UK: After Deployment: Maintaining Momentum With Your Collaboration Tool

Last Updated: 26 April 2013
Article by Deloitte LLP

Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017

The implementation has gone to plan on time and in budget (naturally), your users are up and running reporting back that training was none other than very good or excellent, projector glitches and room availability aside. So despite the initial promising signs why is user adoption dropping? How do you maintain momentum?

Collaboration tools won't survive without due care and attention, and timely consideration of the below could make the difference:

Focussed attention on senior stakeholders: typically, a senior member of staff's participation on a collaboration tool has a wide impact, generating discussion, 'likes' and idea sharing. It's a quick way for people to publically praise others - imagine being a junior copyright and a senior editor 'likes' one of your ideas? The negative impact of limited participationmakes junior members of staff question 'maybe this isn't the tool for me'? More practically, if messages shared on collaboration tools are not seen by all intended, then it may be a struggle to have a successful system. So what can you do about it? Ensure that the tool is made relevant to all, provide senior members with examples of success stories, write comments for them to get them up and running and work with them on a regular schedule of updates to be shared to the business using the collaboration tool.

Provide BAU training: provide users with the opportunity to be re-trained - a collaboration tool can be a real step-change in ways of working and can take a while to become real. Second wave training allows people to ask the questions they would have missed the first time round. Additionally, (and perhaps more obviously!) collaboration tool training must be part of the on-boarding of each new joiner.

Who owns this: the collaboration tool should not be left without an formal owner. Once the implementers have left, the collaboration tool should not fall into disrepair. A governance body should be assembled in order to allow the tool to continue to develop, to definewhat the purpose is and future looks like. It will fail without active monitoring and nurture. A top community managercan help connect conversations, prune groups that aren't needed any more and help make sure communications stay on track. They can also help keep the divide between social and work related groups, so the cycling club's posts don't get mixed up with the sales team's!

Channel exclusivity: give your users access to unique and exclusive comms and content. Rather than sending out newsletters via email, why not on your collaboration system? This will help pull those who are after the latest news into the system, and hopefully get them commenting and contributing on what's being sent out. Channel exclusivity can go wider still, and there is real value in reviewing current business processes to see where activities can be driven through the platform to help sustain usage. On a less formal basis, the system can also be a great place to run competitions and shout about success across the organisation, boosting awareness and morale.

Give people a reason to come back: critical to the success of your collaboration system will be giving users a reason to keep coming back. For many, their reason is access to great content and valuable, successful collaboration. It's crucial to encourage your high performers to post content and ideas in the system to keep others coming back, and your community manager can help join up conversations to help users get real value. Don't be afraid to archive older and less useful content – your PowerPoint aficionados might not appreciate wading through years of old slides to find the document they are after!

In considering the above, it will give people a reason to keep coming back and fewer excuses not to. It will also help the tool reach a critical tipping point where users are compelled to embrace change and engage as it becomes an integral tool in the business and in their ways of working.

Hannah Goodey
Hannah is a consultant in the Deloitte Customer Marketing and Insight practise, focussing primarily on CRM and collaboration tool implementation projects across private sector clients. Key areas of interest include internal collaboration, customer service, Social CRM and digital marketing.  Read Hannah's previous blog Collaboration: begin with a pilot, take it for a test drive

David Ross
David is a Consultant in the Customer practise specialising in the use of technology to improve sales force effectiveness. He has experience across the private and third sector, and passionately believes that social has the capability to transform businesses for the better. Read David's previous blogs Deploying a collaboration tool into your business: touch, paus, engage and Monetising the big data deluge.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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