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  • 1. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0 Improving Productivity by Facilitating Knowledge Transfer June 2008
  • 2. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 2 Executive SummaryThe need to respond quickly to market changes and the proliferation of a Research Benchmarkgeographically dispersed workforce are driving organizations to prioritize Aberdeen’s Researchworkforce collaboration. Workforce collaboration continues to center Benchmarks provide an in-primarily around project-based work. However, the onset of Web 2.0 depth and comprehensive looksoftware tools - together with the continuing need to improve workforce into process, procedure,productivity, and the growing criticality to capture institutional knowledge methodologies, andbefore it leaves the organization - is forcing organizations to heighten the technologies with best practicepriority placed on workforce collaboration and broaden its application identification and actionableacross the organization. recommendationsThis report, a compilation of surveys and interviews with more than 270organizations worldwide, serves as a roadmap for organizations that seek tomaximize workforce collaboration and understand how Web 2.0 softwaretools can enhance collaboration efforts.Best-in-Class PerformanceAberdeen used four key performance criteria to distinguish Best-in-Classorganizations with respect to their workforce collaboration efforts. Best-in- "Workforce collaborationClass organizations: allows our workforce and related parties to discuss, share • Reduced project time-to-completion on average by 34% documentation, tasks and join • Shortened time-to-resolution on average by 22% forces across locations, departments, companies and • Improved new employee time-to-productivity on average by 19% hierarchy." • Decreased training cost per employee on average by 14% ~ CEO, Small European-based Software ProviderCompetitive Maturity AssessmentSurvey results show that the firms enjoying Best-in-Class performanceshared several common characteristics: • 81% obtain support and buy-in from the organization’s senior leadership when seeking formal collaboration initiatives • 78% implement training on the use of workforce collaboration software tools for all applicable workers • 69% allow workers to submit new content into a shared knowledge baseRequired ActionsIn addition to the specific recommendations in Chapter Three of thisreport, to achieve Best-in-Class performance, organizations must: • Focus resources to capture and transfer organizational know-how • Seek collaboration between IT, HR and line of business managers to ensure the appropriate technologies can be supported • Educate key stakeholders on the anticipated value of workforce collaboration and communicate the value delivered© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 3. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 3Table of ContentsExecutive Summary....................................................................................................... 2 Best-in-Class Performance..................................................................................... 2 Competitive Maturity Assessment....................................................................... 2 Required Actions...................................................................................................... 2Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class ..................................................... 4 Business Context ..................................................................................................... 4 The Maturity Class Framework............................................................................ 6 The Best-in-Class PACE Model ............................................................................ 6 Best-in-Class Strategies........................................................................................... 7Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success ..................................11 Competitive Assessment......................................................................................12 Capabilities and Enablers......................................................................................13Chapter Three: Required Actions .........................................................................18 Laggard Steps to Success......................................................................................18 Industry Average Steps to Success ....................................................................19 Best-in-Class Steps to Success ............................................................................19Appendix A: Web 2.0 Terminology and Definitions .........................................21Appendix B: Research Methodology .....................................................................23Appendix C: Related Aberdeen Research ...........................................................25FiguresFigure 1: Top Pressures Driving Workforce Collaboration............................... 4Figure 2: Top Challenges Organizations Seek to Overcome withCollaboration ................................................................................................................. 5Figure 3: Top Strategies Pursued by Best-in-Class Organizations..................... 7Figure 4: Top Internal Organizational Uses of Web 2.0 Tools.......................... 9Figure 5: Integration of Web 2.0 Software Tools Across the TalentManagement Value Chain............................................................................................ 9Figure 6: Satisfaction with Collaboration Efforts .................................................15Figure 7: Best-in-Class Planned Adoption of Workforce Collaboration andWeb 2.0 Software Tools ...........................................................................................16Figure 8: Top Adoption Hurdles Cited by Best-in-Class...................................17TablesTable 1: Top Performers Earn Best-in-Class Status.............................................. 6Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework ....................................................... 7Table 3: The Competitive Framework...................................................................12Table 4: The PACE Framework Key ......................................................................24Table 5: The Competitive Framework Key ..........................................................24Table 6: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework.........................................................................................................................................24© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 4. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 4 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-ClassBusiness Context Fast FactsCharles Darwin once said, “In the long history of humankind (and animalkind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively √ 44% of organizations arehave prevailed.” This mantra still applies to organizations in the 21st century. forced pursue workforce collaboration as a result ofOver the past twelve months, Aberdeen research from several benchmark the geographic dispersion ofstudies pertaining to recruiting, onboarding, learning and development, and the workforcesuccession planning have showed strong planned growth in the use ofworkforce collaboration and social networking tools, ranging from 82% to √ 59% of organizations cite increasing workforce213%. This particular benchmark report, which represents a compilation of productivity as a challengeonline survey and interviews with more than 270 organizations worldwide, which collaboration toolsfocuses specifically on the pursuit, application and accomplishments of are aimed to addressworkforce collaboration initiatives, including the use of Web 2.0 softwaretools in these efforts.Adaptability and Globalization Top Industry PressuresOrganizations are living entities that are nurtured by the chemistry among "Collaboration is having theall their employees and the output produced by this chemistry. They feed ability for a global employeeoff the human capital which they have worked arduously to recruit, develop, population to work togetherand retain. virtually both synchronously and asynchronously toToday, these organizations are competing in a global market where agility complete work, design, orand innovation are critical, and the ability to reach a geographically innovate to meet businessdispersed workforce is increasingly more common and crucial. In fact, these objectives.”represent the top pressures cited by all organizations to focus resources on ~ General Manager - Training,workforce collaboration (Figure 1). Large US-based Computer Hardware ProviderFigure 1: Top Pressures Driving Workforce Collaboration 60% 44% 43% 38% 40% 21% 20% 0% Increased Need to respond Demand f or Increased globalization and faster to market innovative competitive geographic changes products and landscape spread of the services enterprise w orkforce Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 5. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 5Collaboration tools are intended to streamline communication amongstakeholders. The quicker knowledge and intelligence travel within theenterprise, the more armed will the stakeholders be to respond to changingcompetitive and industry landscapes.Increasing Productivity and Capturing OrganizationalKnowledgeEvery day, organizational leadership has to answer the question, “How canwe get the most out of what we have?” Workforce productivity has alwaysbeen a driving force behind investments in physical capital and technology –including workforce collaboration tools. However, an underlying challengethat is growing in importance, has implications across the entire talentmanagement value chain, and has soared to the top of priorities for bothhuman resources and line of business managers is "knowledge capture andtransfer" (Figure 2).Figure 2: Top Challenges Organizations Seek to Overcome withCollaboration 59% 60% 56% 40% 32% 30% 20% 0% Workforce Transfer Capture know ledge Employee productivity know ledge of existing w orkers engagement betw een and among w orkers Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008Workforce Collaboration DefinedTo understand more completely the way people define "workforcecollaboration", Aberdeen analyzed 250 written descriptions provided bythose who took the online survey. Among all descriptions collected, a fewclear consistencies emerged and provided the basis for the followingdefinition: Workforce Collaboration is connecting employees and sharingknowledge to achieve identified goals. Connecting employees includesidentifying people who are working towards a common end result andnetworking them with each other. Sharing knowledge includes capturingcontent and experiential data and distributing it when and where it isrelevant.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 6. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 6The Maturity Class FrameworkAberdeen used four key performance criteria to distinguish the Best-in-Class from Industry Average and Laggard organizations with respect to theirdiffering degrees of success implementing workforce collaborationprograms. These criteria focused on employee productivity and efficiency aswell as strategic development through various phases of the employmentlifecycle from onboarding new hires to developing them professionally whileminimizing training costs: 1. Project plan time-to-completion "Workforce collaboration is 2. Time-to-resolution (e.g. help desk support calls, HR inquiries) the interaction of all necessary 3. Employee time-to-productivity individuals to achieve a business objective.” 4. Cost of training per employee ~ Director, Large US-based IT Services CompanyTable 1: Top Performers Earn Best-in-Class Status Definition of Mean Class Performance Maturity Class Best-in-Class: Reduced project time-to-completion on average by 34% Top 20% of Shortened time-to-resolution on average by 22% aggregate Improved new employee time-to-productivity on performance average by 19% scorers Reduced training cost per employee on average by 14% Industry Reduced project time-to-completion on average by 1% Average: Shortened time-to-resolution on average by 5% Middle 50% of aggregate Improved new employee time-to-productivity on performance average by 6% scorers Reduced training cost per employee on average by 3% Laggard: Increased project time-to-completion on average by 2% Bottom 30% of Extended time-to-resolution on average by 5% aggregate Worsened new employee time-to-productivity on performance average by 1% scorers Increased training cost per employee on average by 2% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008The Best-in-Class PACE ModelIn order to address the competitive pressures and internal organizationalchallenges driving workforce collaboration, Best-in-Class organizationsadopt a mix of strategies, capabilities, and technologies. Combined, theseenable their employees to network with colleagues as well as access contentprovided by others to ensure knowledge is captured and shared internally ina fashion that not only produces myriad operational efficiencies, but alsoreduces training expenses and the costs of adding and managing content.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 7. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 7Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework Pressures Actions Capabilities Enablers Need to Capture internal Support and buy-in from organizations Calendar sharing respond faster knowledge, senior leadership File-sharing to market expertise, Availability of software tools that allow for Web-conferencing changes experience and workforce collaboration is communicated Task management tools Increased make it available to to all workers others within the Web portal creation globalization Training on the use of workforce organization software and geographic collaboration software tools is available to spread of the Reduce time it takes Instant messaging (IM) all applicable workers enterprise for workers to find Wikis Workers are able to submit new content workforce relevant information into a shared knowledge base Software that enables Enable workers to surveying / polling of the Multiple units within the business have communicate and/or workforce ability to edit, modify and share content collaborate via throughout the organization Blogs preferred modes Threaded discussion Workers can share and edit each others documents/ spreadsheets in real-time boards IT is involved in decision making to ensure knowledge of what the enterprise can support Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008Best-in-Class StrategiesThe top strategies pursued by Best-in-Class organizations to address thesemacro pressures and internal organizational challenges focus on capturingand transferring internal know-how, making relevant knowledge andinformation available to the entire organization, and distributing it efficiently(Figure 3).Figure 3: Top Strategies Pursued by Best-in-Class Organizations 60% 52% 50% 45% 42% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Capture internal Reduce time it takes Enable workers to knowledge, expertise, for workers to find communicate and/or experience and make it relevant information collaborate via preferred available to others modes within the organization Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 8. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 8 Fast FactsWhile no significant differentiators exist in terms of strategic actionspursued among the Best-in-Class, Industry Average and Laggard Top 10 elements organizationsorganizations, the ways via which Best-in-Class organizations support these associate with Web 2.0:strategies differ significantly. These variances, in relation to the business √ Blogs - 82%process competencies required to execute these strategies and the keytechnology enablers required to support the organization’s business √ Social networking - 77%practices, will be explored in detail in Chapter Two of this report. √ Wikis - 74%However, an element that requires specific reference and that is changingthe way organizations view workforce collaboration is something coined √ Communities - 72%"Web 2.0." √ Podcasts - 62%Web 2.0 and Workforce Collaboration √ Mash-ups - 59%Web 2.0 is term that many associate with workforce collaboration today, √ Forums - 59%and Web 2.0-related software tools appear a likely solution to theaforementioned industry pressures and organizational challenges. √ Social bookmarking - 59%Participants in this particular research study were asked what tools they √ RSS Feeds - 59%associate with the term Web 2.0. The top five responses clearly showedthat end-users associate Web 2.0 with collaboration and open knowledge √ Social tagging - 58%sharing. The software tools that are mostly associated with the term Web2.0 are blogs, social networking tools, communities and wikis. The top 10elements that are associated with the term "Web 2.0" are listed in thesidebar on this page and are defined in Appendix A of this report.Best-in-Class Use of Web 2.0 in Workforce CollaborationIn carrying out the aforementioned strategies, we asked organizations to Tactical vs. Strategicstate how Web 2.0 tools are used within their organizations. It becameclear that Best-in-Class organizations apply these tools both tactically and √ Tactical refers to short-termstrategically. objectives (i.e. increasing productivity, decreasingTactically: Web 2.0 software tools are used by Best-in-Class organizations costs, etc…)to facilitate project-based team work. They are used to manage teamcalendars, project documents and milestones. In fact, 64% of Best-in-Class √ Strategic refers to long-termorganizations cited “collaborating on project-based work” as the number objectives (i.e. employee development, engagement,one method for which collaboration tools are used. etc…)Strategically: Four in ten Best-in-Class organizations currently utilize Web2.0 software tools to connect workers with subject matter experts. Thisdemonstrates that in addition to using these tools primarily for improvingcurrent output (such as that from project-based work), they are increasinglyused to develop employees professionally by connecting them with subjectmatter experts. These experts will not only answer questions or addressissues that employees face on a daily basis, but will also act as mentors orcoaches who become involved in those employees’ learning and skill-acquisition process – even if informally – making them a more valuableassets to the organization in the long-run. This step will also proveinvaluable during the onboarding process, where new employees are seekingsocialization into the cultural fabric of their new employer. Indeed, the datashows (Figure 4) that Best-in-Class organizations are 69% more likely thanall other organizations to use Web 2.0 tools to ensure workers areconnected to subject matter experts.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 9. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 9Figure 4: Top Internal Organizational Uses of Web 2.0 Tools 100% Best-in-Class Others 80% 64% 60% 50% 39% 40% 23% 20% 0% Collaborating on project based w ork Connecting w orkers w ith subject matter experts Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008Web 2.0 and Talent ManagementAnother strategic differentiator between Best-in-Class and all otherorganizations surveyed is the extent to which Web 2.0 software tools areutilized to enhance various elements of talent management. Figure 5illustrates how Best-in-Class organizations are two and one-half to four andone-half times as likely as other organizations to use Web 2.0 software "Providing a vehicle fortools to augment and improve workforce recruitment, development and collaboration, as a means ofretention efforts. supporting the estimated 80% of informal learning, is a naturalFigure 5: Integration of Web 2.0 Software Tools Across the Talent in view of our social humanManagement Value Chain nature. It should be a requisite 60% step of any high performance 53% learning organization to 50% 50% support collaboration. We have 48% 40% 45% assigned a single dedicated 30% coordinator of communities of 21% 27% practice (COP) for a 20% worldwide corporation of 10% 18% 17% 4000. The popularity of COPs 11% 7% 0% skyrocketed with the Recruiting Onboarding Employee Learning and Succession unforeseen result that just one performance development planning person is insufficient to meet management the demand." ~ Gil Peters Learning Best-in-Class All Others Technology Manager, Hitachi Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008 Data Systems AcademyUses of Web 2.0 software tools in talent management are numerous. A fewexamples include: • Recruiting. Web 2.0 software tools can help internal recruiters to connect with and stay connected to active and passive job prospects. For example, a blog can be utilized to post external messages from current employees in order to lend a voice to the market on what its like to work at the company. Also, the use of© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 10. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 10 Web 2.0 tools in the pre-hire can enhance the organizations perceived employment brand among younger job candidates who grew up using this type of technology to communicate and socialize, and thus seek the same from their employers. • Onboarding. Web 2.0 software tools can be used to connect new employees with those who can be critical to their success, including mentors and coaches. Social networks can facilitate the "socialization" of new employees into the organizations culture and help new employees to build and maintain networks and relationships with others throughout the organization. Additionally, Web 2.0 tools can be used as a means to extract "hidden" expertise by providing an arena for a new employee to provide commentary on a topic that is expert to him/her. • Learning and development. Informal learning plays a critical role in an employees professional development. Wikis, for example, can be used to stimulate peer-to-peer learning and ideation, as well as facilitate communities of practice in which organizations can leverage the collective knowledge of their employees. Aberdeen Insight — Strategy While most organizations are utilizing collaboration tools to impact short-term metrics such as productivity and efficiency, Best-in-Class organizations are more likely to focus on capturing institutional knowledge, expertise and experiences, codifying it, and making it available throughout the organization for myriad purposes. This is supported by the capabilities they have instituted that focus on generating and capturing content from their workforce and allowing others to access it and add to it. As the world becomes flatter and the demographics of the workforce continue to change, collaboration and knowledge sharing will continue to grow in importance and adoption. Consequently, we will see collaboration tools and Web 2.0 technology gain traction across talent management applications in areas like recruiting, onboarding, and employee development.Performance prowess is merely an indicator of doing the right things.Productivity, efficiency and successful employee development are not solelythe result of technology investments but are a result of sound strategies,processes and policies that encourage employees to be more collaborativeand more engaged.While technology plays a critical role in creating a flatter organization whereemployees are connected to the right resources – both people and content– Best-in-Class organizations are instituting internal capabilities thatmaximize the return on investing in this technology.In the next chapter, we will reveal these organizational capabilities thatdistinguish Best-in-Class organizations from their peers in addition to thetools that they use to achieve performance gains.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 11. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 11 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for SuccessThe ability to share files and documents real-time is critical to ensure the Fast Factssuccess of a project. Collaboration tools enable a geographically dispersedteam that works on multiple projects simultaneously to achieve real √ 88% of Best-in-Classbusiness gains. This includes cutting costs, improving productivity, enhancing organizations indicate that "workforce collaboration" isuser experience, and increasing stakeholder satisfaction. a "top" or "high" priority - Case in Point — Comcast Spotlight versus 52% of all other organizations The Seattle & Spokane offices of Comcast Spotlight are the local advertising sales division of Comcast Cable in the area. Comcast √ In comparison to 34% of all Spotlight employs 3,500 people nationwide. The Seattle and Spokane other organizations, 83% of Best-in-Class place "top" branch has a video production team of 12 with collaboration occurring or "high" priority on the use between it and 10 other teams totaling 105 video production of Web 2.0 software tools as employees. These teams produce television advertisements for a means to enhance businesses to be broadcasted locally. In order to produce these workforce collaboration videos, these teams work with freelancers and clients. Therefore, each project requires collaboration among three primary stakeholders: the Comcast Spotlight teams, vendors (freelance camera crews and graphic artists), and the business clients. The main objectives behind adopting a file-sharing solution were improving project-based teamwork, fostering stakeholder participation and facilitating sharing documents among the project team. The challenge was enhancing communication with vendors/freelancers and clients, especially when sharing large files. The previous system - FTP - was difficult to use, sometimes inaccessible, and provided an inferior user interface. The one hurdle was getting acceptance from the IT department. As the solution is software as a service and purchased on a per user basis, the management of the video production team didn’t require buy-in or approval from other divisions. The only requirement from IT was to implement the secure version of HTTP (HTTPS). However, after adopting the solutions, IT came on- board when they saw the decrease in complaints, and the cost benefits achieved. Marketing is currently experimenting with a project team page of their own. The video production team ensured access for their team, the vendors and the clients to the training video provided by the solution provider. Adopting the collaboration solution had both real cost savings and intangible gains. In terms of cost saved, the production team was able to save 50% of the cost charged by the FTP provider. In addition, they incurred no premiums on moving files and documents on the FTP server or on uploading large files. Essentially, they received 23 times the storage for half the price. continued© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 12. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 12 Case in Point — Comcast Spotlight "Our challenge was facilitating Furthermore, the system increased participation rate and user communication with our satisfaction, which led to productivity gains. The quantity of complaints vendors and clients with large with the old system dropped drastically. Another benefit is that the files. FTP was hard to use, solution allowed branding. Comcast Spotlight had the ability to put problematic and clunky. Our their logo and messaging on the external facing page. Lastly, viewing own hurdles are merely getting acceptance for it with the IT files (documents and videos) has become seamless to the client as they department.” can click a link and see their produced advertisements without having to navigate through the directory trees of the FTP site. ~ Darren LaMarr, West Division Production Lead, In short, adopting a collaboration solution not only provided real cost Creative Services Manager, savings for Comcast Spotlight – Seattle & Spokane branch, but Comcast Spotlight in Seattle & increased overall satisfaction of all stakeholders, increase participation Spokane and productivity – all while reducing system complaints.Competitive AssessmentAberdeen Group analyzed the aggregated metrics of surveyed organizationsto determine whether their performance ranked as Best-in-Class, IndustryAverage, or Laggard. In addition to having common performance levels, eachclass also shared characteristics in five key categories: (1) process (theapproaches they take to execute their daily operations); (2) organization(corporate focus and collaboration among stakeholders); (3) knowledgemanagement (contextualizing data and exposing it to key stakeholders);(4) technology (the selection of appropriate tools and effectivedeployment of those tools); and (5) performance management (theability of the organization to measure their results to improve theirbusiness). These characteristics (identified in Table 3) serve as a guidelinefor best practices, and correlate directly with Best-in-Class performanceacross the key metrics.Table 3: The Competitive Framework Best-in-Class Average Laggards Multiple units within the business have ability to edit, modify Process and share content throughout the organization 69% 36% 25% Availability of software tools that allow for workforce collaboration is communicated to all workers 81% 41% 28% Support and buy-in from organization’s senior leadershipOrganization 84% 51% 32% Training on the use of workforce collaboration software tools is available to all applicable workers 78% 32% 20%© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 13. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 13 Best-in-Class Average Laggards Workers are able to submit new content into a shared knowledge base 69% 41% 31% Workers can share and edit each others documents/ Knowledge spreadsheets in real-time 66% 38% 30% Workers can search and connect with workers across the organization irrespective of business unit or geography 69% 44% 36% The following collaboration and Web 2.0 tools are used: 94% Calendar 70% Calendar 59% Calendar sharing sharing sharing 81% File-sharing 63% File-sharing 45% File-sharing tools tools tools 78% Web- 61% Web- 40% Web- conferencing conferencing conferencing software software software 78% Task 46% Task 30% Task management management management Technology tools (for tools (for tools (for project-based project-based project-based teamwork) teamwork) teamwork) 75% Web portal 59% Web portal 42% Web portal creation software creation software creation software 72% Wikis 24% Wikis 26% Wikis 72% Software 45% Software 19% Software that enables that enables that enables surveying / polling surveying / polling surveying / polling of the workforce of the workforce of the workforce 66% Blogs 30% Blogs 30% Blogs Additional metrics currently used or planned to track the performance of collaboration investments include: 77% employee 60% employee 46% employeePerformance engagement engagement engagement 72% cost to 65% cost to 39% cost to develop and develop and develop and deliver training deliver training deliver training content content content Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008Capabilities and EnablersImplementing a successful program that fosters workforce collaborationrequires the proper mix of process, organizational knowledge, technology,and performance management.ProcessBest-in-Class organizations are 92% more likely than the Industry Averageand almost three times as likely as Laggard organizations to have a process© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 14. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 14that enables multiple units within the business to edit, modify and sharecontent throughout the organization.Best-in-Class organizations realize that collaboration and knowledge sharing Fast Factsmust not be reserved to one department or business unit. Many √ 66% of Best-in-Classorganizations are matrix-structured where project teams consist of organizations involve IT inresources that span multiple business units. In these types of organizations, the workforce collaborationit is essential to have a process that allows workers access to relevant technology decision makingdocuments and calendars. It is equally essential to ensure that workers have to ensure knowledge of whatthe appropriate permissions as well. Certain team members may have the the enterprise can supportability to review and edit content, while others require permission to only √ 63% of Best-in-Classread it. In another instance, if a company has multiple sales units - such as organizations align IT withinternal sales, field sales, or major accounts) - then allowing the different line of business managers tounits the ability to share experiences and knowledge will prove critical in determine what canenhancing the overall performance of the group. An approach that worked technology can work best tofor the field sales team may very well be applicable to the internal sales address business needsteam.OrganizationMore than eight of ten Best-in-Class organizations have gained senior-levelsupport and buy-in pertaining to workforce collaboration initiatives - ascompared to only 44% of all other organizations. The importance of thissupport is reinforced by the fact that, at 45% of Best-in-Class organizations,the person championing the utilization of Web 2.0 software tools is theorganizations CEO.Additionally, Best-in-Class organizations are more than twice as likely as allother organizations to communicate to the workforce the availability ofcollaboration software tools. Just making these tools available is notsufficient. It is equally important to communicate to the workforce what thetools are, how they can be used strategically in their professionaldevelopment or tactically to address immediate needs, as well as howtheyve been utilized to address specific business problems and producedesired results. In addition to communicating the availability and impact ofworkforce collaboration tools, Best-in-Class organizations are nearly threetimes as likely as all other organizations to provide training on their use.These capabilities enable Best-in-Class organizations to maximize thebenefits realized from collaboration technologies and increase usersatisfaction. Not surprisingly, Best-in-Class organizations are 79% morelikely than Industry Average and almost three times as likely as Laggardorganizations to be satisfied with their workforce collaboration efforts.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 15. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 15Figure 6: Satisfaction with Collaboration Efforts 100% Best-in-Class Average Laggard 84% 80% 60% 49% 47% 40% 31% 29% 20% 6% 0% Satisfied Dissatisfied Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008Knowledge ManagementCollaboration works best if all the parties are able to connect and shareknowledge irrespective of geography. From a "knowledge" perspective,content must be managed in a way that makes it accessible and keeps itorganized. For two thirds of Best-in-Class, a key factor is the employeesability to submit new content into a shared knowledge repository. Best-in-Class organizations are 86% more likely than all others to provide this "The biggest hurdle was drivingcapability. Moreover, storing company generated content and user a new thought process whilegenerated content in the same repository allows employees to add material embarking on a project orto or comment on training videos, presentations and other exercises, which determining which data towill enable the company to continuously improve its practices making it a capture and how to organizemore adaptable learning organization. it.” ~ Cory Kruse, VP of TalentFrom a "people" perspective, Best-in-Class organizations begin by ensuringthat employees are able to find and access each other - and are 68% more Acquisition, Novotuslikely than all other organizations to have such a capability. This reaffirmstheir use of collaboration strategically to connect workers to mentors andsubject matter experts. This capability, in addition to a shared contentrepository, is vital to facilitate project-based teamwork.TechnologyAs outlined in Table 3, the application and use of software tools amongBest-in-Class organizations to facilitate and enhance workforcecollaboration is much broader and deeper than it is at all otherorganizations: • 75% or more of Best-in-Class organizations currently use software that centers around file sharing, document sharing, and application sharing. These solutions enable more effective and efficient collaborative projects and training. While these technologies also represent those most utilized by Industry Average and Laggard organizations, they are in use at only 40% to 66% of these combined groups. • Another subset of software tools utilized by the majority of Best-in- Class organizations includes those most commonly associated with the term "Web 2.0". Web 2.0 applications in workforce© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 16. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 16 collaboration have been gaining traction in both awareness and adoption, however, are currently utilized by only 25% to 35% of Industry Average and Laggard organizations.Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Best-in-Class organizations are budgeted toinvest in collaboration tools over the next 12 months - whether to developin-house or to acquire from external providers. Another 18% have gainedexecutive buy-in but are still waiting on budgetary approval. Figure 5illustrates the workforce collaboration and Web 2.0 software tools that willexperience the greatest adoption over the next 12 month.Figure 7: Best-in-Class Planned Adoption of WorkforceCollaboration and Web 2.0 Software Tools "Search" technology that allows workers to find 53% 44% relevant content quickly and easily Software that enables capture of organizational 47% 47% knowledge into discoverable knowledge bases Tools for faster onboarding of new employees 44% 50% Software that enables “mash-ups” (merging 25% 59% content from different sources)Software that proactively brings relevant content 35% 48% to the attention of each workerTools that automatically generate and manage a 28% 38% clear picture of a persons expertise 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Best-in-Class (current) Best-in-Class (planned) Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008As the adoption trends above illustrate, there is an a clear shift by allorganizations to begin looking at workforce collaboration and Web 2.0tools to connect people, generate content, capture knowledge and make iteasily accessible. This will enable them to go beyond productivity, efficiency,and cost-savings. They will become more adept at recruiting talent,onboarding new workers, self-educating the workforce (peer-to-peerlearning), identifying hidden talent, and assigning appropriate developmentpaths or succession plans. Therefore, not only these tools will addressbusiness problems, but they will help ensure business continuity.Performance ManagementBest-in-Class organizations are more than one and one-half times morelikely than all other organizations to have clearly defined the correlationbetween the use of workforce collaboration tools and specific organizationalobjectives. This, in turn, provides the basis for the metrics that Best-in-Classassign to the value of workforce collaboration initiatives. In addition to thefour metrics used to develop the maturity class framework in Table 1,© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 17. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 17Aberdeens research revealed two additional metrics most commonlymeasured (or planned to be measured) by Best-in-Class organizations: • Employee Engagement – 77% • Cost to develop and deliver training content – 72%The Best-in-Class metrics show that Best-in-Class organizations have atactical focus (cost orientation) and a strategic focus (developmentorientation) when it comes to workforce collaboration applications. Aberdeen Insights — Technology Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Best-in-Class organizations attribute their ability to improve performance in the metrics used for this benchmark study directly to their use of workforce collaboration and Web 2.0 software tools. However, success didnt happen overnight. Among Best-in-Class organizations, the predominant organizational hurdle that needed to be overcome to gain greater acceptance for the use of Web 2.0 software tools for workforce collaboration was the perception that Web 2.0 software would distract workers from their jobs and lower their productivity (Figure 8). Figure 8: Top Adoption Hurdles Cited by Best-in-Class Perception that use of Web 2.0 softw are distracts w orkers from their jobs and 42% low ers productivity Cultural resistance (“w hy change w hat 29% isn’t broke?”) Cost of Web 2.0 softw are solutions is 29% prohibitive Inability to assign real business value to 26% the use of Web 2.0 softw are Lack of internal expertise or personnel resources to manage and support 26% w orkforce collaboration tool 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008 The organizational hurdles highlighted above provide evidence of the need for organizations to test Web 2.0 tools, especially in smaller workforce populations in order to prove appropriate business usage of these tools and confirm real business value as a result of their use. Once business value can be assigned and is promoted to key organizational stakeholders, misperceptions can be minimized and organizational support can be established.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 18. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 18 Chapter Three: Required ActionsWhether a company is trying to move its performance from Laggard toIndustry Average, or Industry Average to Best-in-Class, the followingactions will help spur the necessary performance improvements:Laggard Steps to Success "I think that workforce • Seek support and buy-in from senior leadership. Currently, collaboration has two faces. slightly less than one third of Laggard organizations (32%) have The first is real-time sharing of gained this critical buy-in - as compared to 51% of Industry Average work products in a way that and 84% of Best-in-Class organizations. Whether on the allows team members to departmental level or corporate level, organizations must ensure interact in order to accomplish that senior leadership has subscribed to the business case. This, in a task. Related is the second turn, forces two key elements: 1) To gain this buy-in, a solid face, where the work is done business case must be presented - this discipline will provide the asynchronously. Both require basis for future success; 2) When managers and executives embrace systems that allow for sharing, storage, retrieval, tracking, and collaboration initiatives, the rate of adoption among employees in annotation.” lower levels will increase. • Involve line of business managers and IT. Less than one-third ~ Director, Bluenog Corp. of Laggard organizations involve these critical stakeholders in the process to determine which collaboration / Web 2.0 technologies will best address the business specific needs and whether the enterprise can support the technology. Collaboration with line of business managers and IT will also aid in defining the key performance indicators that will be utilized to gauge the success of the particular project or application. • Automate - start small, then expand. Begin by addressing an isolated business or project pain point. Software tools that allow for sharing of calendars, documents and applications have been adopted by at least 61% of Industry Average organizations and by at least 78% of Best-in-Class and may be able to address an immediate tactical need at your organization and, in many cases, can be accessed in a hosted of software-as-a-service model - which may please IT and allow for more immediate use. • Communicate the availability of collaboration tools and train on their use. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of Laggards currently communicate the availability of workforce collaboration tools to all their workers, and only a fifth of them train their employees on using these tools. Unless employees are aware of collaboration tools and are adequately trained on using them, utilization of these software tools will be drastically low. Lack of adoption and utilization may cause organizations to lose confidence in their technology investments as they won’t be able to determine its ROI.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 19. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 19Industry Average Steps to Success • Use collaboration strategically and communicate all successes. While 53% of Industry Average organizations are applying collaboration tools to enhance project teamwork, only 22% are using to connect employees to subject matter experts. Comparatively, 40% of Best-in-Class organizations are doing so. Industry Average organizations must begin to look towards collaboration and Web 2.0 tools more strategically within talent management and then apply them to programs such as onboarding, employee development, and succession planning. This will enable them to track their top performers, use as them coaches, and keep them in their leadership pipeline. • Enable workers to search and connect with colleagues across business units and geographies. Only 44% of Industry Average organizations have this capability in place. Collaboration works best if employees are able to identify employees who share common personal and professional interests. This allows them to easily identify subject matter experts and to complete their tasks more efficiently making them more productive. • Allow multiple units within the organization the ability to edit, modify, and share content. Whereas 69% of Best-in-Class organizations provide this visibility and capability, only 36% of Industry Average organizations support this. This is especially effective in matrix organizations where a project team consists of several groups. For instance, a project might have sponsorship (i.e. funding) from three business lines in addition to a technology team that is creating the application. All four groups must be able to collaborate throughout the project lifecycle from creating a business case to writing and carrying out testing use cases. This will decrease the projects time-to-completion and will provide better visibility from a project management standpoint. Different permission levels can be set to control this aspect. • Implement a shared knowledge repository. Forty-one percent (41%) of Aberdeens Industry Average are currently storing content in a shared knowledge repository - as compared to 69% of Best-in- Class. Whether content is company generated or user generated, it is critical to ensure that it is easy to find, edit and modify. This helps organizations to better manage, track, and update it. Most importantly, it enables an organization to build on existing content via continuous improvement based on internal best practices.Best-in-Class Steps to Success • Establish guidelines and communicate to all workers. Currently, only four in ten Best-in-Class organizations have established "Proper Use" guidelines on the use of collaboration and Web 2.0 tools (i.e. content posting) and have communicated these© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 20. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 20 guidelines to their workforces. However, its critical to highlight that all organizations that have these guidelines in place have achieved Aberdeens Best-in-Class status. Clearly, this plays a role in attaining performance gains in productivity, project timelines, and efficiency. • Track and report on the frequency of use. Approximately one-third of Best-in-Class organizations have a process in place to track and report on employee use of collaboration software tools. Organizations must be able to determine the frequency and application of the use of workforce collaboration and Web 2.0 software tools. This helps them identify who their top contributors are and enables them to deduce employee engagement based on how often workers are posting, editing, reading and commenting on content. It also allows them to curb improper use of these tools and ascertain they are being utilized as intended. • Allow employees to rate content and the content source(s). Currently, only 34% of Best-in-Class allow this functionality. Allowing peers to rate each other and each others content enables the organization to identify subject matter experts. Moreover, rating content such as work experiences and approaches provides the ability to uncover best practices for a department or a business unit. This enables companies to improve learning processes and training content. Aberdeen Insights — Summary Workforce collaboration is not a new concept. However, innovation has led to an evolution of tools that are allowing workers to improve productivity, facilitate project-based teamwork, and network with colleagues. File-sharing, application sharing, and calendar-sharing tools are currently most widely used. Nonetheless, "Web 2.0" technologies like social networks, wikis, blogs, web feeds, internal communities and discussion threads are gaining visible traction in awareness, acceptance and adoption. The pursuit of workforce collaboration will continue to gain momentum in terms of its application across the enterprise as well as its overall strategic importance to the organization.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 21. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 21 Appendix A: Web 2.0 Terminology and DefinitionsBlogs. Abridgement of Web Log. Allows an individual to write about atopic and allow others to view and comment online. Organizations useblogs to enable employees to share their experiences and highlight successstories. It allows colleagues to view the content and share their thoughts onthe topic in the form of comments.Communities. Also known as online communities are groups of people -in this case employees - who interact primarily via virtual means. This can bea team of people working on the same project, or a sales team workingtogether on one deal. They can subscribe to the same content and opt toreceive alerts when members of their community post new content or editexisting content.Forums. Web applications for hosting discussions and user generatedcontent. Members - in this case employees - can visit a particular forum tocheck for new content or participate in new discussion topics. Forums areusually moderated by an administrator to edit, delete, or modify threads onthe forum.Mash-ups. Web applications that combine content from different sourcesto produce an integrated tool. For instance, a group of employees can havea page that combines the project plan and news feeds on the client and theindustry they compete in. For this example, content (project timeline andnews) is usually updated by web feeds.Podcasts. Digital media files that are distributed via the internet forplayback on computers and mobile devices. The term comes fromcombining "broadcast" and "iPod" - Apples portable media player. Forinstance, a company can utilize Podcasts to share success stories ordistribute learning content.RSS feeds. Family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updatedcontent such as blog entries, news headlines, and podcasts in a standardizedformat.Social bookmarking. A method for internet users to store, organize,search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the internet with the helpof metadata (data describing other data). Many social bookmarking servicesprovide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized bytags. This allows subscribers to become aware of new bookmarks as theyare saved, shared, and tagged by other users.Social networking. This technology enables people to find how they areconnected to be people who are not necessarily within their directnetwork. For example, a person from the outside sales team is working on adeal with company X. He/she is trying to find a point of contact at thatcompany, but doesnt know where to start. Social networking tools mighthelp him/her find out that another colleague in sales has a contact in© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 22. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 22marketing who used to work with another person who now is an employeeof company X. This helps employees design a communication path toestablish contact.Social tagging. Also known as folksonomy, collaborative tagging, socialclassification, or social indexing. It is the method of collaboratively creatingand managing tags to annotate and categorize content. In contrast totraditional subject indexing, metadata is generated not only by experts butalso by creators and consumers of the content. Usually, freely chosenkeywords are used instead of a controlled vocabulary.Wikis. Web pages that allow communities of people to access, govern andcontribute to topics of interest. Simple wikis allow title searches and moreadvanced wikis allow full text searches. In case of enterprise collaboration,wikis can be used by subject matter experts to collaborate on contentenabling organizations to capture best practices that would be applied toimprove output and productivity of others.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 23. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 23 Appendix B: Research MethodologyBetween May and June 2008, Aberdeen examined the use, the experiences, Study Focusand the intentions of more than 270 organizations with respect to theirinternal workforce collaboration efforts. Responding executives completed an online surveyAberdeen supplemented this online survey effort with telephone interviews that included questionswith select survey respondents, gathering additional information on these designed to determine theprograms, strategies, experiences, and results. following:Responding enterprises included the following: √ The impact of workforce collaboration technology, if • Job title / function: The research sample included respondents with any, on project-based the following job titles: senior management (CEO, COO, CFO, teamwork and knowledge CIO, CTO, president) (16%); vice president (VP, SVP, EVP, Partner) sharing - especially in (6%); director / general manager (21%); manager (22%); others geographically dispersed teams (35%). In terms of functions in their respective organization, the third of respondents were in human resources, talent management, √ The processes and internal learning and development; followed by sales and marketing (24%). IT capabilities that enable Best- (20%). Other functional areas represented include IT (20%), in-Class companies achieve operations and business process improvement (9%). performance gains • Industry: The research sample included respondents from a variety √ Current and planned of industries. Telecom and IT (including software, hardware and collaboration and Web 2.0 services) represented a third of the sample. Finance/banking and real technology adoption estate/legal services represented 12% of the sample, followed by √ The benefits if any, that have education (6%) and government (4%). been derived from internal workforce collaboration • Geography: The majority of respondents (70%) were from North initiatives America. Remaining respondents were from Europe (20%), Asia- Pacific (7%), Middle East / Africa (2%), and South / Central America The study aimed to identify (1%). emerging best practices for fostering internal collaboration • Company size: Thirty-four percent (34%) of respondents were from and knowledge sharing and to large enterprises (annual revenues above US$1 billion); 24% were provide a framework by which from mid-sized enterprises (annual revenues between $50 million readers could assess their own and $1 billion); 42% were from small businesses (annual revenues capabilities. less than $50 million. • Headcount: Thirty-nine percent (39%) of respondents had over 2500 employees; 6% had between 1000 and 2500 employees; 13% had between 250 and 1000 employees; 42% of respondents came from companies with less than 250 employees.Solution providers recognized as sponsors were solicited after the fact andhad no substantive influence on the direction of this report. Theirsponsorship has made it possible for Aberdeen Group to make thesefindings available to readers at no charge.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 24. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 24Table 4: The PACE Framework Key Overview Aberdeen applies a methodology to benchmark research that evaluates the business pressures, actions, capabilities, and enablers (PACE) that indicate corporate behavior in specific business processes. These terms are defined as follows: Pressures — external forces that impact an organization’s market position, competitiveness, or business operations (e.g., economic, political and regulatory, technology, changing customer preferences, competitive) Actions — the strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures (e.g., align the corporate business model to leverage industry opportunities, such as product / service strategy, target markets, financial strategy, go-to-market, and sales strategy) Capabilities — the business process competencies required to execute corporate strategy (e.g., skilled people, brand, market positioning, viable products / services, ecosystem partners, financing) Enablers — the key functionality of technology solutions required to support the organization’s enabling business practices (e.g., development platform, applications, network connectivity, user interface, training and support, partner interfaces, data cleansing, and management) Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008Table 5: The Competitive Framework Key OverviewThe Aberdeen Competitive Framework defines enterprises In the following categories:as falling into one of the following three levels of practices Process — What is the scope of processand performance: standardization? What is the efficiency andBest-in-Class (20%) — Practices that are the best effectiveness of this process?currently being employed and are significantly superior to Organization — How is your company currentlythe Industry Average, and result in the top industry organized to manage and optimize this particularperformance. process?Industry Average (50%) — Practices that represent the Knowledge — What visibility do you have into keyaverage or norm, and result in average industry data and intelligence required to manage this process?performance. Technology — What level of automation have youLaggards (30%) — Practices that are significantly behind used to support this process? How is this automationthe average of the industry, and result in below average integrated and aligned?performance. Performance — What do you measure? How frequently? What’s your actual performance? Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008Table 6: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework PACE and the Competitive Framework – How They InteractAberdeen research indicates that companies that identify the most influential pressures and take the mosttransformational and effective actions are most likely to achieve superior performance. The level of competitiveperformance that a company achieves is strongly determined by the PACE choices that they make and how well theyexecute those decisions. Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2008© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 25. Workforce Collaboration and Web 2.0Page 25 Appendix C: Related Aberdeen ResearchRelated Aberdeen research that forms a companion or reference to thisreport includes: • Managing Employee Performance March 2008 • Human Capital Management Defined March 2008 • Best-in-Class Use of Metrics in Talent Management March 2008 • All Aboard:: Effective Onboarding Techniques and Strategies January 2008 • Learning and Development: Aligning Workforce with Business Objectives September 2007 • Integrated Human Capital Management: Over-hyped or Over-due? December 2007 • The Looming Leadership Void: Identifying, Developing, and Retaining Your Top Talent November 2007Information on these and any other Aberdeen publications can be found atwww.aberdeen.com Authors: Kevin Martin, Research Director, Human Capital Management kevin.martin@aberdeen.com Jayson Saba, Research Associate, Human Capital Management jayson.saba@aberdeen.comSince 1988, Aberdeens research has been helping corporations worldwide become Best-in-Class. Havingbenchmarked the performance of more than 644,000 companies, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to provideorganizations with the facts that matter — the facts that enable companies to get ahead and drive results. Thats whyour research is relied on by more than 2.2 million readers in over 40 countries, 90% of the Fortune 1,000, and 93% ofthe Technology 500.As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targetedmarketing company. Aberdeens analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information – Opportunity – Insight – Engagement – Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates thestrategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.comor call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.comThis document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Groups methodologiesprovide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unlessotherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not bereproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent byAberdeen Group, Inc.© 2008 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 723 7890www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897