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Social Chatter: Turning everyday worker chatter into collaboration

Rethinking digital-collaboration technologies into daily processes.

Overview

 

Teams in one location working on a simple project—say, a sales proposal or marketing plan—may require little technology support.

But it gets complicated when the work is more complex and the teams are larger or more geographically dispersed.

This is where recent digital platforms, such as Chatter™, can come in handy. However, our experience demonstrates that merely deploying these technologies is usually insufficient to drive effective adoption or measurable impact.

That’s often because these technologies are “added-on,” as opposed to integrated.

To get real value, organizations must imbed social technologies into business processes, making work itself more social and transforming social platforms from places to talk about work to actually doing it.

Organizations should rethink how they use digital collaboration technologies to help teams create products like sales proposals, product specifications and marketing plans.

Analysis

Social workflow is a term Accenture coined to define lightweight, flexible processes that involve a lot of social interaction between the participants

 

Workers do not need to become more social, it is the work processes and applications that do.

By mastering the concepts of social workflow, and the techniques for weaving social technologies into every-day applications and processes, organizations can reduce the pain of endeavors that require coordinating teams around the creation of complex work products.

Recommendations

Master social workflow and weave social technologies into everyday processes to simply the creation of complex projects and encourage collaboration across locations.

 

Our Technology Labs team collaborated with Salesforce.com, Inc.'s Chatter to develop a Team Coordination toolkit. The toolkit’s four key components:

  1. The social network—Chatter groups are defined for each project to support discussion.

  1. Social workflow and structured updates—Teams can easily announce progress through pre-defined and customizable steps in the workflow.

  2. Integration of social workflow into Microsoft Office applications—Plug-in integrates collaboration directly into Microsoft PowerPoint. A sidebar connects your team to all relevant social feeds.

  3. Social integration into Microsoft SharePoint team site—Manage a team’s work in progress.