Is your company looking to roll-out Office 365? Do you know what you are hoping to achieve by moving to the cloud? What is your company’s experience with planning and implementing these types of initiatives? What has to happen this time around in order to hit a home run?
Simply put, how will you know if it is a success?
We are living in a time of accelerated change and rapid innovation in the marketplace. Unbelievable advances in consumer technology (social, cloud and mobile) have impacted nearly every facet of our lives, and yet the way we organize, communicate, train and make decisions have not kept pace. Rise of the responsive organization and adoption of enterprise social in the workplace aim to improve the flow of information, breakdown legacy silos and build effective networks of employees, customers, and partners motivated by shared purpose. Your competitive advantage now depends on how quickly your organization can learn and respond to new insights. In part one of this post I explored some of the key reasons and approaches to motivate employees towards a new way to work, out loud. Business transformation is about people; technology is just an enabler. Emphasis must be placed on gaining awareness and understanding of how to align the toolset with the business and with the corporate culture. Which brings us to the topic of measuring the business value of Office 365 and the questions of why and what to measure.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
There is a long history of measuring and managing performance in organizations. Some experts claim that unless you measure something you don’t know if it is getting better or worse; or in other words “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. When it comes to enterprise social and realizing business value from your investment in Office 365, there are some things that just can’t be quantified. Fundamentally, the social journey is about cultural change within your organization. There is no magic wand or one-size-fits-all approach. It all depends on what works in your unique environment, and how you look to define success will likely evolve over time as your organization matures. Measurement is tricky but there are a lot of good reasons you should do it anyway. With the right data points at your disposal you can improve or change an action, make better decisions, understand the business challenge, and manage risk. The key is to place the proper emphasis on the right syllable, and to direct your efforts accordingly. Developing a measurement framework involves identifying the business result you are trying to achieve, defining the personas and the metrics, and creating an adoption plan to capture the interaction or behaviour. The following diagram illustrates imason’s five step process to tracking the successful adoption of Office 365. Generally speaking, you should take a balanced approach that includes both quantitative metrics to gauge performance, trends and behaviour, and qualitative data to capture context, anecdotes and sentiment. It’s best to cast a wide and shallow net when gathering qualitative evidence, and to plunge deep and narrow when taking quantitative samples. To measure the success of a new solution for corporate communications, for example, you might consider a broad data point to express employee engagement like fewer email questions to the corporate communications team, and a targeted action type such as increased number of views on the latest CEO blog, to determine reach. Office 365 generates an invaluable amount of qualitative data and conversations that can help us identify experts and influencers. Usage and interaction metrics are important indicators of the general health of your network and communities. However, when it comes to deciding what metrics benefit the entire organization, be sure to capture behaviours that are not only relevant to the desired business outcome but also relevant to your stakeholders. Almost as important as deciding what to measure is knowing what to measure when.
- Before: make a business case, create a baseline
- During: provide a target, make trade-offs, tune the approach
- After: develop benchmarks, capture lessons learned
There are many tools that can provide visibility into asset performance and user metrics including adoption rates, content activity, user activity, navigation, and search. We will explore a few of these (Office Graph, Webtrends, Badgeville, Tygraph and CardioLog) in a future blog post. Regardless of which toolset you choose, turning data-driven insights into actions takes practice, time, and patience. Measurement should be part of a long term program designed to improve engagement, change behaviours, and solve problems out-loud – not just a one-off launch project. Metrics alone cannot create the strategies needed to solve adoption. It can prove whether or not an effort resulted in its objective, but it can’t tell you how to improve the steps to get there, or if those steps apply universally across your user base. You need to figure out who is responsible for monitoring adoption metrics AND who is accountable for making changes based on that data. The move to Office 365 represents a tremendous company-wide opportunity to embrace the open and participatory nature of enterprise social and to put people first. Your employees want their contributions to matter to the organization, and they want to be heard. The overall success of any adoption plan will hinge on how well employees understand “what’s in it for me”. It not simply a matter of knowing the shifts in the market that are driving this change. You have to capture hearts and create an emotional connection to bring people to a new experience and way of working. Realizing measurable value from your investment in a new social collaboration platform is a challenge many of our customers are faced with today. Deployment is not enough – you must embrace the new currency of adoption in order to generate value for your organization. Building a measurement framework as part of your adoption plan will ensure your company gets the most value out of Office 365 by applying the power of data-driven insight to deliver just the right measurement at just the right time.