Intranet Showcase #KMWorld

James Robertson is Managing Director of Step Two Designs and author of Award Winning Mobile Intranets. The purpose of the Intranet Innovation Awards is to share the best new ideas (so the rest of us can steal them!). The 2012 winners presenting in today’s session are Paige Rhodes, Quality Manager, Weston Solutions; Craig Stoll, IT Senior Project Manager, Weston Solutions; and Dan Lewis, Principal Consultant, Mobility, The Judge Group.

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2012 Conference. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • The New South Wales Department of Education. The innovation in their portal is a beautifully designed “Essentials” bar that the user can personalize by adding other essentials that you like. Further a user can recommend a specific essential to other people in their network. When they do, that essential pops up on the essentials bar of the people in their network. While usually only 5-10% of users personalize their portals, in the NSW Department of Education portal, a huge number of users have personalized their essentials bar.
  • Enter LLC. Enter LLC is a retail company in Russia. They are focused on growing rapidly by helping people have fun. They have done this through gamification. Users can earn points. There are many ways of winning points: you can earn a small number of points by taking action within their Jive environment (e.g., posting, commenting), by recommending somone else for doing something that merits points. You can earn a large number of points by taking action in the physical world, particularly if you do something in a retail store. You can also earn extra points if recognized by a senior manager. The top point earners win significant prizes (e.g., international holidays).
  • Scott Corp. Scott Corp is an Australian company that moves really dangerous substances (e.g., explosives). They have huge reporting obligations to the government. In fact, they used to spend one full week each month gathering and auditing these paper reports. Their new process is that the truck driver completes the same paper report they have always filled out. However, next they photocopy their reports using a multifunction device and use soft buttons on the copier to indicate the severity level. That report is then automatically added to a database in SharePoint, which then triggers some automated work flow appropriate to the severity level. Now, the auditors have reduced the time spent from one week to zero.
  • Judge Consulting Group’s mLink. Judge is a privately owned professional services firm specializing in technology services. Rather than using a traditional CRM, they use a candidate tracking tool (they call EDGE) to keep track of their staff. For each potential staff member, they keep contact details, as many as three resumes, and tools that allow Judge personnel to document interactions with potential hires. Participation is recognized by posting photos of the top users on a leader board. Another functionality they provide is real time information on staff time and attendance. You can also see paystubs. (Pay fluctuates since it is a commission-driven business.) They also included mobile calculators to help personnel determine margins. They deliver this and more functionality via the mobile web and through their own app store.
  • Weston Solutions. Weston Solutions is an integrator providing services in environmental solutions, specialty construction and green development. It is an employee-owned organization with a staff of 1,800 in more than 60 offices worldwide. They have a diverse workforce and client base. They had a collaborative culture, but needed an intranet capable of supporting collaboration. Their intranet is currently ranked #1 in the Worldwide Intranet Challenge. This is an indication of user support of the intranet. LessonTrack is the functionality they are discussing today. It is designed to collect and share lessons learned. The landing page allows users to subscribe to a lessons relating to a specific area of interest. Each lesson has links to the author (included a link via Lync so you can contact them directly), and the ability to add comments to the lesson. The data entry form has only three mandatory fields: The title of the lesson, the lesson itself (three sentences will suffice), and some way to connect the lesson to a project number or opportunity number. The system can then connect that lesson to other metadata automatically. Other fields are key words and a list of contributors. They have built this in SharePoint. Using that common platform, they can tie a lesson to a specific project tracker (which tracks the operational status and financial health of a project). Employees are expected to enter their lessons learned immediately after they learn the lesson. The key to this is that the data entry form can be invoked no matter where you are. In each system there is a button that the user can click to generate a data entry form at the moment they realize they have a lesson to share. Finally, they gathered up all the existing lessons learned and pre-populated the LessonTracker so that users could get value from the minute the tool was launched.

 

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From Intranets to the Digital Workplace #KMWorld

James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two Designs, and author of Award Winning Mobile Intranets.

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2012 Conference. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • How do you “bake” social into the work environment?. ((1) The answer, according to IDEO, is to put people at the center of everything NOT documents. (2) Another method is to switch from an Intranet 1.0 focused on publishing to an Intranet 2.0 focused on collaboration. To do this, you need to understand the purpose for the new approach. Then, deliver the new way of getting things done rather than a particular technology. (3) Deliver information at the point of need no where the user is. Therefore, you need to have flawless, seamless mobile access. (4) Even if you need to use multiple systems to get your work done, consider if all of them can be consolidated behind a single user interface.
  • The Company Policy Problem. Usually organizational policies are distributed by email or are posted to the intranet. The problem is that most people ignore this and never read the policy. A small number may remember that a new policy was circulated and will go back to look for it when they need it. However, most simply don’t. The better approach is to track policy changes and then, when a person takes some action that relates to that policy, the system will alert that person that there has been a policy change that affects that person and the action that person is proposing to take.
  • Start with the User Experience. Tony Byrne (from The Real Story Group) describes this as designing from the glass back. If you start with the experience you want to deliver, you can communicate that experience via story and pictures to everyone who needs to understand and support the project.
  • Tell Your Own Stories. As you are designing, create stories that explain specifically how things will work when the new social system is in place. This is how you help others see the big picture, the grand vision.
  • Simplify. Our job is to connect the dots and blur the lines.
  • Four Critical Questions: (1) Can we make it simpler? (Can we remove something or skip somthing?) (2) Does it make smart use of technology? (3) Does it meet the needs of staff? (You can’t help people you haven’t met.) (4) Is it beautifully designed?

 

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