Social Software and Business Performance (Part 2)

In the first part of this post, we described the importance of user-recognized value (i.e. – the system helps users get the job done) as key to true adoption of social business software.

As we continue to examine the Deloitte Report discussed previously, the point is made that in this new world of near-constant disruption exceptions will no longer be exceptional, but rather will be the norm.

Social Business software is particularly adept at assisting with the management of exceptions.  Deloitte notes this example:

“Sales Associates at Avaya use … microblogs to tap into what their peers are saying. Using the tool, they can glean competitive intelligence, stay attuned to marketplace trends, and access materials to use with clients. When a Sales Associate encounters an exception, he or she searches conversations on Socialcast to see if anyone else has dealt with a similar situation. This easy access to institutional memory saves time. If a Sales Associate does not find a discussion about a similar exception, he or she can post a question to the group, eliminating the time-consuming process of identifying the right person or e-mailing a massive list-serve and receiving redundant responses.”

As the report illustrates with this example, social business software assists in the identification of knowledge – be it digital or human – to resolve business exceptions.  Other ways that social business software can help address exceptions are also illustrated in the Deloitte example.

First, social business software helps identify expertise, either via directly querying the social network or by identifying the creators of valuable content.

Second, social business software breaks down traditional barriers  within companies and across value chains.  Because communication and conversation more seamlessly and extensively crosses organizational boundaries with the aid of social business software, both the communication and awareness of exceptions are more widely disseminated – in sharp contrast to traditional, team-oriented, direct communication paradigms.

Third, social business software preserves institutional memory.  While software systems have preserved information regarding exceptions (call center software, anyone?) for generations, what’s important about social business platforms is that they integrate numerous exception generating contexts onto a single social awareness platform.  While previous generations of systems might preserve the memory, the archives remain very limited with respect to context and awareness of the memory.

Finally, because the various institutional memory contexts are now integrated into the social platforms, data is now available that allows organizations to analyze and discover issues and opportunities that were previously hidden.

Exceptions are more likely to be encountered in the arena of projects and project management than in any other place within an organization.  Because of this, social project management is an obvious area where strong context-specific social business applications can be developed and integrated into a broad social business platform.

Check back next week for our next post:  Social Project Management – the multiplier of social business performance.

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One response to “Social Software and Business Performance (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: The Problem of Engagement in Social Business | The Project Wall

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