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Worlds first complete method to transform the enterprise into a socially integrated enterprise. Use web 2.0 style tools and collaboration to deindustrialize knowledge work, removing most of the ...

Worlds first complete method to transform the enterprise into a socially integrated enterprise. Use web 2.0 style tools and collaboration to deindustrialize knowledge work, removing most of the problems facing normal 'bureaucratically' structured organizations.

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TeamPark book (english) part 2, platform and method Document Transcript

  • 1. TeamPark platform and method Patrick Savalle, Wim Ho and and Arnd Brugman Sogeti innovation and inspiration
  • 2. TeamPark
  • 3. TeamPark Platform and Method 2nd (revised) edition Patrick Savalle Wim Hofland Arnd Brugman 2010 Sogeti
  • 4. Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 The Netherlands http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/nl/ You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work to Remix – to adapt the work Under the following conditions: Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a compatible license. • For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page: http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-sa/3.0/nl/. • Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. • Nothing in this License is intended to affect or limit the author’s moral rights. 2010 Sogeti Sogeti Nederland B.V. DSE / Innovatie en Inspiratie Hoofdweg 204 3067 GJ Rotterdam production LINE UP boek en media bv, Groningen ISBN/EAN 978-90-75414-28-8 NUR 982
  • 5. “The ant is a collectively intelligent and individually stupid animal; man is the opposite.” Karl von Frisch
  • 6. Foreword The birth of the TeamPark method occurred over a year ago. Since then, we have chalked up many workshops, conferences, presentations, discussions, projects and many, many comments from domestic and international organizations. All this accumulated experience has been as far as possible incorporated in this revised English edition. The method has been tried and tested, but it’s still surpris- ingly fresh, as demonstrated by reactions from the field that it continues to attract. We are grateful for the assistance of all those who read the previous book and provided us with commentary. In particular, our thanks go out to Albert Hoitingh for his inspiration and notes on personas and scenarios. A great deal of inspiration from reading about and, in particular, applying Team- Park. Wim Hofland, Rotterdam, 1 March 2010 Foreword for version 1.0 The setting was a weekly meeting of Innovatie & Inspiratie, the innova- tion consultants from Sogeti. The immediate cause: a request from a customer to organize an inspiration session about Web 2.0 and its impact on existing organiza- tions. Only the first of five topics on this day. At I&I, we are innovative and live innovation. We do it and we are it. Our adrenaline level is far above average. Dis- cussions appear chaotic and tend to be contentious. This is nothing new for us, but takes bystanders some getting used to. “Is everything all right there?” Within five minutes, TeamPark 0.1 was born TeamPark is a method for arriving at a successful social software solution for an enterprise. It turned out that all ingredients were available on the net in one form or another. All existing exam- ples and techniques were incredibly popular, and all the secrets were plain for all to see. But no one “saw” it. Foreword 7
  • 7. Only the right question in the right context gave us the answer. So obvious, so ordinary that we quickly passed over it. Only a “hey wait a minute” alerted us at that moment to the fact that we had something wonderful close at hand. This moment of insight was followed by innumerable brainstorming sessions, mind maps and inspirations. The idea became a method. Periods of services doubt, high-flown future expectations, but, most of all, reflection interchanged with each other. Ultimately, TeamPark 1.0 was the result. An inspiration! Wim Hofland, Rotterdam, 15 May 2009 8 TeamPark
  • 8. Content Foreword 7 Foreword for version 1.0 7 1 The intelligent organization 13 More than just social 14 Promises, Promises 16 The tool kit 17 Part 1 Platform 19 2 Social platform 21 s.o.c.i.a.l. 23 Social design 25 The 1% rule 26 The ideal crowd 27 The not so ideal crowd 28 3 Stimulus rich 31 Activity 32 Presence 33 Identity 33 Relations 33 Groups 34 Reputation 34 Sharing / content 36 Conversation 36 Challenges 36 Social character 36 Weighting based on visibility 38 Analysis: the existing situation 39 Synthesis: the target situation 40 Content 9
  • 9. 4 Organic 43 Group formation 43 Social tagging and folksonomy 45 Absence of synchronous communications 48 5 Collaborative 51 General tools 52 Special tools 53 6 Intelligent 57 Be aware of the Matthew effect 58 Collaborative filtering 60 Reputation or karma 63 7 Adaptive 67 Evolution vs. Intelligent Design 67 Which processes? 69 Which employees? 70 Which resources? 70 8 Linked 73 rss and web services 74 Widgets 74 Social bookmarking 75 Part 2 Method 77 9 TeamPark 79 Awareness 80 Strategy 82 Implementation 84 Life 85 10 Awareness 89 Workshops, seminars and presentations 90 Presentations 90 Workshops 91 The “Do-it-together” workshop 91 The pr campaign 93 Roadmap 94 Recommendations for the ensuing process 95 10 TeamPark
  • 10. 11 Strategy 97 Formulating vision and core values 98 The Vision Game 98 Drawing up an initial social graph 99 Cultivating the social seeds 101 Human factors and identifying personas 102 Identifying candidate processes 107 Identifying candidate scenarios 108 Who has the latest version? 108 Package Selection, poc and Planning 110 12 Implementation 113 Selecting catalysts 115 Socializing (Stigmergizing) processes 117 Stigmergizing processes 117 Designing training programs 120 Train the trainers 120 13 Life 123 Best Practices 124 Training and instruction 125 Install parties 127 Workshops 128 Life hacking 129 Floor walking 130 Catalysis 131 Organize! 132 Bookmarking and Activity streaming 133 Satisfaction 134 Community Management 134 Moderation and content monitoring 135 Measurements 137 Final Word 143 Content 11
  • 11. 1 The intelligent organization Enterprise 2.0, dubbed “The Intelligent Organization” by us, is an organ- ization with a living organic dimension that supplements the bureaucratic (formal) structure. The Intelligent Organization has the technical and conceptual possibilities that enable it to make large-scale and continuous use of special talent and disorgan- ized contributions. We are here talking about such means of communications as wikis, social bookmarking, tag clouds, activity streams, forums and blogs, but especially also about a combination of all these media and their integration in a platform. In contrast to employees that only participate in carefully top-down controlled processes according to job profiles and fixed workflows, Enterprise 2.0 employ- ees must also be permitted to arrive at usable results in a more organic, bottom- up manner. They must be able to function in a stigmergic environment that allows them to work together independently of each other without direct communica- tion, an environment in which direct control is unnecessary. All in all, this type of work setting evidently involves a new paradigm. “2.0” is in many respects the opposite pole of the “1.0” way in which companies are currently working. In every company, it is possible to identify processes that do not thrive well in a bureaucratic structure. The localization of people, content, and expertise, the utilization of special talents and the maintenance of usable innovation: many things run more smoothly when use is made of an organization’s social dimension. Many tasks can be performed better by organizing employees not just in teams but The intelligent organization 13
  • 12. also in communities. An organization that also makes use of wikis, forums, social networks, crowdsourcing, question and answer facilities and other “2.0” media has an advantage over its competitors. This type of organization is what we are calling the “Intelligent Organiza- tion.” The Intelligent Organization More than just social The basis of the Intelligent Organization is the so-called heterarchy. What we propose is to view the company as a coin in which heads stands for the current functional side and tails for the new social side. Two sides of the same company. An Intelligent Organization is more than just an organization with social life. It is a magnet for all types of new concepts and technologies, such as: 14 TeamPark
  • 13. • Social communications and collaboration (what we are talking about in this book) • Knowledge management • “The new way of working” or “Unified Collaboration and Communication,” a location dependent communication and collaboration solution specifically for the functional side of the organization. • New infrastructural solutions like Enterprise Service Bus (esb), Enterprise Service Hubs (esh) and a new more agile and scalable manner of application development. • New user interfaces such as portals and widget platforms • Mash-up technology that enables employees to combine existing and new functionality. The combination is logical. Formal teams have limitations that impede their manner of working but that can be overcome by social communities. Access to as much knowledge as possible is important in undertaking this development. Normally speaking, knowledge is largely organized along the lines of the organ- izations vertical structure, as revealed by the organizational chart. Over the long term, this regimentation has restrictive effects on an organization as a whole, as information increasingly flows through what is now being diagrammed as a social graph. In addition, if we want to allow the crowd and communities to be organ- ized in an organic way, they must not be obstructed by pre-defined patterns of information and knowledge. At the same time much unsanctioned knowledge quickly becomes mere noise. There must consequently be a mechanism to distin- guish relevant knowledge from noise. Use can be made of “the wisdom of the crowd” for such purpose, as well as 2.0 tools as aggregation and collaborative filtering. Knowledge management in the traditional organization is therefore clearly different from the 2.0 organization, which is much “flatter.” The platform must therefore take this into account, by means of a site-wide wiki, for example, and “enterprise search.” But also by implementing a form of social tagging and rating; providing people and content with self-generated keywords and having the crowd select content on the basis of quality. To obtain productive results, there must of course be collaboration. Character- istic of the social side is the ad hoc character of most work and the appropriate communicative and collaborative possibilities associated with it. There is a wide range of types and means of communication required in order to integrate every- The intelligent organization 15
  • 14. thing in the community platform. The new way of working plays an important role in this. The traditional form of collaboration is however based on fixed work flows, direct / synchronous communications and central control that is unsuited to social or mass collaboration. On the social side, communication occurs through the environment. By leaving instructions, knowledge, signposts and other stimuli in the environment, other people can collaborate without mutual coordination and without the necessity for central control. Promises, Promises What might be expected from the Intelligent Organization in contrast to the normal organization? Flexibility: The self-organizing and self-controlling capacity would have certainly been useful to many organizations during the economic recession that started in 2008. The inertness of large organizations was and is visible everywhere. And that is paradoxical as it is precisely in large companies with a large crowd and extensive social networks that the benefits of the social dimension are entirely predictable and reliable. Social collaboration works better with large numbers. Improved efficiency: We have been busy transforming our companies into well- oiled machines in which everything is perfectly coordinated. Increased optimization is hardly structurally possible. Still there remain numerous processes that do not perform well. Some processes were never intended to be executed in bureaucratic structures, and they can benefit from the socialization process. The new paradigm for collaboration also offers new possibilities for business process improvement, a systematic approach to the optimization of organizational processes. Satisfaction: Employees want to have more power to determine how they organ- ize their own lives. Fixed working hours and work locations make such self- determination difficult. Employees also want to perform a greater variety of work. Although this is difficult in an optimized bureaucracy, a social organiza- tion, renders it all so simple. Employees can immediately make use of their individual talents in their work, a form of self-involvement that leads to all types of improvements, as well as satisfaction and pride. In sum, the advantages of the Intelligent Organization are as follows; 16 TeamPark
  • 15. A more effective and efficient organization due to greater flexibility, more effective communication and collaboration. Better integration and use of people, resources, knowledge and expertise by self-organizing processes. Satisfied employees that are able to work in their own manner, in their time and at their location. A collective consciousness with a sharper perception of society, trends, cus- tomers and fellow employees. The tool kit For our own acquisition and project execution, we make use of an extensive set of materials. Many of our customers use this material in the same basic form, with slight “rebranding” of their own. This set of tools is simply available to everyone under the same creative-commons license as this book. See the conditions at the beginning of this book. As an additional condition, we asked everyone to contribute their own material to our slideshare group: http://www.slideshare.net/group/TeamPark The basic material consists of: • A general PowerPoint presentation entitled “TeamPark” • A presentation entitled “Social Platform Design” • The A3 poster “The Intelligent Organization” (the framework) • The A3 poster “The TeamPark Process” (services) • The A4 poster “Elevator Pitch” • Both sections of this book More material about the Intelligent Organization and TeamPark is also available at http://TeamPark.org The intelligent organization 17
  • 16. Notes 18 TeamPark
  • 17. Part 1 platform
  • 18. 2 Social platform An important instrument of an Intelligent Organization is the social platform: the environment in which employees leave signals like ants leave phe- romones to coordinate their collective work. The hope and assumption is that oth- ers will follow in their footsteps and, as a result, meaningful collaboration will occur. What the environment of the nest is for ants, the social platform is for the Intel- ligent Organization. When considering social software, most people immediately think of Facebook and MySpace, while asking themselves what an organization would be able to do with this type of software. To begin with, such websites are not representative of the corporate social sites we envision. Additionally, these websites often lack what we have identified as an “aggregation mechanism,” so that collabo- ration exists without easily identifiable “results.” In this part, we will investigate the necessary ingredients for a successful corporate social platform. To start with, there is of course the all-important definition: What is a social platform? A social platform is a platform that stimulates and facilitates group interac- tion and that uses the wisdom of the crowd for purposeful means. A platform is not in itself social but requires certain characteristics in order to attain this quality. In this part, we will go over these requirements in detail. Obvi- ously, a social environment, any social environment, must have a certain vitality. Social platform 21
  • 19. How many empty clubs, restaurants or bars have you entered because you thought you would experience a pleasant evening in them? The place to be, that is what the environment must certainly become in order to attain success. It must be attractive, pleasurable, inspiring, free and never threatening, To take the analogy a step further, what do you look for in a social hot spot? “Signs of life” without a doubt! There is a reason that restaurants sit their cus- tomers at tables that are highly visible from outside. You want to see that other people are enjoying themselves inside. Once opening the door, you of course want to know if the place is for you. What are these people doing here? What are they on about? Is this the place for me? What makes it “the talk of the town”? It is no different in the case of the Intelligent Organization’s social platform. The first impression must be that there is a lot going on. Chance visitors must be able to see at a glance if the place is something for them. But there is still more required. Just as in the case of ants, it is not enough to be merely running around in circles but pathways have to be marked, mechanisms must exist to direct and facilitate emerging group performance, etc. How should your social platform actually be constructed and which elements should it contain? Whatever we think and ultimately build, the underlying assumption must be that people will want to use the platform without being required to use it by their job description and without having to be sent notices all day long reminding them that something interesting has been added or updated. It must be a corporate hang out that allows people to feel that they belong together and are part of the gang. It is not difficult to conceive of what such a social hub might require, as the building blocks that give a website a social character are often obvious. A website such as the online yellow pages is not very social, nor is it meant to be. There is no way of discovering what is happening, who else is online, what other things are going on or where there might be opportunities for collaboration. A social environment has to contain all these types of signals. Once you can detect the presence of others, observe what they are doing, and follow the various activities, everything immediately becomes more social. Right away, the perception is entirely different, as the signals create an interactive climate. The actions or interactions that actually occur and the 22 TeamPark
  • 20. results generated by the various activities will then largely depend on where the designer of the environment has placed the emphasis. In this respect, the website design is crucial, both in terms of its layout and interaction, but even more so in terms of it social design: the way it stimulates interaction between the visitors. All the signals that a social environment issues will encourage people to enter into conversations and to produce content to share with each other. A conversation is quickly initiated by permitting users to comment on news items. Various types of conversations can be supported by various web elements, rang- ing from instant messaging to chat boxes, activity streams and forums. If a very great deal of content is being added, it is important to weigh and filter it so that only the most popular, interesting, highly rated or current content is displayed. Such a practice avoids an incomprehensible flash flood of material and promotes quality. Once a social website acquires a large number of participants, there is naturally a tendency to form sub-communities around specialized topics or interests. If groups are too large, an individual’s initiatives get lost in the void, resulting in a growing sense of anonymity. A good social website encourages the creation of ideally-sized groups. Finally, there must be adequate mechanisms to enable proper utilization of the wisdom of the crowd. These are called aggregation mechanisms. Just allowing participation and collecting ugc (User Generated Content) is not enough because most of it will be of average quality from which valuable items need to be dis- tinguished. S.O.C.I.A.L. The important characteristics of a flourishing, living social platform can be appropriately specified using the acronym s.o.c.i.a.l. (what else could it be). Social platform 23
  • 21. This acronym can be used to test if a platform is suitable as a social platform. Each letter stands for a specific quality that such an environment must possess. They are: • Stimulus rich – the platform must provide users with the appropriate stimuli and present them with signals in order to provoke interaction. • Organic – the platform must enable users to share and structure their data and activities according to their own conceptions. • Collaborative – the platform must possess the appropriate peer-2-peer facilities and other means of collaboration for the tasks to be performed; it must offer the right stigmergic mechanisms. • Intelligent – the platform must make it possible to distinguish quality from noise by means of aggregations, filters and weightings. • Adaptive – the platform must be adapted to its environment, its users and its processes (tasks) that have to support it; in other words, the environment must fit into the organizational structure. • Linked – the platform must be linked to relevant external environments and networks in the most seamless and unobtrusive manner possible. These basic qualities will be further explained in the following chapters. s.o.c.i.a.l. as a key to evaluating social platforms More specific information on this topic can be found in the slide-share presenta- tion “Social Platform Design” (http://www.slideshare.net/group/TeamPark). 24 TeamPark
  • 22. Social design Crowds cannot be told what to do. Crowds cannot be controlled in a direct or centralized manner. Crowds gather on their own and individuals in such a crowd make their own localized decisions. Even though such gatherings may be channeled, this type of management works entirely differently from the employee control practiced by purely bureaucratic organizations from a centralized command center. A little prompting in the form of an inquiry into wishes by, for example, a moderator does not pose any problems, as it will certainly be acceptable to everyone. Its effectiveness is, however, minimal. Truly effective crowd management must be different; it must be more “organic.” Every crowd undergoes continuous evolution and can be subtly manipulated as a result. Just as evolution in nature, the evolution of crowds is not a process that is centrally controlled, but one that nevertheless follows a very clear pattern. The most important conditions for an internet com- munity / crowd are imposed by the website design, the interaction as well as the social design. Social design is a new discipline that combines the already existing disciplines of graphic design and interaction. • Graphic design is concerned with the layout of the website: its look. • Interaction design involves the interaction between the website and the user; its feel. • Social web design involves the interaction among users that the website (plat- form) initiates and maintains. Social design1 is based on the psychology of crowds. It begins by setting up a platform with the appropriate features possessing the specified mix of character- istics and stimuli. Below, we will discuss how this works in detail. Once the plat- form exists, an equally important step follows: its forced evolution. Subtle adjust- ments in the navigation and functionality of a site or in the social concept behind it can drive and compel the evolution of the community. In principle, social design is a continuous process because the dynamics of the crowd changes in response. The most obvious factors in this regard concern the choice of functionality and the placement of the various web elements on the pages. It goes without saying that the most striking elements will exercise the greatest influence. If a website generates too little discussion, the adjustment that first comes to mind concerns adding an appropriate web element (such as “last 10 reviews” or “most dis- 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_design Social platform 25
  • 23. cussed”) to increase the visibility of a discussion and reduce the thresholds inhib- iting it. If a website generates too much uncontrolled discussion, consideration can be given to displaying comments in random order so that people can no longer respond to each other directly. For each undesired effect, there is often a way of devising a manner in which to redirect it. Conversely, desired effects and high-grade content, which we will call “quality”, must be stimulated. People who do their best must be visibly rewarded. It is in this way that a community can be managed and that, ultimately, the desired return is obtained. Channeling a community’s direction of movement by stimulating the desired behavior and making undesired behavior unattractive is an ongoing process. Many social mechanisms are included on the social website and each mechanism is subject to influence. Many of the devices must match the degree to which the number of visitors and participants changes and hopefully grows. The effects dominant in a large group are different from those that dominate a relatively small group. The production and implementation of a social platform is therefore “only” the beginning. Do not be too eager about immediately aiming for quality; it is important that there is first sufficient quantity. A good inflow of content, sufficient activity and a large community is essential. But do not let things get too far out of hand. It is necessary to stay on top of events and to be a judicious moderator who can inform designers about the adjustments that need to be made. Such upgrading should furthermore be done in open dialogue with users. Clear reports should be provided in forums or weblogs about the types of changes that will be implemented and the reasons for them, without revealing too many tech- nical details (any such revelation may later work to your disadvantage, as it may enable people to cheat, or “play the system”). Undoubtedly, people will complain, but do not be overly concerned about these complaints. Do not make it a democ- racy; you are providing information and not making queries. In Web 2.0, it is normal that websites remain in a state of “perpetual beta.” There are no longer any great breakthroughs but continuous small developments. The 1% rule Most members of an open, public community are more or less akin to parasites. They lurk in the background and consume what others produce. For every 100 million downloads from YouTube, there are roughly 65,000 uploads; a ratio of 1500:1. More than half of all Wikipedia articles are made by much less than 26 TeamPark
  • 24. one percent of users, and more than 70% of the articles by less than 2% of users. GeenStijl.nl once indicated that less than 2% of readers actually made comments. For larger communities, the rule of thumb is the 1% rule2: 1% of the users will actually contribute content to a social website, 10% will interact to contributions by, for example, making a comment and the remaining 89% will only consume what is offered in silence. This is not bad or good; it is a statistic that must be taken into account when constructing the community and designing the website. In social news sites, articles can be voted on and the most popular ones placed on the first page. Consideration is given to the group that you are going to allow the greatest influ- ence, a decision that can be crucial for the content on the front page and therefore also for the culture of the community. A company that has 5000 employees may be happy if there are an initial 50 that will regularly produce their own content. This figure will only rise if the community becomes part of the business culture. It can also be counted on that 1% will find a business environment more to their liking than a “free” internet environment, although a figure in the range of 5-10% may be achievable in this respect. More participation can be expected on platforms that facilitate previously bureau- cratic processes that were redesigned into stigmergic (social) equivalents, for which employees received training and new procedures. Later more on this. The ideal crowd According to the book The Wisdom of Crowds,3 the best results can be obtained from a crowd (community) when: • There are sufficiently varied opinions (and personalities) • There is sufficient independence when making choices (consider the Matthew effect, as discussed in one of the following chapters) • There is enough decentralization so that people can be specialized and can be prevailed upon by like-minded people to collaborate on their designs (recalling notions of organic group formation and the Dunbar number4,5) 2 http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html 3 http://books.google.nl/books?id=bA0c4aytd6gC 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number 5 http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/03/the_dunbar_numb.html Social platform 27
  • 25. • It is technically possible to arrive at collective decisions or to survey collective views (consider democratic ratings, reputation systems6 and a weighted first page7). These are the features of social design that must be targeted using the right tech- nology and organization of facilities, as they provide support for all the other results expected of the community. The first feature can be realized by gathering the various departments in a com- pany into a single social environment. This mass assembly will create the great- est possible variety of peoples with the widest possible divergence in educational levels, job levels, etc. The second feature is largely a condition that must be fully guaranteed by the technology. The process of guaranteeing independence boils down to reducing, as much as possible, non-essential influence that impacts on decision-making, such as previously issued evaluations. For social designers it can be useful to look into “conformity research” such as that of Solomon Asch8 and Zimbardo.9 To a large extent, the third feature is also a condition to be fully guaranteed technically. It must be possible for the community to form its own sub-commu- nities, and this is a question of having the appropriate software. The final feature is especially important: this book is, for that matter, concerned with the special talents of the crowd. Talent is meaningless if there is no mechanism to display or report group choices and decisions. Aggregation pages and the appropriate weighting algorithms are two of the most important mechanisms. The not so ideal crowd Conversely, there are also discernible problems that may arise when assembling the community. The Wisdom of Crowds includes the following in a list of pos- sible problems10: 6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reputation_system 7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_filtering 8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments 9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Zimbardo#The_prison_study 10 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds 28 TeamPark
  • 26. • Too homogeneous (inbreeding) • Too centralized • Too much herd behavior These are also factors that can be manipulated by implementing the correct social design. An excessively homogeneous group could be a difficult problem. One of the most obvious measures is to prevent the community from replicating the company’s organizational structure. By definition, departments have a certain amount of inbreeding. Allow production employees to collaborate with the innovation department. Differences in approach are advantageous. “Centralized” means that knowledge is not easily accessible and groups remain too strongly self-contained in their own environment. This is also an easy prob- lem to solve. The “weighted” general aggregation page that shows selected, mixed content from multiple or all groups provides an adequate solution. A social platform is like an ecosystem. Not all communities are equally stable and optimal. Just as in all ecosystems, the risk of oscillations, plagues, bugs and disequilibrium is greatest when diversity and spread is small. The most stable communities are likely the largest and most diverse ones.The chance of a plague of locusts is greater in a desert than in a jungle. In unstable communities, small incidents can quickly get out of hand. Communities lacking diversity are also characterized by too little creativity and too much consensus. Size and diversity are two factors that are never present right at the beginning of community formation, and must be continuously targeted. By ensuring diver- sity right at the start, the community can be given an advantageous launch. A much used trick for initiating discussion platforms is to allow a dissonant to clandestinely infiltrate the community and to express excessive dissent by being contrary to everything. This will work just fine until employees begin to see through it. Social platform 29
  • 27. Notes 30 TeamPark
  • 28. 3 Stimulus rich Social software emits signals and supports such interaction as conver- sations, collaboration and knowledge-sharing. All possible signals and stimuli for interaction can be grouped into a handful of social factors, which then can be used to build and analyze the software. To begin with, these will be the factors that transform a website into a social website. Or they will convert a general environ- ment into a social environment. In 2003, Matt Webb11,12 came out with a list of features that have served as a basis for our method. According to Matt, social soft- ware is characterized by the following factors: identity, presence, social relations, conversations, groups, reputation and sharing. Matt Webb was in turn inspired by Flickr-founder Stewart Butterfield.13 Flickr is one of the largest social websites in the world, and its founder’s opinions and ideas therefore carry some weight. In social software, we distinguish the following nine social factors as interaction stimuli conveyed to the user through the concept, style and interaction design: • Activity – What is happening now? • Presence – Who is currently available? • Identity – Who is it and to whom does it belong? 11 http://interconnected.org/home/2004/04/28/on_social_software 12 http://nform.ca/publications/social-software-building-block 13 http://www.sylloge.com/personal/2003_03_01_s.html#91273866 Stimulus rich 31
  • 29. • Relations – With whom am I connected? • Groups – Can groups be formed? • Reputation or Karma – How is your contribution and therefore your member- ship appreciated? • Sharing – Is content or “something else” being shared? • Conversation – Do participants communicate with each other? • Challenges – Are there challenges or non-content related activities? Not every factor will be constantly present on a social site to an equally percep- tible degree. One site may be more content-driven, while another places greater emphasis on relationships. We can use a radar diagram to visualize the various profiles, and make the social character of the software more evident. The radar chart of a platform’s degree of stimulation This diagram awards each element with a visibility level of 0 to 3. The levels of these elements indicate the subjective presence of the element by means of a score ranging from unnoticeable (0) through noticeable (1) and very noticeable (2) to dominant (3). Activity Activity provides visitors with information about what is currently happening on the website or what has been updated. An example is the box on YouTube indicating “Video’s being watched right now.” But there are other activity 32 TeamPark
  • 30. streams that may be monitored. Clearly visible activities are important elements in creating “Life” (displaying that there is something going on). This is sometimes referred to as showing “signs of life.” Activity is generally seen as one of the most important factors for creating a successful and growing community. Presence Presence is the possibility of visitors viewing who is available and online, as well as the manner in which they can be contacted. It creates the sense of togetherness, but it is also important for the successful conduct of certain types of conversations. One example of discernible presence is the contact person list in msn. Another example is the availability of a “Chat now” function on a dating site, complete with profiles of other love seekers. Identity Identity makes it possible for people to distinguish their contributions from those of others and to sufficiently personalize their own little corners of the community. A login name, an avatar, a personal channel on which to assemble all your contributions and, for example, a personalized “skin” for that channel. If peo- ple can build up their identities and reputations in a clear manner, they will view their contributions to the website as an investment and will look after both the website and this investment, while refusing to abandon either of them very quickly. Identity ensures power of discernment. Relations Relations indicate how people or groups are related to each other in the system. Clear examples of this type of bonding are the friendships or business contacts indicated on LinkedIn or Facebook for example. There are also forms of relationship management that can be put to good use in monitoring the activities of friends. A clear difference can be made between explicit and implicit relation- ships. Explicit relationships are initiated by users themselves, such as in the case of the msn buddy list. Implicit relationships are detected by Social Network Analysis on the basis of characteristics, interests, and other properties that one user shares with others in the system. Examples of these types of relationships are the matches that a dating site finds based on a client’s preferences and personal data. Stimulus rich 33
  • 31. Groups Groups indicate the possibility of forming sub-communities. Groups and group formation offer users the chance to form groups on their own based on such things as shared interest. Social news sites also use this feature to enable mul- tiple users to form a collective news channel. Group formation is clearly not to be understood as unilateral classification of individuals such as many people do on msn when they distinguish a private from a business contact (these are “relations”). Depending on the type of software and community, it is often necessary to subdi- vide a larger community into smaller ones. It is not possible or desirable to be friends with everyone or collaborate on a project with the entire world. The type of exclu- siveness criteria used to whittle the numbers down must be something that can be set by users themselves, both individually and as a group. Reputation Reputation stands for the capacity of indicating the status, reliability, productivity or any other quality of a certain identity. Everyone can see who the top users of social news sites are, and top users often have greater influence during the procedure of voting on articles. Pure democracy is often a bad idea on the internet because it then becomes a dictatorship of the majority (“three wolves and a sheep vote on what will be on the menu that evening”). The majority is never the most creative or intelligent part of a community, mostly only the most docile and least exacting. Reputation is a way of not allotting everyone the same rights or influence, and of protecting quality and authenticity.14 Reputation often emerges on its own because users comment on and vote for the contributions from a certain member. It is important to establish reputation on the basis of desired contributions. On a commercial site financed by advertising, it is clearly just the ratings that count. On a news sites, the number of comments or the evaluation are perhaps more important. There are various types of reputation systems, depending on the chosen quality criteria and desired output. Various types of reputation systems 14 http://bokardo.com/archives/5-ways-to-improve-reputation-systems 34 TeamPark
  • 32. Internet giant Yahoo has undertaken a great deal of work on the conception and design of reputation systems. For social software developers, it is interesting to take a look at this work.15,16 The following illustration shows the various ways in which reputation can be determined and the challenges associated with each of them. Various templates for constructing reputation systems, from Yahoo Reputation, often also called “karma” following the example in particular of “first person shooter games”17 can be used and determined in various ways but, in nearly every case, it is intended to improve the quality of the community and its “wisdom.” 15 http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/parent.php?pattern=reputation 16 http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/pattern.php?pattern=competitive 17 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-person_shooter Stimulus rich 35
  • 33. Sharing / content Sharing is the practice of making content available to the rest of the group or community. Such content may comprise personal experiences, stories, advice, opinions of knowledge and many take the form of texts, photos or videos. For example, video clips are shared on YouTube, photos on Flickr, knowledge on a wiki and contacts on LinkedIn. The mutual sharing of information, knowledge or content is essential for social software. Web 2.0 now has many means of commu- nication that are outstandingly well suited to facilitate this interactivity. A number of the above discussed components suitable for sharing are weblogs, wikis, auctions, media libraries, news aggregators and news dumps. Conversation Conversation refers to the opportunity of exchanging information (communication) by means of discussions, chat and reactions. These conversations occur in very many different shapes and sizes. Conversations on msn are mostly one-to-one and, normally speaking, synchronous (wait for the answer). Conversa- tions by email are often one-to-many and nearly always asynchronous (the sender does not wait for the answer). Social software can facilitate conversations among the members of a community in various manners. The reaction mechanism on weblogs is also a means of conversation. The same holds true for a thread on a forum instant messaging (chat) and for instance a shout box. Challenges Challenges refer to tests of skill. There are, in fact, always activities that do not directly service a “functional” purpose, especially on gaming platforms. They nevertheless contribute in many ways. by adding a fun-factor, for example. They are user “inducements,” such as the games found on msn that users can play with each other. All these non-content-related and non-relationship-related activities are encompassed by the category Challenges, and consist of activities that you can take on yourself as well as those that you pose to each other. Social character A fitting social character is one of the most important conditions at the start of a social platform. This social character will have to be constantly adjusted; 36 TeamPark
  • 34. in other words, changes of direction, tone and composition of the community will mean that the platform will have to emit other stimuli. It has to grow along with the development of the communities themselves. The homepage of YouTube is, to some extent, regularly rearranged. YouTube is clearly searching for the best possible layout, as is Facebook. The administrators of these sties do not even precisely know what the sites should become, and they monitor the behavior of the community in order to gradually evolve toward the best possible layout and interaction. They are repeatedly carefully modifying the social design and accordingly keep a close eye on the effects that the changes have. As described above in the discussion of the nine factors, each factor has its own possibilities for technical realization, which vary according the type of social environment. The more or less dominant presence of social factors determine the character of a social website. These factors can, in fact, be used to analyze a site, creating a type of personality sketch: a characterization of the website. The dia- gram below displays such analyses for some well-known social websites. The social character of various websites: degrees of stimulation Most good social websites are continuously in development (such as in the case of the above-mentioned YouTube), so that the indicated characteristics might already be different. Nevertheless, the diagram typifies the character of each website. There are three main dominances that can be distinguished: Stimulus rich 37
  • 35. • Content dominant (YouTube) • Relation dominant (LinkedIn) • Activity dominant (Twitter) Weighting based on visibility The visibility and conspicuousness of web components used to build a social platform determine the weighting and influence of these components within the total character. It is possible to distinguish the following levels of visibility: • Brief / unnoticeable • Moderate / noticeable • Clear / very noticeable • Unmissable / dominant Visibility results from a combination of various (subjective) factors. A web com- ponent flashing in bright red on the hot spot of the opening page clearly contrib- utes more to the character of the platform that a web component in small print and modest layout placed in the bottom-right corner. The best location on screen is the top left. This is the location on which users first focus and is, consequently, the most eye-catching.18 If a component is located in the bottom left, it will have greater presence than an element in the bottom right (possibly only visible after scrolling). The component can also be absent from the website but still have a place in the platform. The location of the com- ponent in the portal is therefore important to indicate presence. The effect is used as a weighting factor concerning the social characteristics of the social compo- nent. The figure on the next page presents an analysis of visitor viewing behavior. The redder the color of the location, the more frequently and longer visitors tend to gaze there. For advertisers, red areas are the locations most in demand. 18 http://www.marketingfacts.nl/berichten/20080609_eyetracking_het_verschil_in_kijkgedrag_ tussen_een_of_twee_kolommen/ 38 TeamPark
  • 36. Eye-tracking maps that indicate where users look the most. Analysis: the existing situation Many organizations already have their own intranet or extranet. These networks already often contain a nook set up for knowledge sharing or even main- tain somewhat more informal items such as an auction site or cookbook. Often, these items were not designed for the purposes for which they are being used, or else they have been reconfigured by a group of enthusiasts. The environments can be seen as the first cautious steps towards a full-fledged social platform, and the users of these functionalities are the initial enthusiasts of the new environment. We would therefore like to know what attracts them to the activity, captivates them and binds them there. The degree to which the social stimuli such as activity, presence, conversation, etc. are present in these existing environments can be quantified in terms of feel. After all, users experience things by feeling them! For every factor, an evaluation can be made concerning the degree of its presence. This character sketch of the current solution can be regarded as an analysis of the actual situation, providing Stimulus rich 39
  • 37. us with a foundation for a construction phase through which we then reach a detailed target situation. Besides this relatively simple quantification of the technical design, we especially want to learn what the users feel about the existing situation and what part of the current solution they find lacking. Synthesis: the target situation The desired character of a social platform can be discovered by inter- viewing a future group of users. To prevent users from feeling like children in a candy store and wanting the platform with everything that appears cool, they must be interviewed in a more subtle and indirect manner in order to disclose their real needs and preferences. Instead of asking users questions to which we very likely will receive answers in the affirmative (e.g. “Do you want your own blog?” “Do you want to be able to upload videos and images?” “Would you like to have the latest news every day?”), questions might better be formulated in the form of alternatives (e.g. “Blogs or sharing photos?” “Wikipedia or eBay?” “Reading or writing?” “Dis- cussion or blogging?”). In this way, the potential user is forced to consider the functionalities and to make choices. This indirectly probes the desired features and enables the expected composition of the platform to be itemized. Because not all wishes come to the surface in such a set-up, it is prudent also to conduct a number of in-depth interviews with users. They are then able to relate, in their own words, what they currently find lacking and what they would like to see in the platform. Besides the inventory of user wishes, the expectations of the employer can be enumerated in this phase. This occurs by entering into an open discussion in which the results of the analysis and the inventory taking are subject to review. After all, the platform begins to take shape by using an initial sketch of possibly appropriate components in order to give it a face. This rough sketch provides proper insight into the possibilities, ensures a solid commitment and creates a nice moment for probing expectations. 40 TeamPark
  • 38. Notes Stimulus rich 41
  • 39. 4 Organic There are so many communities, so many wishes, interests and talents, it quickly becomes impossible to make a prior assessment of the structures into which the community or platform should be organized. Such an endeavor should therefore not be attempted. The key terms involved here are “organic” and “self- organizing.” The environment must have the possibility to allow the community to determine its own direction and structures. Only a minimum of structure is prede- fined and pre-established. The composition of groups, layout, compartmentalization and especially structure of the content must be able to be determined by the members themselves. Group formation A good platform permits people to start their own groups and com- munities, which others may join or leave at their own discretion. Collaboration must be self-organizing and self-scaling. This serves various purposes. Instead of people being rigidly allocated to a team or task, people can find the tasks or communities to which they may make meaningful contributions on the platform for themselves. This is organization that occurs bottom-up instead of top-down, by allowing wishes and talents to match needs. Organic 43
  • 40. It also turns out that there is something in communities akin to an ideal group size.19 Intuitively, many people know that if a group is too large, it explodes and disintegrates into smaller ones. Anthropology demonstrates that the maximum size for more “intimate” social groups is about 150, which has been identified as Dunbar’s number. People appear only to be able to maintain social relation- ships with 150 friends. The social gaming world reveals that a maximum of 60 participants exists for intensive collaboration in collectives known as “guilds.” For each type of community, task and environment, there is probably a certain ideal group size. The sense of belonging in the following anecdotal example only begins to exist when a size of 5–8 individuals is reached, after which this feeling, in a sense, sags before recovering its optimum level at around 50 members. To ensure that each group can find its own balance and ideal size, the platform must be organic. People must be able to find groups for themselves and join in with them. Or to remove themselves from them again. Groups find, in fact, an ideal size depending on task or type Besides the groups formed by participants themselves, it is also very conceivable that the system automatically recognizes and facilitates groups based on an anal- ysis of the relationships among participants. Such matchmaking techniques involve the identification of various points in common. If participants are able to establish explicit relationships with others, there are often clusters of social connections to be recognized. If use is made of social tagging, which we will 19 http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/03/the_dunbar_numb.html 44 TeamPark
  • 41. discuss below, participants can for example be groups based on matching inter- ests. Social network analysis is a tool for use in this respect.20,21 Implicit group- ing can bring people together who would otherwise never have found each other. There are many metrics available for this purpose, such as “betweenness,” “close- ness,” “centrality,” “cohesion,” etc. The most evident application is the identifica- tion of Networks of Practice,22,23 the organic “teams” of a community. Social tagging and folksonomy There is a big difference between a centrally managed and top-down enforced labeling of content and a self-ordering classification system administered bottom up. Fixed top-down structures mostly consist of sets of categories arranged in so-called taxonomies (an example is the animal kingdom). Fixed structures are never optimal, nor are they appropriate for all data. They must therefore be avoided as the most dominant structure on a social platform. The tendency to reiterate the organizational vertical structure on the platform must certainly be suppressed. On a social weblog or a social news site, visitors can add their own articles (or content in general). A categorical structure is one of the greatest impediments to such activity, posing an enormous obstacle on almost every site. Evidently, some- one had the absurd idea that a classification can be devised ahead of time, one in which everything can always be slotted. This is certainly ambitious but usually not very smart. Classification in general is a problem for which a good, unam- biguous solution can never be found. Biologists, mathematicians and philosophers have known this for centuries. The article that the user wishes to post will almost never fit into only one of the categories, and almost never precisely in categories that are preconceived. The fixed structure obstructs evolution of the crowd. In most cases, it is better to choose a system known as “social tagging,” which results in what may be identified as a folksonomy,24 in contrast to a taxonomy.25 A good synonym for tag is “keyword.” Every user can attach keywords to every article, 20 http://www.orgnet.com/sna.html 21 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network 22 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_practice 23 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_of_practice 24 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folksonomy 25 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy Organic 45
  • 42. and the system allows various possibilities of performing keyword searches of articles or to link them by means of recommendations, for example. Sites that support this self-organizing system of classification are frequently rec- ognizable by the somewhat untidy but very informative “tag clouds.”26 A tag cloud is a visual representation of the popularity of the tags or keywords, as frequently occurring keywords are given greater representation. The tag cloud reveals a great deal of information at a glance. Advantages of the use of tags as an ordering mechanism are: • Tags represent the wisdom of the crowd. • Tags need not be added by a special editorial staff. • Tags form an organic structure that directly reflects the actual semantic struc- ture of the data. Tags automatically create an order and, as is proper to complex self-organizing systems, the distribution of tags follows the Power Law, as opposed to randomly formed data-sets which follow the “Gaussian” distribution (see first part of the book). The order is self-generated due to the fact that a user has linked certain tags to the same “thing,” which implies a certain semantic connection between the tags. A few tags occur very frequently, but most of them very seldom 26 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_cloud 46 TeamPark
  • 43. Tags can be analyzed and visualized in various manners. Analysis can take place by means of mathematical graph theory and/or statistics. The environment, the platform, must give rise to the one that is the most usable for the purpose at hand. Two frequently used visualizations are the tag cloud and the tag graph. The following tag cloud shows countries in relation to their number of inhabit- ants. A tag could of countries weight by number of inhabitants A comparable tag cloud can be constructed on the basis of gross national product, land area or any other statistic. Organic 47
  • 44. Below is a more mathematical representation of a folksonomy: The visualization of tags in a graph (figure from: http://www.metablake.com/2006/01/ visualizing-folksonomies-using-machine.html) Absence of synchronous communications Perhaps the most important factor involved in an organic structure is the dominance of indirect broadcast communications. The reasoning is of an inverted nature; the machine model is based on direct synchronous communications. In this format, the sender explicitly waits for an answer from a designated recipient. This 48 TeamPark
  • 45. sort of communications is, in principle, unwanted on a social platform because it enforces fixed structures and dependencies. The collaboration on a social platform must be based on the assumption that the initiator of an action does not know by whom, when or from where the initiated action will receive follow-up. This is the basis for free mass collaboration. It is an opportunistic way of working. Examples of synchronous communications and means of communications are: • A telephone conversation • A direct dialogue • Collaboration within a fixed workflow Sometimes, certain means of communication are still usable on social platforms for various types of communications, but it should be noted that the following communication media are, in principle, synchronous: • sms • msn / im • Email Admittedly, these three media can also be used in an asynchronous manner, which is to say that the sender can organize his or her work so that it can continue without awaiting an answer from recipients. Typical asynchronous communications and means of communications are: • The blog • The Wiki • The forum • The bulletin board • The revision control system In principle, the lack of specifically addressed recipients is the most important indicator of “social communications.” Organic 49
  • 46. Notes 50 TeamPark
  • 47. 5 Collaborative A social platform must be equipped with the proper stigmergic col- laboration tools, and these must not just be given lip service. For years, it has been said that “Enterprise 2.0” was an organization that worked with blogs, forums and wikis, while practice was demonstrating that work was never actually performed using these tools. Every organization has other processes, which posed their own specific requirements on the type of collaboration tools that had to be employed. The aim of the platform and that of the social side is not to introduce new tasks but to constantly improve them by linking them to smarter processes, such as stig- mergic (social) processes instead of bureaucratic (functional). The current organization has certain processes that cannot be performed effi- ciently using functional forms of collaboration, regardless whether or not they are currently organized like this or not. They can be identified as the first proc- esses that must be socialized (actually the correct term is “stigmertized”) in order to obtain optimum performance. The tools with which this must be done must match the nature of the processes. A wiki will not help to find people and exper- tise faster, just as a forum will not contribute much to the safeguarding and disclosure of knowledge. The entire array of “2.0” or stigmergic collaboration and communication tools comprises several shades and hues, and the correct combination of them is necessary for the success of the platform in terms of the task for which they are employed. Collaborative 51
  • 48. The collaborative capacity of a platform reflects the degree to which the choice of tools matches the specific tasks and collaboration requirements of an organi- zation. General tools The collaboration tools for the more general social platforms have already been discussed in “From Crowd to Community”. In most cases, a standard social platform consists of a social weblog, a forum, wikis and, if applicable, some items related to an activity stream. Each one of these tools serves another communication/collaboration purpose. The tools are universal enough to be used for several tasks, but they can be roughly summarized as follows, and this is not rocket science: • Weblog A weblog can be used to inform and express opinions. It is a “broadcast.” In general, it provides support for more goal-oriented tools. In effect, there is no collaboration on a weblog other than the commenting on opinions and news. No products result. • Forum A forum is a vehicle for conducting discussions, sounding out and shaping general opinion, answering questions, providing advice, etc. It is a public means of debate. In general, it provides support for more goal-oriented tools. There are also no products that result in this case. • Wiki A wiki is entirely well suited to the storage of collective knowledge. A wiki can be used by a large group of people to collectively update and maintain a large quantity of documents. More recent wikis are also suitable for use as collaborative documents and could, on their own, form the basis for the Intelligent Organization. At every location where people work together on a document, a wiki can be employed in order to save people from having to send each other the latest version. Not all brands of wikis are technically appropriate for this use. In contrast to the weblog and the forum, the wiki is “product-driven.” In this case, the product is the “living” document that may be collectively delivered. 52 TeamPark
  • 49. In most companies involved in knowledge work, documents constitute the greatest part of their production. • Social bookmarking Social bookmarking can be used to filter news and other messages on the internet. The mechanism of the wisdom of the crowd can ensure that the result is a continuously up-to-date overview of relevant news. This type of informa- tion can be used for many various purposes. The marketing department may find it interesting as a means of keeping in touch with the “consumer.” The sales department can similarly stay on top of trends among customers and create opportunities as a result. Technicians can keep up-to-date with the lat- est developments, etc. It is a pure means of sharing knowledge. • Activity stream An activity stream is entirely well-suited for initiating contact between small islands in companies and facilitating cross-fertilization. Because people are constantly up to date with each other’s activities, new collaborations arise on their own. Most platforms will offer these tools as the basic elements of a “general tool kit.” Special tools Besides the above-indicated general tools, there have also been tools invented for the specific tasks and processes that are necessary for any given organ- ization. Many general processes can be designed around existing general tools, such as the wiki. The wiki is a document in which several can collaborate at the same time. Other processes require a specific tool with the appropriate built-in stigmer- gic characteristics. The manner in which such tools are required to work, the types of signals and content that users therefore deposit in the environment and the ways in which the accumulation of these signals leads to a fulfilled task are all subject to the redesign process that will be described later on. For an example of a more specific tool, an examination can be made of an envi- ronment in which open-source software is being developed, such as the sublime Sourceforge platform. The basis of the platform is formed by a few standard components, such as a forum, a wiki, a blog, rating mechanism, comments, activ- ity stream; the “whole works” constituting a completely social set-up. It is one Collaborative 53
  • 50. of the finest social platforms in existence. Entirely specific, customized facilities27 for the collective development of software have been incorporated. The platform has tools for version control, bug tracking, release management, download man- agement, etc. It is a fully-equipped software workshop in which developers from around the world can produce software together. It is entirely conceivable that a stigmergic collaboration platform may be built to fit every type and class of production in an organization: a tool for requesting, processing and delivery of local government “products,” such as fishing licenses, building permits and complaint handling; a platform for open-source research; a platform for innovation. Anything seems and is possible. In addition to the basic set of tools, each of these platforms will have other tools for specific proc- esses involved in the purpose at hand. Stigmergic collaboration tools customized for the organization. 27 http://sourceforge.net/register-project/features.php 54 TeamPark
  • 51. Notes Collaborative 55
  • 52. 6 Intelligent A community potentially contains a great deal of talent that can be used to improve operational management, for example. Although never intended for commercial use or for unlocking collective intelligence, a well-known platform that clearly possesses all these qualities is MySpace. The community of MySpace is enormous, as is its vitality. But something essential is lacking: nothing important “results.” There is no purposeful goal. No meaningful result. The platform is conse- quently diffuse and clearly demonstrates that just having fertile ground is not enough. Perhaps the most important ingredient of a “commercial” social platform is the aggregation mechanism. There must be a way to “tap” into the wisdom of the crowd. The community must have the ability to converge on a result, and this may be accomplished by implementing the appropriate aggregation mechanism. No such mechanism is available on MySpace, and it is perhaps for this reason that it is not much more than a place to hang out. The fact that a great deal of ugc (user-generated content) is generated, for exam- ple, in the form of high-grade wikis, displays in itself the presence of talent. However, this talent has no immediate purpose. Generating knowledge does not necessarily result in a solution, improvement or innovation. Knowledge in itself will not improve operational management,; such improvement requires another mechanism. Intelligent 57
  • 53. On a social news site where users work together to collect news and vote on the best news items, this mechanism is the front page of the website, where only the best articles are displayed. The same holds true for a website such as Dell’s Idea- storm. Users can make suggestions for improvement on which other users can vote. The best proposals then appear on the front page and are given serious consideration by Dell. There are innumerable ways to evaluate the quality of content, but they are also all dependent on the definition of “quality” being applied. These examples simply involve a democratic vote. Such simple determi- nations of an average rating may be easily enhanced by, for example, not weight- ing every vote the same. The weight of a vote may be made dependent on the “karma” of the voter. Valued users then have more influence on the vote than others do. Furthermore, quality may be assessed in different ways and based on several factors. In any case, these types of calculations must be guided by the desired quality of the community and the outcomes that are to be stimulated. Such “quality calculations,” which may occur at several locations in a large sys- tem, come under the heading of “collaborative filtering.”28 The aim of such filter- ing on a Web 2.0 platform is, in most cases, to assemble the most valuable/useful contributions from the mass of a community’s input. Be aware of the Matthew effect Crowds and communities have a strange effect on their members. Not only is a crowd “more” than the sum of its individuals, the crowd, as a whole, also has a feedback loop to its parts. Sociology has noted the existence of something called “cumulative advantage.” This is commonly known as “the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer” and more officially as the Matthew effect29: “For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” People always have the tendency to attach themselves to the largest, best or most well-known group, person or opinion: in this way, it resembles the bandwagon effect.30 On such social news sites as digg, this potential has a great influence on the voting behavior of visitors. People tend to vote on articles that already have the most votes. digg is a social news site where the crowd can vote on the news 28 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_filtering 29 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_effect 30 http://blog.futurelab.net/2007/04/cumulative_advantage_versus_th.html 58 TeamPark
  • 54. items that appear on the front page. The quality of the news leaves something to be desired and the monotony of the topics is sometimes intolerable. It is never too long before the umpteenth iPhone or iPad news report is once again at the top of the list. In part, this is the result of irrational factors (the power of stupid people in large groups), but a significant element is perhaps related to the design of the website.31 Since the popularity of articles is visible before voting, there is a strong tendency in the crowd as a whole to make already popular articles even more popular with likely negative consequences for the general quality and diversity of the content on the website. A similar effect is discernible on any site where “top rated” or “most popular” lists are displayed; the items mentioned on these lists are looked at or watched with disproportionately greater frequency. People undoubtedly feel more secure in the knowledge of belonging to the largest group. Weblogs such as the Dutch Geenstijl make grateful use of this behavior; they bind together an extremely large group by dissing collectively smaller and less able groups. Easy, effective but not resulting in anything of quality. Actually, the “cumulative advantage” involves nothing more than putting Boids rules into effect. We already discussed this point in “From Crowd to Community”. Boids is a simulation of the flocking behavior of birds, insect en fish. A Boid is programmed to always follow the direction of its nearest neighbors and to always shift to the position of these neighbors. Or at least remain close by, not too far off. If we come to know that the members of a group always want to move in the same direction as other members, we can then take it into account by, for example, disguising the direction of movement. In the case of a social news site such as digg, you could redesign the mechanism so that you will be able to analyze the popularity of an article only after your vote has been cast. Such a measure will make the vote much more independent, and will improve quality (but likely also reduce quantity). It is probably no coincidence that del.icio.us, another great social bookmark site, has a much higher diversity of content and an independent voting mechanism as well. The site has, at the same time, fewer visitors. Unfortunately quality and quantity are often mutually exclusive. 31 http://mashable.com/2007/04/15/is-digg-the-result-of-cumulative-advantage/ Intelligent 59
  • 55. Collaborative filtering If a social platform has to create a feeling of togetherness, it is then desirable to have a front page made by the group itself: a page through which all content and all activity passes irrespective of the manner in which it is made or the part of the community to which it is relevant. When a great deal of content is produced (forum posts, videos, photos, slide shows, wiki entries, auction advertisements), it however provides an undesired torrent of information on the front page. New content then flashes by so quickly that no-one gets anything out of it. Furthermore, not everything is suitable for the front page. This page is particularly well-suited to be a continuous display for only the best, most attractive, most inspirational items posted at any given moment. The appear- ance of an article on the front page is then its own reward. However, editing on a social website is blasphemous. Therefore what should we do? The solution is to allow the community itself to determine what is good and what is not. This can occur in various ways. Nearly, every social site makes it possible to rate articles, YouTube being a good example. This rating can be used to select the currently top rated articles for inclusion on the front page. If the rating involves the time frame of the article’s front-paging, the article will naturally lose its popularity and disappear from the front page at some point. This mechanism, known as collaborative filtering32 is exceptionally well-suited for selecting the best content without explicit editing. The mechanism is even extremely demo- cratic. Besides explicit or active rating, there are also implicit or passive factors that might assist in the selection. In fact, all the factors that might make content desir- able must be given consideration. Collaborative filtering generally exists in two versions: active and passive. Allowing users to vote can be classified as an active variant, in which case a great deal of usable information is overlooked. To prevent such neglect, consideration can also be given to viewer ratings, the number of reviews, perhaps even a type of automatically measurable quality of the content. This is called passive filtering. Regardless of the variant, the algorithm used has a large influence on the evolution of the community and the quality of its out- put. 32 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_filtering 60 TeamPark
  • 56. nujij.nl, the social news site of the Dutch nu/ Ilse media organization, determines the popularity of articles based on votes alone and gives each vote equal weight- ing. Viewer ratings for an article and the number of reviews that it receives are not included in the calculation. This means that a large part of the community does not have any influence on the content of the community. If nujij.nl were to include such factors, the chance is great that a cultural transformation would be discernible. By culture, we are here referring to such factors as the tone in which the average discussion is conducted, the type of news that is posted, as well as the degree of involvement and interaction. A potentially large problem in so-called democratic (or actively filtered) systems is misuse. Social news site digg is so large that front-page posting is financially attractive for the referred site (advertising income). At a certain moment, word began to go around that top posters had organized themselves and were being paid for voting articles to the front page. The transparency and predictability of the algorithm being used, a superficial understanding of basic social mechanisms and some assistance from other top posters, makes it possible to systematically “game”33 the system (also known as “pay for play”). digg took action but appar- ently without much success. It is also very easy to have news items appear on the front page through the mere collaboration of a small group of members early in the lifecycle of an article. Members of Dutch Zapruder Inc. website were able to take nujij site hostage for weeks until the authors of the “truth” site told their fans to settle down. The solution that nujij programmed into their system after- wards, was entirely asocial; it became possible to register secret dissenting votes and, since then, strange things have been occurring in the system. Likely, an edito- rial board is pressing the buttons to suit themselves. A good reputation system and a clever algorithm can provide an effective solution for this problem. At Zaplog.nl, our own “social experiment” that grew out to be one of the larger social news sites in the Dutch language and even won “The Dutch Bloggie,” popularity is therefore partly calculated by the system. The underlying basis for this is the so-called 1% rule for social media. The system uses different statistics such as number of votes, number or different people making comments, number of comments, number of inbound referrers, number of views to calculate popu- larity. The algorithm that calculates popularity gives these properties different 33 http://bokardo.com/archives/diggs-design-dilemma-redux/ Intelligent 61
  • 57. weightings, the 1% properties receiving much greater weight. The weighting is continuously updated and standardized for the last 1000 articles. ZapLog.nl uses “the reciprocal of the ratios of factors” as weighting for the popularity of an article so that each type of user gets a fair shake. In this way, a page view has much less weight in the algorithm than a vote but the anonymous lurker still has some influence on the system The number of votes on the popularity of articles is not noticeably visible, in order to avoid the Matthew effect. Because Zaplog. nl wishes to post articles written by the contributors themselves, articles under copyright (an indication of original content) are given preference, as are articles with an image and a certain minimum length. All attributes regarded as desirable are encouraged. Originally, experiments were conducted on the quality of an article’s content. Several algorithms exist that, based on statistics involving word lengths and diversity, can say something about the quality of an article, translated, for example, into a number such as “year of education.” However, such calcula- tions have proven undesirable because their algorithms understand nothing of poetic or creative use of language. The most important consideration in conceptualizing weighting algorithms is the desired quality. What articles, what content, what output is desired? The most desirable output should, of course, have the greatest chance of a front page posi- tion, assuming that such positioning is a good stimulus for authors. At Zaplog. nl, it is possible to post both original articles and many simpler link dumps. Since an effort is made to display as much original content as possible, articles written by contributors are given preferential treatment in several ways. In posting, an author must indicate the copyright that the article has: none (for quotations and link dumps), creative commons34 shared) or all-rights reserved. Exclusive content has an easier and faster route to the front page and may remain there longer. To provide extra stimulation, original articles are posted with a short introduction, while link dumps appear only as a title. Users have a greater tendency to click on intros than to click on “naked” links. Articles accompanied by pictures also receive somewhat greater preference, as do articles of substantial length. The entire layout design, social design and interaction design are intended to stimu- late the posting of original news and opinion articles, and the proof that this policy works was confirmed by the award of a Dutch Bloggie for best Dutch weblog in the news and politics category.35 The largest portion of the content 34 http://creativecommons.org/ 35 http://zaplog.nl/zaplog/article/winnaars_dutch_bloggies 62 TeamPark
  • 58. now consists of original work, and the site has grown into the second largest social news site in the Netherlands. The algorithm and the social design of the website are constantly being revised. It has adopted a social design that serves as a sort of public demonstration, in part because ZalpLog.nl is used to testing and developing many of our theories. Reputation or karma The importance of the right aggregation mechanism for a social web- site has already been mentioned above. Just causing large quantities of ugc (user- generated content) to be created is not enough; neither is just initiating a great deal of activity. Making many friends, watching a lot of videos, do not lead to any results, except in the case of websites that must have page views and user numbers to gen- erate advertising revenue. A social platform that actually wants to use talent to devise better business operations has to involve more. There must consequently be a means to calculate/generate/demonstrate results. The above-described front page is one such technique. As a consequence, “results” not only appear, but the practice also ensures that everyone remains in touch with the entire community. Another mechanism, often used in combination with others, is “reputation.” Every identity (in most cases, of course, just a normal user) can be associated with a number indicating the identity’s weight in the community. This number can be used to stimulate quality in many ways.36 The most simple such mechanism is a ranking, which may then produce a “User of the Week.” Reputation systems must be used with restraint, however. Each user is, in prin- ciple, equally valuable to the community because he or she may also, at some time, throw his or her unique talent into the battle. Even troublemakers and trolls have their function.37 An unruly person always is very successful in stifling discus- sion and, in many start-up websites, editors often take this role on themselves. At the same time, some users are just more active and more successful than oth- ers, and a signal provides the appropriate reward. It constitutes an incentive. The reputation system must, however, never represent a barrier to new, beginning or, up to then, less valuable users. 36 http://www.moneysmith.com/2008/07/28/why-does-social-media-need-karma-ratings/ 37 http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(internet) Intelligent 63
  • 59. A reputation system can also be usable to the community in combating misuse. Especially in systems in which content and activities can be voted on, or in which ratings can be issued, it is undesirable that everyone who has just become a member should be able to immediately strongly make a strong impression on the site. In this case, this type of right must first be earned. At the Dutch ZapLog, karma is calculated on the basis of an evaluation that the system makes of a user’s contributions, which is furthermore determined on the basis of such weighted factors as the number of interactions (views, comments, links and ratings), the number of different users who have interacted, and the average rating. A user is therefore more valuable if the community evaluates his or her contributions as valuable. As a result, both quality and quantity become important. On your social platform, an examination must be made to determine the quali- ties of each group that should be stimulated and to discover if a different karma system must be established for each group. Do not be afraid to regularly change these calculations as the community grows, however. In a small community, an effort must first be made to obtain quantity; in somewhat larger groups, greater emphasis can be placed on quality. Certainly communicate the changes and do not make any exceptions for certain users. At the same time, such transparency must occur without revealing the specific details of the calculation in order to prevent cheating. Reputation can also be helpful in establishing the specific expertise available in the different groups or in finding expertise regarding a particular matter. Used in combination with social tagging and social network analysis, it becomes easy to undertake a few keyword searches to establish the source of the most valuable content associated with these words, as well as the groups and individuals behind it. The form of analysis by means of which this occurs is called social network analysis and typically results in the previously mentioned “communities of prac- tice” (groups of people who have implicit relations with each other on the basis of earned reputation and demonstrated interests). 64 TeamPark
  • 60. Notes Intelligent 65
  • 61. 7 Adaptive Where to begin? A complete organization provided with a living social side must go through an entire sequence of steps in order to emerge. With Team- Park, we envision a development in four phases: awareness, strategy, implementation and vitalization. An important ingredient in the strategy phase concerns the deter- mination of the scale and degree in which the organization has to establish processes to “socialize” itself (equivalent to the term “democratize” used in literature). It goes without saying that every type of organization requires a different platform, depend- ing primarily on the processes that must be facilitated. But how do we determine the types of communications and the manners of collaboration that may be suc- cessful, and the department that first must test the new way of working together? There are various theories, but we are ultimately interested in a process that provides the best possible results at the lowest possible cost and within the least amount of lead time. In our view, there are two possibilities for doing this, and all other variants are derived from these two. Evolution vs. Intelligent Design In general, there are two strategies for achieving an “adapted social platform”: evolution and intelligent design. Both strategies have advantages and disadvantages. The choice between them depends on the specific situation and, in particular, the size of the company. In very large companies, evolution is advanta- geous at many points. Ultimately, the chance is then the greatest in such large Adaptive 67
  • 62. organizations that the most extensively adapted platform can be created without running through an enormously expensive procedure. Given that practice can best determine the processes requiring an improved social and given that training and intensively counseling employees are not only very expensive but always occur under the risky assumption that we know in advance what the final result has to be, it may prove much wiser to adopt the “social evolution theory.” In our view, this runs as follows: a big bang makes a very rich and “over-functional” social platform available organization-wide, and the ele- ments of this platform are monitored to determine which ones are successful. The successful initiatives are nourished and expanded, while unused functional- ity is allowed to die out, or at least reduced to a less prominent stature. In this manner, relatively little guidance is required to create a successful platform that is, by definition, adapted to the organization. The other strategy is social intelligent design. This process is very precisely geared to finding the most fertile ground in the organization and to sowing seeds there. Three factors play key roles in this respect: • Processes • People (your employees) • Technology Of course, not all processes are well-suited or function better as a result of socialization. By analyzing the organization to find the processes that might be given attention, the initial range of solutions can be significantly diminished. Strictly speaking, we are actually putting this wrong. It is, in fact, not the proc- esses that are important but the results: the successful performance of tasks. Some tasks can better be performed by means of social collaboration (organic), others are better undertaken through functional collaboration (mechanical). We need to find the processes that currently rely on functional collaboration but don’t perform well. They are probable candidates for social redesign. Not all your employees are suitable, have the intention or have the power to undertake all the new forms of collaboration and communication on their own. Examining the forms and tools of collaboration that are appropriate for your people substantially reduces the range of solutions. 68 TeamPark
  • 63. Finally, there are the ordinary technological requirements or limitations of your facilities. Consideration of these issues also creates an organizational map with which to identify the best possible breeding ground for social initiatives. Which processes? Large bureaucratic companies do not have an explicitly organic quality, but they do have a great number of processes that, in fact, do have this dimension. Such misplaced processes can be identified and constitute the most obvious can- didates to convert from bureaucracy to holocracy. Misplaced processes are recogniz- able in various manners. They have the characteristics of social stigmergic collabo- ration. For example, many involve broadcast communications or inherent asynchrony. They have an ad-hoc or incidental nature, as well as characteristics that are difficult to encode in procedures. Consider, in this regard, the difference between mechanism and organism. Many processes are of a hybrid nature. In these cases, they have functional as well as social features. Take, for example, the bidding process in a commercial knowledge company. This is a centrally coordinated process in which much of the information must be obtained from employees working in another part of the organization. For them, it is organic work. They cannot be expected to par- ticipate in synchronous reciprocal collaboration within the bid team. They can- not always drop everything to respond to an email. This conflict can result in large degrees of inefficiency. The way of working and communicating used by the bid team until that time (documenting, circulating emails, teleconferencing and making agreements) almost entirely bogs down, and the project is exposed to enormous stress as well as inevitable aggravation. These types of processes can make enormous gains in efficiency by providing them with the proper stig- mergic facilities. Unpredictable processes are also often suitable candidates for socialization or maybe something like crowdsourcing. Innovation is such a process. Good ideas do not appear on command, and the generation of them is difficult to systematize. Crowds very often have extremely good ideas, frequently coming in a more reli- able stream, than that produced by a few, even incredibly inspired, individuals. The same applies to resolving problems or finding information. Adaptive 69
  • 64. Besides misplaced, unpredictable and hybrid processes, some poorly-performing processes are also candidates for socialization. Evidently, these processes are dif- ficult to optimize in a conventionally functional manner. There is a reason for their poor performance, which might be improved by conducting the processes in a stigmergic manner. Areas where substandard performances occur or where doubt and discussion exist are, in general, good areas to examine for their social potential. Analysis of the social graph can also deliver very many clues. Especially the hubs, the highly interlinked nodal points in the organization (people with many social relations), are worth taking a look at. Likely, there are many organic processes in play at these points. Which employees? Since social processes are mostly performed by employees (though we can envision social platforms in which software agents, machines and other types of actors participate), it is important to know their habits, wishes, possibilities and impossibilities. What social media do they use in their private lives? How willing and able are they in this respect in general? A baseline measurement of the crowd mostly takes the form of an organization-wide survey. If the survey reveals that the largest portion of employees feel uncomfortable on a social platform, perceptions must be altered or the strategy revised, or training and workshops provided. Which resources? It is clear that the existing infrastructure and the factors characterizing the current application landscape are decisive factors affecting the choice of social media. Less obvious is the fact that the chosen communication and collaboration media must suit the results that are to be achieved. A wiki is an excellent means to compose collective documents without having to circulate them in a complicated manner. It cannot however be used to find people or expertise. An activity stream can certainly help to keep activities transparent and to encourage unrequested (but desired) assistance, but it is not suitable for work planning. The palette of social 70 TeamPark
  • 65. media increases almost daily, and a clever choice has to be made, while complying with the valid preconditions. Adaptive 71
  • 66. Notes 72 TeamPark
  • 67. 8 Linked No social platform is an island, to loosely paraphrase a well-known saying. Just as no single participant in the community only acts within your platform or distinguishes him or herself only there. Content is furthermore never totally isolated. Social networks almost always encompass many websites and many social environments. Many people have their own social networks, which in many cases have certain amounts of overlap with professional networks. The platform must be able to deal with this interconnectivity; it would be folly only to support the “inter- nal” part of the networks of all employees. On the contrary, the degree to which an environment is linked to the world outside the organization is even significantly crucial for its success. Most employees, certainly the so-called Generation Y, participate in external social platforms, in addition to the social platforms at their work. They post clips on YouTube, bookmarks on Del.icio.us blog postings on Blogger and photos on Flickr. The store their documents on Divshare, display presentations on Slide- share, keep up to date with their friends on Facebook, and exchange chitchat with the entire world using Twitter. All these activities require clever, well-con- ceived strategies and technically capable platforms in order to deal with all this networking. There is nothing more annoying than having to do things twice. Why should we have to update blog postings, clips or photos on different sites, including the organization’s social platform? Wouldn’t it be smarter if the plat- form could simply share content and the employer have a relaxed attitude about Linked 73
  • 68. it? Coming up with a clever strategy for this purpose is not simple, as there is an enormous area of tension concerning the security of sensitive information. Taken altogether, we use the term linked to express the extent to which we undertake external and internal sharing and establish connections. rss and web services Exchanging information with other platforms may occur in several ways, including by means of rss feeds38 (Really Simple Syndication). This is the mechanism that automatically broadcasts new articles or recent updates to other websites, or to news readers. A platform must both supply feeds and receive (aggre- gate) them. Important or relevant information flows or types of content must all have their own outgoing feed, so that recipients of information (which may be other websites, ordinary users with feed-readers, as well as the same website but different sections) can receive it in a form specifically configured for them. Information can also be exchanged by means of other protocols and interfaces, such as Web services, soap, rest and the like. In the blogosphere and other blogging platforms, it is not unusual for websites to “ping” each other when there is new content. When rss feeds are based on “polling” or when content is checked at fixed interval (with resulting inefficiency), such a ping is an “interruption” mechanism. This is more direct and efficient. For the sake of outgoing rss, it is necessary for the broadcast content to be also visible on public urls outside the firewall. Widgets There is a range of technical concepts that a website can and must support. For instance, it must be possible for original content to be re-used on other websites in the form of widgets.39 A widget is something such as a YouTube clip that can be embedded in the texts of a blog. Nearly, all content-oriented websites permit such content “to be embedded” in other websites. Notable examples include 38 http://rss-tutorial.com/ 39 http://theedublogger.com/2008/01/19/getting-more-out-of-widgets/ 74 TeamPark
  • 69. the presentations of Slideshare, the sideshows of Flickr and even the podcasts or radio programs of Last.fm. The social platform must be able to display external widgets for various types of content (such as blogs, forums, wikis) and perhaps also provide widgets that enable internal content to be re-used on external websites. The widgets, such as described above, each come from one unique source and are “embedded.” It is also possible to combine several sources in, for example, a mash-up. A mash-up will often be used to obtain simple insight into raw data such as a list of data. A much used manner to make a simple mash-up is to incorporate data from Google Maps. For example, address data can be placed on a national map by means of which we can acquire a much better idea about the distances separating us. There are of course many other possibilities for combining and presenting data in a user-friendly manner and it would be nice if the platform could support all of them. Social bookmarking Social bookmarking is another form of information exchange between sites. In the case of social bookmarking, links to favorite external sites are displayed for all users so that everyone can benefit from each other’s sources of knowledge. Usually, social bookmarking is combined with the attribution of tags and the rank- ing of sources, as a result of which findability and applicability are increased. Enterprise bookmarking, which is derived from social bookmarking, takes place within the organization and behind the firewall. It is used to share links to favorite pages on the internet or intranet with fellow employees. Linked 75
  • 70. Notes 76 TeamPark
  • 71. Part 2 Method
  • 72. 9 TeamPark Although an Intelligent Organization is dependent on a platform, just making a platform available is no guarantee of success. Earlier, we provided an analogy involving the ownership of telescopes. Not everyone with a telescope is an astronomer. Determining the platform that best suits your organization or goals and the manner in which it can best be set up and be introduced in your organiza- tion is a complex process. We will describe this process insofar as TeamPark is concerned by means of a phased approach. The phasing will enable you to develop a good understanding of what is going on, as the name of each phase indicates its purpose;, and the outcome of the phase reveals its focus. To provide an organization with a living social side, TeamPark passes through the following four phases: • Creating Awareness • Determining Strategy • Implementation of the Platform • Bringing the platform to Life TeamPark 79
  • 73. The four phases of TeamPark The phases and also the steps can be gone through in an incremental, partially overlapping and/or iterative manner, just like other modern development and change management processes. As a result, we comply with the various approaches involving process and project management. We will provide more explicit detail about this subject, but will regard it as self-evident from this point on. Awareness Existing organizations, especially large multinationals, are hesitant about chang- ing the nature of their organization. They resist such change, not just for the most part due to emotion or lack of vision, or failure of nerve, but they have spent decades optimizing their processes, and organizing the internal function of their “machine” in a most rigorous manner. The (misplaced) fear about having to throw this all away is consequently evident. Even if the organization decides to initiate a TeamPark process, things can still become very intense. By functionally 80 TeamPark
  • 74. optimizing everything, these organizations have become so rigid and inflexible that change is nearly almost impossible. An incapacity to come to grips with the changing world was certainly apparent during the economic crisis that began in 2009. The intrinsic inertia of each large bureaucracy is therefore not only a fre- quently mentioned argument against the change process that we are proposing, but also a significant inhibiting factor during the change. In addition, daring and vision play a large role. To enable the changes to succeed, an extensive “social awareness” must, at first, be cultivated. This can take the form of training, workshops and inspiration sessions. Ideally, they will all be coordinated by an organization-wide pr campaign. In this respect, introducing a new product on a consumer market is not much different from introducing a social platform in a company. The goal of such campaigns is to create demand and make everyone aware of the different way of working together and manag- ing collaboration. We are, in effect, advocating a different type of work ethic. People will be prepared to live a double life in the company, although this may sound more dramatic than it is. In their private lives, people do nothing else than live and take part in communities in an “organic” manner. It is working in a bureaucratic organization that is, in fact, unnatural. The “power structures” and “reputation systems” active in the organic sphere are different from those in a bureaucratic structure. Who says that a ceo also has the most to say in a community? Of course, such may indeed be the case, but his or her status will then be purely based on the value of the contributions made. The community leader may very well turn out to be someone else. Managers and executives are given another role and must grow accustomed to it and be able to handle it. In many organizations, their reticence is often experienced as the biggest impediment during the transformation to the Intelligent Organization. It is management in the style of manager 2.0 that is required. Management on the social side no longer occurs by means of direct instruction and the modification of job profiles, processes and kpis, but by adapting the framework of the plat- form. There are, of course, also the non-”digital natives,” the people who did not grow up with Playstations and cell phones in their hands. Not everyone will feel com- fortable with the new communication technology, which will likely be imple- mented even without TeamPark. Unified Communication and Collaboration TeamPark 81
  • 75. (ucc) will take some getting-used-to for many people. Although it sounds like an enormous change, it will result in an organization in which everyone can work in their own way. In fact, there will no longer be any “stragglers,” but just greater choice and more opportunity. These people, in particular, must not be forgotten in all your communications. Once they acquire the impression that the new organization does not have any place for them, a gulf is opened, and aversion created. The reality is, however, that the new organization will also be more agreeable for these people. Not everyone has to make use of the new platform and the new tools. One of the things that must be clearly communicated is therefore the fact that the social platform will be a supplement. The Intelligent Organization is an organization in which the existing functional side is supplemented by a living social side. There will be room for everyone in the Intelligent Organization; the organization will simply be better able to han- dle individual wishes and talents, while making much more clever use of the organization’s size. Strategy A social strategy becomes necessary at the moment when social awareness is created. A decision must be made about the direction in which the organization wants to grow. Objectives will have to be set. A plan will have to be made to 82 TeamPark
  • 76. achieve them. The vision must be adjusted. New facilities are required and will have to be built. Undeniably, adaptations of existing processes are required and must be designed. Depending on the type of company and the size of the social needs, the company may have to undergo a significant transformation, and this must of course occur in such a manner that continuity continues to be guaranteed, with the motor running. It will be a great leap, and one that must be negotiated according to a clear plan. It is this plan that is drawn up in the strategy phase. Before the transformation can be plotted, there must be an assessment of where the company stands at the moment. Consideration must then be given to where the company ultimately wants to go, both in terms of the new organic quality to be built and the existing management and control structures, which must also be taken into account. To move from the actual to the target situation requires an initial baseline meas- urement, which is also performed in the strategy phase. This self-assessment creates an awareness of the current situation and is then used to measure progress. A workforce analysis can also be conducted in order to ascertain the communi- cation and collaboration practices of the employees and the extent to which they will feel at home among the various “new” concepts and media. Plotting the current social graph can reveal how the social connections of employees change over time, and may also contribute a great deal to proper decision-making, as it reveals where social processes are currently at play and who the social hubs are. A process map can be drawn up to display germinating social activity from a process-oriented point of view. A logical next step is to outline the possibilities and identify the situations where such growth may occur. If possible, low hanging fruit should be identified. Performances on the social side are measured differently than those observed on the functional side. New measurements must be found for the social sphere, and it may also be necessary to come up with new kpis, both activities to be accom- plished during the strategy phase. There are also general indicators that might need to be updated. An example involves the updating of the average connected- ness of people in their social graphs. It is likely beneficial when connectedness (the number of relations) goes up. Volume of email may be an appropriate means of measuring this quality, as the use of wikis should reduce email traffic. Another TeamPark 83
  • 77. indicator may be clocked commuter travel. If the platform successfully stimulates a new way of working, kilometers travelled to and from work should go down. This phase involves planning, calculating, estimating and conceiving. Implementation This is the phase in which software is installed, built, configured and tested. All infrastructural adjustments are performed, existing components are integrated and everything is made ready for the actual launch. In other words, this phase consists of the technical and functional implementation. In this way TeamPark resembles a typical it project. Besides software and infrastructure, the need to adjust processes must also be looked at. Processes being socialized must be adapted in order for them to be successful in a stigmergic environment. The new processes also have to be tested. Training will therefore have to be undergone and offered on a small scale. In particular, this phase is also the right time to train moderators, floor walkers and future catalysts. 84 TeamPark
  • 78. Life The last and most important phase for success involves bringing the platform to life. The launch of a social website on the internet is often just a question of luck. Luckily, this is less the case in the corporate social domain than in the open social one, as the former involves greater constraints as well as highly focused com- munications and training. Employees can simply be retrained and re-educated to perform new social processes, in contrast to the internet, where everything boils down to voluntary action. If the manner in which stigmergic collaboration works in nature is an example, an initial period of chaos on the platform is to be expected. Especially, if an large platform is involved, people will make an attempt, play around and experience confusion. Everyone will have to evaluate the platform on their own terms. Ulti- mately, increasingly more people will discover how they can help each other but, in particular, how they can give others the opportunity to be helped. They will learn how they can crowdsource their problems and how they can perform large tasks even without having the necessary leadership qualities or capacities to manage them on their own. Life can be stimulated in many ways. Stimulation can take in classic forms involv- ing training programs and workshops, but it may also occur in a somewhat more playful manner. An example is the organization of real-life events by means of the platform, these ranging from cooking classes to photography workshops and treasure hunts. Plans, preparations and debriefings can then occur on the plat- TeamPark 85
  • 79. form. What works the best depends on the platform’s objectives and layout. We have had good experiences with throwing so-called install parties and life hack- ing. In these sessions, participants are made web-wise. How do you then col- laborate on a document? When is it better to set up an wiki instead of circulating email documents? Acquired experience indicates that curiosity about and skill in the social platform will emerge naturally. People will learn to blog, use a wiki, social bookmark, tag properly and effectively, etc., and start up self-help groups on the platform for such purposes. Otherwise, you will be quickly overrun with question within a very short time. Then again, they can also be crowd-sourced! A vital resource is catalysis. Organizations always contain people who are very adept and practiced in blogging, for example. Allowing these individuals to pro- vide good examples can have an extremely encouraging effect, and actively involve other users in the online “experience.” It is possible to come up with many labels and roles in this context. We use the term “social catalysts.” Moderation is always necessary. A moderator is concerned with the use of proper manners and the maintenance of good order on the platform. It may sometimes be necessary to refuse or remove content. Do this according to clear rules with- out holding any doubts and without entering into any discussions on the sub- ject. In the beginning, it will likely be most effective if people are initially stimulated to use the platform for their personal interests, such as hobbies and passions. Ultimately it is, of course, a business resource, and business tools must be used to earn money. The manner of teaching people how they can make commercial use of the platform involves elaborating use cases and scenarios. Teach people how they can use the platform for specific processes during the strategy phase (such as how to tag, find knowledge, find people, etc.). The beginning of each new project is another good time to do this. Besides stimulating life, initial measurements of use can be made, and kpis updated. These are determined in the strategy phase. 86 TeamPark
  • 80. Notes TeamPark 87
  • 81. 10 Awareness The most important products and work of/in this phase are: • The offering of workshops, seminars and presentations intended to familiarize management and the largest possible portion of the employees with the new ways of working together and the technology involved. • Project advice, a plan in broad outline containing the conclusions from the awareness phase and suggestions for subsequent development. • Setting up and, if appropriate, kicking off a pr campaign to incite curiosity and initial demand. If necessary, this element can be included in the strategy phase and only initiated then. • Drawing up the literal visual roadmap for the entire project. If necessary, this element can be included in the strategy phase and only initiated then. By reading this book, you have already taken the first step in the awareness phase. For that matter, you will have moved through the zero phase, the state of denial. In this case, welcome back. This initial phase involves familiarization with trends and developments, the evaluation of applicability to your own organization. An initial introduction entails seeing if the ideas click or match with your organiza- tion, so to speak. A key element in his regard involves becoming familiar with a slightly more wide-ranging scale of trends and developments. As it has now become clear, the social trend is not isolated. There are associated developments such as The New Way of Working and Socially Responsible Business, from which Awareness 89
  • 82. you can adopt the necessary ideas, inspiration and now the initial results. The activities in this phase are dominated by the process of growing awareness, so that you achieve awareness at the end of the phase. Workshops, seminars and presentations Of course, it is important for everyone in the organization to know what is going to happen and what we are on about. This first phase therefore focuses on emerging awareness. It is also the phase in which the first matchmaking occurs in the organization. Achieving these two goals involves a little input and output. Input involves placing an item on the agenda. A presentation in which the new way of working together is explained and can be seen to co-exist with the organ- ization’s functional structure. A presentation can also be a nice opening for a workshop, after which you together with people from the organization can iden- tify the nodal points in your own organization. Presentations Sogeti has a few standard presentations available at: http://www.slideshare.net/group/TeamPark and http://TeamPark.org. Anyone may use these presentations under the terms of the issued license (which means that the name of Sogeti must be displayed somewhere and that any incor- porated variations to the presentation are also to be shared with others under the same license). It goes without saying that various presentations are necessary, depending on the audience and the purpose. A presentation at a seminar will have other emphases than one given in a boardroom or a workshop for employees from a specific business division. Decisiveness and innovative capacity may be the most relevant issue at C-level. For hr and the employees themselves, the main concern may be 90 TeamPark
  • 83. employee satisfaction. In effect, it is important for everyone in the organization to see that not everything is going to change. Other possibilities and new ways of working together will be created, but it must be clear that there is a place for every individual in the proposed new organization. Workshops A Workshop is, in effect, an initial step toward successful integration or, if you will, implementation in the user’s organization. For many potential users, it is the first experience of the indicated trends and new collaborative possibilities. The workshops therefore have a primarily introductory function. They involve get- ting to know TeamPark, the social concepts and their application in the a given organization and specific areas of work. This again involves a bit of input and out- put. The presentation provides the input, and brainstorming the output. The “Do-it-together” workshop The goal of the workshop is to enable participants to identify their wishes, points for improvement and problems experienced in their work, so they can work to- gether to resolve them using social communication and collaboration media. The workshop is rigorously divided into four time blocks of a half hour each and the- refore lasts precisely two hours and a few minutes. 1. Social tagging Tagging: Participants receive a maximum 10 minutes time to “tag” each other or themselves (by means of stickers) in a manner that concisely indicates what their top three wishes, requirements, problems, and bottlenecks are. These tags are physically attached to their bodies and are visible to everyone. Clustering: They then receive 10 minutes to use these tags to form groups with others having the same tags. In practice, 4 to 5 groups will be created: a large group, two smaller groups and a very small group, perhaps consisting of just one individual. That’s just fine. Selection: The final ten minutes are spent determining the three tags that are most representative for the group. These tags are placed on a board arranged one under the other in the first column of the board. The board has four columns, one for each Awareness 91
  • 84. of the four time blocks. By posting representative “tags,” participants indicate the work styles, wishes and challenges for the group to which they belong. 2. Social concepts The second time block is used to inform and inspire participants about the “new way of working together.” Social or stigmergic collaboration is explained in this segment. Important concepts such as crowdsourcing, co-creation, and platform are discussed. Tags are available for all important concepts and techniques, and these tags can be used by the participants in the 4th and last segment. The segment is inspirational as well as, now and then, a little abstract with regard to tone and content, although these are also illustrated by striking examples. In this block of time, the tags identifying the indicated concepts are placed in the second column on the board. Participants may, of course, supplement these with their own tags. Examples of concepts are: “collaborative document” (wiki), “eBay,” “rating.,” “collaborative filtering,” “crowdsourcing,” “user-generated content”, “co- creation”. 3. Social media It is time to be somewhat more concrete and to inform participants about social media. Items such as social bookmarking, web meetings, wikis, blogs and all such concrete media are briefly explained in this segment. Tags are available for all the important media and techniques, and these tags can be used by the participants in the 4th and last segment. This segment is therefore much more concrete in tone and content. During this phase, the third column of the board is filled with tags indicating the discussed technology and media. These tags may be supplemented by others supplied by participants. Examples of tags are: “tablet-pc,” “wireless network,” “smart mobile,” “web-cam,” “social spaces,” “concentration spaces,” “home worker,” “coffee bar.” 4. Social solutions The last half hour is reserved for the participants to take the initiative. The first time block enabled them to take stock of and tag their wishes. In the second segment, they were given new concepts of collaboration, for which tags were also availa- ble in the form of sticker sheets and post-it notes. In the third block, they were presented with media and applications, which were also noted on these tags. The 92 TeamPark
  • 85. board at the front of the room now has three columns full of tags: “challenges,” “concepts,” and “media.” At this point, participants must choose a problem from the first column and com- bine it with a concept from the second column and a medium from the third column, so that a possible solution is created. Of course, several solutions may be possible. They will fill the fourth column of the board. It is primarily this time block that will generate awareness. At the end of this time block, during the discussions of the identified solutions, participants are told that the process through which they have just passed in brief, does not vary greatly from what will soon occur on a large scale. The changes of which they now have conceived do not differ greatly from the changes that the introduction of a social platform entails. This makes the process much more tangible and conceivable. This workshop provides a great deal of valuable information that can be used as input for the strategy phase. The pr campaign As indicated above, giving the organization a social dimension is, from the pr perspective, not very different from the introduction of a new product on a consumer market. A stimulating campaign will help to generate early curiosity and even demand. Commission an external marketing firm or the organization’s own marketing specialists to design and implement a campaign running synchronously with the rest of the transformation. First of all, the campaign does not have to be entirely content oriented; it is sufficient to attract the attention of employees. As implementation of the TeamPark program advances, the marketing message must correspondingly develop and, therefore, become more concrete. If the awareness phase is viewed “only” as one involving the recognition of pos- sibilities and needs without necessarily being followed by the rest of the program, it would be better for the expanded pr campaign to be initiated in the strategy phase. Subsequent steps can only be taken once things have reached this far. The strategy phase will give rise to personas (more about this point below), and marketing people know what to do with them. In pr, it is usual to work with Awareness 93
  • 86. personas, and this is also the case in social media. These personas and how to determine them will be discussed in the strategy phase. Roadmap A roadmap charting the sequence of the process is required to make the organization aware of all the stages that have to be negotiated. It will outline the required effort, time and associated costs, as well as the various types of partially overlapping and parallel operations that have to be performed. These processes are described in the roadmap along with the included activities that can be packaged into a project. Bite-size chunks with a clear front and back, start and finish. The various “colors” must be drawn in the roadmap. Consider the information, marketing and establishment of functional specifications from a business perspective, but also include selection as well as items like migration, as they are important for it. The roadmap must connect these items, colors and divisions with each other and bind them together. In this way, the roadmap fill in the details concerning time and activity, while ensuring that the activities do not occur in isolation but as part of a sequence viewed from many perspectives. Coherence of activities and compartments is crucially important for successful implementation of the pos- sibilities outlined by TeamPark. Appropriate moments can also be identified to communicate progress and explain the new possibilities. These can be effectively re-applied as part of your pr campaign. The roadmap consists of guidelines divided into three plans, one each for the strategy phase, implementation phase and bringing-to-life phase. For an extensive description of these sequential phases, see the following chapters Activities described in a roadmap and fixed in a documents will, not of course, spring to life. It is important that this roadmap and the objective remain in sight. To enhance the roadmap’s dynamism, it might be incorporated in a wiki structure and graphically elaborated as an artwork that hangs on the wall. Such techniques provide better communication than a laptop screen. 94 TeamPark
  • 87. Recommendations for the ensuing process The phase is concluded by recommendations concerning the subsequent phases. The results of the workshops and the roadmap for the entire process are summarized for the organization and refined into clear recommendations regarding the route to be taken. We can learn a great deal from the various moments allowing interaction with users. Placing workshop participants in an informal atmosphere and allowing them to exchange ideas create a wealth of end-user information. The possibility offered employees to examine their own work from a distance, the manner in which they undertake such activity and the alternation of tasks often yields fresh insights into the organizational culture and structure. These human factors are extremely important to the TeamPark implementation process. They give you a feeling for the steps that will have to be undertaken in order to make working with TeamPark a success. Your employees are your most valuable cost centers and you should listen carefully to them, as they will indicate what they require to be better satisfied and more successful. Listen to them and make a note of any remarks about work style; also allocate a little responsibility to do something about these points. It would be unusual if the comments by participants in brainstorming sessions and workshops did not ultimately find their way into the selected range of solutions. This must be recorded in the recommendation report and, if appropriate, plotted in planning. Would it not be nice to involve the potential users who have indicated or are aware of the greatest difficulties, and have them take part in building and rolling- out the solution? A more passionate instigator could hardly be found. Awareness 95
  • 88. Notes 96 TeamPark
  • 89. 11 Strategy The most important products and work of/in this phase are: • A vision document that supplements the current understanding with a glimpse of the Intelligent Organization. • New core values that account for the new ways of working (together) and the new outlook (in principle, current core values should be sufficient). • The (initial) explicit social graph • If applicable, an initial sna (Social Network Analysis) • Definition and establishment of measurable goals and kpis for the organiza- tion’s social side and for the Intelligent Organization as a whole. • A process or scenario analysis in which the most important processes or sce- narios are described and in which the misplaced, under-performing and hidden social processes are identified. • A baseline measurement of the workforce that clearly reveals the employees and the types of employees possessing the greatest will to change, needs and/ or possibilities. • Personas based on the baseline measurement. • A few high-impact scenarios/use cases that provided immediate benefits from “socialization” to the largest possible group of employees; these then become the identified social seeds. • Package selection and proof of concept • A communication plan Strategy 97
  • 90. • A training plan • A project plan • Communications material Introducing a new social platform in your organization is much more than tech- nical hocus pocus, it demands sound strategy. This strategy must take care to clearly describe goals and measures, which will in turn ensure that that social platform actually becomes your social platform and is aptly suited to your organ- ization. The previously-formulated roadmap can be further elaborated, fleshed out and made more concrete in this phase. You will also determine the manner in which the social platform will be implemented, how the altered organization will appear and how it will be created (including which steps will be required to create it). All this provides substance for your vision of the Intelligent Organiza- tion and the manner in which you will allow your employees and, possibly, other employees to work with you, and be trained, as well as how you will measure and adjust performance. Formulating vision and core values Absolutely one of the most important things that must occur, prefer- ably at the earliest possible stage, is the formulation of a social vision and a new set of core values. These items must, of course, comply with the overall vision of the company and its pre-existing core values. A clear and properly communicated vision will prove its value throughout the entire implementation process. It will provide for a more consistent and effective execution of the process and, ultimately, lead to better results. The Vision Game Formulating a vision or a vision statement can also be delegated in a playful man- ner to the internal crowd of employees. This promotes the feeling of commitment and also increases awareness. In our own projects, we therefore use the “vision game.” which we employ at the beginning of certain workshops, both to immediately loosen up those in atten- dance and to actually obtain some idea of their thinking on the future platform. 98 TeamPark
  • 91. The aim of this game is to have users collaborate on their own vision statement. For this purpose, they are given white boards or sheets of paper on which there are a series of words with which they are to formulate a statement. The words must be combined together to form a sentence. For this purpose, attendees are divided into groups of 7-10 individuals, each working separately on the statement. By way of example and practice for the game, begin with a series of letters in ar- bitrary sequence that must be combined into a word. This word will then be the first word in the complete sentence. For example, ‘a’, ‘a’, ‘i’, ‘o’, ‘o’, ‘o’, ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘l’, ‘l’, ‘n’, ‘r’, ‘t’, from which the word “collaboration” must be spelled. Following their own insight and based on your assessment of the group, many or few words can be provided, or only the words from an pre-established vision statement. Depending on progress, the final word of the sentence can also be revealed about half-way through. The success of this game is fully dependent on the enthusiasm and skill of the game leader!!!! Drawing up an initial social graph Every organization, no matter how bureaucratic, has social structures that can be presented in a graph. Such a figure is a network model in which the nodes stand for people and lines for their interactions. Once this graph is drawn, it yields useful information. For example, it reveals the so-called “heavy nodes”, peo- ple who already work in a very “informal” manner or who, if they are at the hub of formal structures, are very important for the organization and perhaps even con- stitute single points of failure for one or more processes. They are, in any case, of special value in determining strategy. In addition, knowledge sharing can be improved by analyzing the graph and, where necessary, intervening in the relevant processes by deploying pointed meas- ures. Strategy 99
  • 92. The social graph can be examined and used in various manners; in this regard, it is like any other bi. The best-known manner is illustrated in the figure below. Example of a small social graph The desired representation depends on the manner in which the analysis has to be performed. The social graph may be used to find the following information: • The heavy nodes or exceptionally well connected people, perhaps the “catalyz- ers” or “seeds” of the next phase (discussed below). • Communication distance between individuals: a suitable representation of it is the “distance table” as conventionally used to indicate travel distances between cities. • Sharing of knowledge or activities • Agreements with the formal structure of the organization: the organizational chart. • Clusters of information sharing of collaboration or “communities of interest” (important for scenarios). The technique of analyzing and using this information is called “social network analysis.”40 40 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network#Social_network_analysis 100 TeamPark
  • 93. An important application of this data involves keeping abreast of changes. As the TeamPark process advances and the use made of the social platform increases, changes will become apparent, and their measurements and kpis will have to be coordinated. In principle, “snapshots” can be regularly taken of the instantaneous social graph, so that the differences can be overlaid. Cultivating the social seeds The transformation into an Intelligent Organization is a long-term and extensive process. In the meantime, the company must simply continue to perform at least as well as ever, while any changes must always quickly demonstrate that they are necessary in order to keep everyone in step. Such coordination is accomplished by initiating the changes where and when there are the greatest chances of success, and implementing them, step by step, in a measured manner. The chances of success depend on various factors of which human potential, proc- ess-based probability and infrastructural likelihood are the more important. “People, process and technology” It is extremely awkward to force new processes on a group of employees who are certainly not longing for it, who are not comfortable with change or for whom it is the wrong choice for other reasons. The transformation must begin by selecting the proper group of people. People who are at home with the new way of working together or who are willing to set to work, even if it will cost them some effort: these people must be found. Normally, it would be impossible to find an enthusiastic group of people, who are straining at the leash to immerse themselves in the new way of working and social media and who are willing to invest a great deal of effort in matters that do not immediately improve their own work or directly contribute to improved business operations in general. But nothing succeeds like success. The transfor- mation must therefore carefully intercede in selected processes so that ongoing operations are directly improved in ways that are apparent to everyone. These processes must be carefully selected. The task is to seek out the combination of people, processes and media that gives itself to the new way of working together. Once the right group of people/employ- Strategy 101
  • 94. ees, the right processes and infrastructural possibilities are assembled, the result is what you might call a social seed. A change germinates within this “sub- assembly.” The figure below illustrates this point. It constitutes the basis for the change trajectory. Stigmergic processes and an appropriate platform can be developed from these rudiments. Very simply, this means that new procedures are devised to enable employees to work together on the platform. The platform must therefore be pro- vided with the appropriate media, such as a wiki or a document share. Instead of reliable workflows and synchronous communications, the processes must be set up to rely on communication and collaboration by means of the platform and the media available there. The resulting processes are necessarily of such nature that direct person-to-person, or station-to-station communications are impossible. A stigmer- gic or social process is recognizable by the fact that all or most of the communica- tion or collaboration occurs by means of the platform. The entire organization must be gone through step by step in order to identify candidate processes, which are transformed whenever such transformation becomes necessary. This search is an iterative and incremental procedure, which ultimately establishes a certain balance between mechanical and organic structure. This balance is different for every company. The more that a company is knowl- edge-based, the greater the benefits of socialization (or more accurately: stigmer- gization) will be for its processes. Ministries and banks will be required and able to undergo greater transformations than factories, simply because knowledge work (information processing) represents a larger share of their business. Human factors and identifying personas Human factors can be brought into the equation through workshops, surveys and inventories. This need not be difficult. All types of demographic statis- tics and analyses may be incorporated, but ultimately it all boils down to the fol- lowing variables: • User requirements • Willingness to change • Communication and collaboration practices 102 TeamPark
  • 95. Account may be taken of user requirements in a number of workshops. The willingness to change can be determined by simply asking end users, and a survey can therefore be used to take stock of the entire workforce. Communication and collaboration practices should be identifiable by means of cleverly formulated tests, surveys and questionnaires. The information gathered in the awareness phase can also be combined with the results from surveys and questionnaires obtained here. All this user data must be filtered and correlated in order to make it comprehen- sive and applicable within the final project plan. A plan cannot be drawn up for each person in the organization and this is, in practice, also unnecessary. In the world of marketing and pr, but also in terms of product development, common practice is to work with what are known as personas.41They are archetypes, descriptions of potential users. The idea is that carefully chosen attributes can be used to identify groups or clusters in a crowd of entirely separate and unique individuals. These groups are what we call personas. Each persona is an imaginary user,42 a typical representative of an important group of desirable users. A prod- uct can be tested on these personas instead of on the thousands of individuals of whom none are representative of larger groups. “Personas or personae are fictitious characters that are created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic that might use a site or product. Personas are given characteristics and are assumed to be in particular environments based on known users’ requirements so that these elements can be taken into consideration when creating scenarios for con- ceptualizing a site. Cooper (1999) outlined the general characteristics and uses of personas for product design and development. In the context of software requirements gathering, a user persona is a rep- resentation of a real audience group. A persona description includes a user’s context, goals, pain points, and major questions that need answers. Personas are a common tool in Interaction Design (IxD)” A similar technique is used in product development. Instead of developing a product (in this case a social platform) for thousands of individual users, it can 41 http://iainstitute.org/nl/dan-willis_personas.pdf 42 http://www.cooper.com/journal/2001/08/perfecting_your_personas.html Strategy 103
  • 96. also be built for a number of selected personas. Designers can use personas as if they were real people. Appropriately selected personas will also ensure that all users consider themselves to have had a fair hearing and can recognize the results. The various personas may also provide a basis for making decisions and testing scenarios. The trick is to encapsulate the entire group of users in as few personas as possible, so all their relevant characteristics, goals and requirements are rep- resented. Personas are the social equivalents of job profiles in the functional side of the organization. After defining the personas, employees can be asked to indicate the persona with which they most strongly identify, and matching may also be undertaken on the basis of survey data. Persona: Shamira Shamira is a 23-year-old graduate living together with her partner in South Am- sterdam. She has just begun working for the company and was recruited as a “young po- tential.” She was given the position of Management Trainee. For Shamira, it is her first “real” job since graduation. Shamira is a digital native; internet is a necessity of life for her. She has at least three email addresses to maintain contact with her world. For Shamira, internet is “absolutely normal.” She uses it all the time. Does she read the morning paper? No need, she can user her cell to read the headlines on the subway. A pressing issue, that is what friends are for. A typical statement by Shamira is: “I’m lost without the internet, my online friends and communities.” It is second nature for Shamira to work on the internet. Shamira is ambitious and interested. She is open to ideas but has a competitive attitude. On a typical day, Shamira goes to work in the course of the morning. She uses pu- blic transit and checks her email during the commute. Arriving at work, Shamira turns on her pc and chats briefly with her co-workers, while getting a cup of coffee. Shamira does not have any internet access, which is reserved for a number of her fellow employees. But fortunately she still has her phone. 104 TeamPark
  • 97. After a day of meetings, emailing, printing documents (oops), presentations, forwar- ding emails, typing and telephoning, Shamira returns home late in the afternoon. Quickly grabbing a bite to eat, she heads out for a little athletic activity. On Friday, the goes directly to central Amsterdam after work. When arriving back home, she takes a quick glance at her social network. Social computing is simply a part of Shamira’s life, and not just her personal life. She also has many opportunities to use it at work. For instances, Shamira is already thinking about forming a community for new employees within the worldwide organization in order to find kindred spirits, and ease each other’s daily aches and pains. The possibilities are endless.... Persona: Muriel As a director of Wholesale Banking, Muriel has been working at her current job for over 3 years. Muriel is 35 years old. She has witnessed the emergence of the internet during her time on the labor market and in her private life. Everything was dial-up then, and it took forever to make a connection. The directorship demands a lot from Muriel. Her work life and private life are often intermingled, and although she is not constantly on the internet, she often needs to read her email. Without doubt, Muriel is active on the internet. She has her own Facebook page, where she posts a great deal of information about her 4-year-old daughter, hus- band and 2 cats. Muriel spends a good deal of her time in the car. She must go through at least ten hours a week of traffic congestion and then spend at least nine hours a day at work. Muriel likes figures and a lot of her work involves them. Reports, key perfor- mance indicators, status reporting on ongoing productions, all this information must be processed. Because this is not possible at home, Muriel always needs to be in her office. After work, she spends quality time with her daughter and husband. If necessary, and this is frequently the case, documents are processed further and taken home on a usb stick. Or simple sent to her personal email address. At the end of the evening, Muriel checks her email one more time before going to bed. Muriel often Strategy 105
  • 98. schedules time for sporting activity but frequently does not get around to it. The weekend is for her family. Muriel is especially interested in the functional form of collaboration and infor- mation sharing. Above all, information security is an important part of her work package. Muriel is certainly interested in social computing but feels that this is probably more interesting for her immediate subordinates. Although Muriel has her own LinkedIn and Facebook account, she does not allow herself the time to use these channels to look for information or people. She knowingly admits that she undervalues the need for social computing. Persona: John John is 63 years old. He has worked for the company for more than 35 years. He also works for a subsidiary, where he is a counter clerk. He is also in charge of the keys for the subsidiary: a big responsibility. John does not have so much to do with computers. He therefore tends to say “Just do your work now. That’s the most important thing. Computers are a necessary evil, but I could do without them.” John is not especially concerned with innovation and no longer so ambitious. He performs his work effectively and properly and is the nestor of the department. He goes through the paper at breakfast. Afterwards, this is shoved into the brief- case along with a sandwich and a thermos of coffee. He then drives to work. The workday begins precisely 9 am, but John must open the office before this time. John performs his work at the office reception desk. He spends no to very little time on the intranet reading e-mail. He will only access the internal network when directed to do so by a fellow employee. At the end of the day, the office is closed, and John goes home. Dinner is on the table when he gets home, and John talks a bit with his wife. Social computing or it in the broader sense is not aimed at John. He prefers to meet people personally and discuss things in meetings. He has heard of Facebook, but knows nothing about LinkedIn and cannot assess its value. 106 TeamPark
  • 99. Identifying candidate processes The processes that are the most eligible for change are those that are currently not being performed very effectively. The first task is thus identifying underperforming these processes. Suitable processes must then be selected from among them. Not all processes are suitable for stigmergic collaboration. The selected processes must be redesigned: they have to be stigmergized. The form of the new processes is determined in the implementation phase. Since the organization will be supplied with a collaboration platform, processes can be set up in a way that was not previously available. Ultimately, the new social side will also provide a better functional synergy for the organization, but it would be wise to keep the existing framework for the time being. However, keep in mind that stigmergizing processes continuously generates a perception that will ulti- mately lead to more fundamental changes. Underperforming processes can first be detected by means of the system of cur- rently defined kpis. They are defined for this purpose. A clever glance at all the available management information might quickly reveal a few candidates. By then re-examining user requirements from the perspective of performance, the most applicable candidates can be identified. Candidate processes can also be found by searching for certain characteristics: • “Multi-team” processes Processes that connect customers with teams, teams with other teams or teams with the rest of the organization are by definition vulnerable due to the com- munication mismatch that exists between teams and crowds in general (formal vs. informal). If the company has defined a crm strategy that, in practice, does not turn out to be satisfactory or if the company has a multi-channel strategy that is not working properly, it is quite possible that the related processes need to be redesigned, but this time based on a social platform. • Unstable, fickle processes Processes that are often changing are also eligible candidates, as are processes subject to frequent team changes. • Hidden social processes Social processes are recognizable by the lack of direct communication and fixed workflows. It may, in fact, be that several such processes are already Strategy 107
  • 100. present in the company, but without being explicitly facilitated by a suitable platform. These processes can be accommodated in the social side of the organ- ization without much difficulty. Identifying candidate scenarios Besides processes, an effort can be made to unearth more detailed scenarios comprising sequential descriptions of specific events. A useful but labor-intensive method involves diagramming the most important scenarios in the company. Scenarios that reveal multiple or deep dependencies among individuals (lines from person to person to person), are especially good candidates for socialization. All the more so when popular personas are involved (as such involvement indicates high impact). In contrast, social collaboration scenarios are easily identifiable by the absence of (multiple) dependencies between individuals (see example). A choice can be made from the identified scenarios, taking into account the implicated personas. Without doubt, it would seem logical to choose the sce- narios that impact on the most popular personas. They represent the biggest immediate gain for the organization, but they also have the greatest impact on it and may involve the crowd that is least amenable to “‘voluntary change.” As a result, it may be more logical to opt for a more specific scenario, part of a minority process, combined with the most “social” personas, this being the choice that may cause the least disruption to existing business. This consideration will vary for each organization. Who has the latest version? This scenario involves circumstances where one or more personas require specific information but do not rightly know where it is stored. The information may be available on the file server, a usb stick, the local hard drive, somewhere in an email or on one of the document management platforms. Other ways to visualize scenarios may involve the various uml diagrams (use-case, activity, object) or the right kind of flow charts. In our experience, the more playfully 108 TeamPark
  • 101. visualized diagrams work the best because most people can understand then, not just the technicians. Scenario: Who has the latest version? (actual situation) Scenario: Who has the latest version? (target situation) Strategy 109
  • 102. Package Selection, poc and Planning At the end of the strategy phase or at the beginning of the implemen- tation phase, a choice will ultimately have to be made of the software products forming the basis of the social collaboration platform. This decision will be based on organizational criteria such as existing infrastructure, and enterprise architecture, which is to say the typical technical criteria applying to each it project. The pack- age selection process and the establishment of a Proof Of Concept (poc) will not be described here. An action plan, communication plan and training plan should be written based on the results of the poc and to prepare for subsequent phases. 110 TeamPark
  • 103. Notes Strategy 111
  • 104. 12 Implementation The most important products and work of/in this phase are: • Selecting catalysts • Selecting and adapting the processes to be socialized. • Making the initial steps in designing the training programs, going over them, testing them and refining them. • Working together with the catalysts, moderators and floor walkers to perfect the training programs by means of the train the trainers principle. Implementation is unfortunately a word that is interpreted differently by differ- ent groups. It is often unclear what is precisely meant. We might even agree with remarks that dismiss it as vague language. To give you a clear picture of what we mean by implementation in this phase, we will distinguish three different meanings that many, in our view, apply to implementation. The first type of implementation is technical implementation. Technical imple- mentation makes sure that “it” works. This involves the technical skill of con- figuring the hardware and software. Furthermore, the hardware and software are linked to other systems. Still no users are being considered during technical implementation; it is a purely technical exercise. Implementation 113
  • 105. This changes when we start configuring the software for the purposes of our use and for our users. This step is what we designate functional implementation. The menu structures are configured and the layout of the platform is adapted, for example, to reflect the company logo and letterhead. The social platform is then actually ready for use, which means that it is functionally ready. It is still quite empty and there are no real users associated with the platform. It is not yet alive. It is therefore time for the users to be steam-cleaned for use. Relevant users will have to cope with the new platform; they should be prepared for its completion. We must therefore ensure that users can use it by providing them with training. And we must furthermore take care that they want to use it by enticing them with our pr campaign. We lure them with content and pr, showing them its benefits and explaining how it might work for them. This makes the platform come alive: it goes live! The implementation phase is one in which software is, installed, built, configured and tested. All infrastructural adjustments are performed existing components are integrated and everything is made ready for the actual launch. Such activity certainly reveals what we mean by implementation in this third phase: it involves technical and functional implementation, and not organizational implementation. Organizational implementation, the anchoring of the new technology and func- tionality in the user organization, is incorporated in the final stage of TeamPark, the bringing-to-life phase. The implementation phase of TeamPark is likely the most poorly elucidated in this book. Why? The phase exhibits almost no differences from any other typical it implementation. It involves infrastructure, software architecture, customiza- tion, integration with existing systems, security, testing, training, process descrip- tions, and corporate style and its updates as well as often divergent plans. Misunderstandings between client and contractor will also occur in the imple- mentation process for a range of social software. Project management will also be under pressure at this time. Nothing new under the sun. Of course there will be some new features, but they will have more to do with the ever more rapidly innovative it in general than with social media in particu- 114 TeamPark
  • 106. lar. For instance, there will likely be discussions about “the cloud” or “on premise”, “single sign-on” or “transparent login.” But such discussions will not be unique to implementations of social software. Besides software and infrastructure, the need to adjust processes must also be looked at. Processes being socialized must be adapted in order for them to be successful in a stigmergic environment. The new processes also have to be tested. Training will therefore have to be undergone and offered on a small scale. In particular, this phase is also the right time to train moderators, floor walkers and future catalysts. This is all fully in line with the train-the-trainer principle. An activity that can be initiated in this phase involves selecting early adopters or catalysts, as we prefer to call them. Selecting catalysts Catalysis is a process better known in chemistry than it is in it. In chemistry, catalysis is the process in which the rate of a chemical reaction is either increased or decreased by means of a chemical substance known as a catalyst. Unlike other reagents that participate in the chemical reaction, a catalyst is not consumed by the reaction itself. The catalyst may participate in multiple chemical transforma- tions. Catalysts that speed the reaction are called positive catalysts. Catalysts that slow down the reaction are called negative catalysts or inhibitors. It is clear that, to successfully implement a social collaboration platform, we are looking for positive catalysts and not inhibitors. Positive catalysts (hereinafter referred to as just catalysts) are indispensable for the success of a social software platform. The choice of catalysts is therefore one of the most important steps of implementation and the principle success factor. It has now become the case that a negative comment or any other form of criti- cism continues to have a longer impact in the early stages of a social platform than ten positive comments do. This therefore raises a number of questions: Who are the right catalysts? How are the right catalysts to be chosen? And how do you prevent inhibitors? As already discussed in an earlier chapter, one of the options is to use the results of a baseline measurement of employees. This baseline measurement identifies Implementation 115
  • 107. the practices, needs, possibilities and impossibilities of all or part of the work- force. What social media do they use in their private lives? How willing and able are they in this area in general? If the survey reveals that the largest portion of employees feel uncomfortable on a social platform, perceptions must be altered, the strategy revised, or training and workshops provided. If, however, it is not possible to find a group of employees who are completely at home with Web 2.0, change-minded individuals willing to make a positive contribution to the new platform will provide an important step in the right direction. Instead of a baseline measurement, it may be possible to take a short cut by checking if the organization already has any communities on LinkedIn, Twitter, Yammer or any community media, and to write to these groups. If employees are selected as potential catalysts in this manner, it is still necessary to conduct a very 1.0 personal interview with them before appointing anyone as a catalyst. Such personal interviews enable you to discover the drives and motives of each candidate, and to discuss any resistance that may obstruct catalysis. It would be impossible to select a group of more than 50 catalysts from a baseline measurement derived from the above-mentioned methods. Skipping the personal interview and using email to inform a large group of catalysts about the plans for the platform will highly likely overlook several of the catalysts’ personal wishes and requirements. Everyone will then attempt to translate his or her expectations into idiosyncratic improvements in the new platform. Existing wikis, document management systems, security policies, forums and anything else that is already in use will play a behind-the-scene role in gen- erating comments to the simplest questions or providing key information. The inevitable initial teething problems on the platform will be reduced by recom- mending existing tooling. All types and degrees of comments in the form of “you see” and “you just have to ask” will be posted on the forum. A second possible path for the selection of catalysts takes a more functional form. Commitment is developed in the awareness phase by managing the managers of 116 TeamPark
  • 108. various functional departments with regard to the new ways of working together provided by the social platform. For example, representatives of Human Resources, Marketing, Communications, and perhaps even or and several busi- ness departments must take on the roles of early adopters. These employees might also be selected on the basis of a baseline measurement, but such an event would only be a fortuitous circumstance. It is more likely that these representatives have not adopted any of Web 2.0. This again means that caution is called for. Users of even the most intuitive Web 2.0 tools always require a certain degree of perseverance and trial-and-error mentality in order to benefit from the tools. Without perseverance, use will quickly run aground on disappointment, resulting in a relapse to old habits. Representatives of functional departments will have to be given more guidance and training than other catalysts. The choice of catalysts in both the organization’s organic and functional parts is a delicate process. There may be many wrong decisions taken and only a few good ones. Socializing (Stigmergizing) processes A great deal of effort should be made to pry processes free from the current bureaucracy and shift them to the social platform. These processes are identified in the awareness and strategy phases and are expected to perform better if they use the stigmergic way of working together. Actual and target versions of scenarios have already been discussed above. Below is still another example: Stigmergizing processes An example is the so-called bid process which is sometimes difficult to organize in our organization. Our organization is an it service provider that hires out program- mers, designers, architects, testers etc. and implements projects. In the bid process, a bid team produces a document containing an attractive and well-constructed offer for the customer. The customer has, for example, tendered on a new software system. Implementation 117
  • 109. The process begins by identifying a bid manager who gathers the right people around him or her. This is done by phone or email, and by waiting for replies. In general, the team is made up of relationship managers and similar positions. Eventually, an appointment is arranged on collective agendas and the team meets for the first time. After discussions, the composition of the team may still change, making team composition into a iterative process. Once the team is assembled, the work can begin. Communication usually occurs by email. During the drafting of the document, the team regularly calls on people who are not part of the team. Much expertise is possessed by people known as profes- sionals. The first question is therefore which professionals to call on. Several top- down lines have been established for making such choices, and these will hopefully lead to contact with a professional with the appropriate knowledge and sufficient time to collaborate. Usually, such a professional is found by his or her manager. In one certain case, a few dozen professionals had to be involved in a bid process at one particular moment in time; they has to provide references, which were tantamount to success stories of similar past projects. But, although a bid team of 5 or 6 individuals can still get away with emailing each other the additions and the latest version of the document, such a method becomes virtually impossible when dozens of outsiders have to participate as well. Collective meetings or even regular consultations are impossible because the outsiders are implicated in a very different workflow, and no time can be scheduled where everyone can meet. Yet this is the way in which most companies currently organize this task. Supposing TeamPark analyses show that this process is always fraught by problems, and a decision is made to move it to the social side of the organization. What might it then look like? A new process should certainly be devised that makes use of an appropriate social platform in a fitting manner. Synchronous communication was a problem in the original process. All team members are sequentially dependent on each other, and this represents a lock-in that can inhibit all those involved. Not only was a great deal of communication required (circulation of all changes to all people involved) and the process very vulnerable (assembly of the latest version out of received updates), it was no longer able to be coordinated. The solution is as follows. 118 TeamPark
  • 110. The bid manager, who remains a leader but not a directly intervening manager, has to publish the open or available bids on the organization’s central task board so that appropriate people can take on the tasks. Nobody has to go looking for suitable team members; the appropriate people will find the task themselves. Publishing a bid is a matter of establishing a collaboration space (community). The proper communication tools are all readily available in this collaboration space, which then shows up on the appropriate front pages and activity streams. A person may still be assigned to perform the tasks that do not attract anyone to perform them. Or the tasks can be made more attractive by making the amount of credits earned for doing them dependent on the urgency of the tasks. Collaborating on the bid document does not occur by email but primarily through a collaborative document or a wiki. A wiki is a document on which several people can collaborate at the same time. No co-ordination is required; everyone can work on the document in his or her own time. Consultation can of course occur over the phone or by email, but also through the forum associated with the collaboration space. Supporting documents can be uploaded to the collaboration space. Anyone can see progress and read along on the forum. Working together on bids is made part of their kpis and scorecards, and they are trained in the new proce- dures. Every time that additional information or participants turn out to be needed, an announcement is posted on the organization’s task board, so people possessing the knowledge or time, can jump in. Projects and problems (or their owners) do not have to look for information, although this is not prohibited, but the crowd can easily find problems for which they know a solution and with which they can earn credits. Ultimately, the resulting bid process is not subject to direct control and does not involve direct communication. A form of mass collaboration has now been esta- Implementation 119
  • 111. blished, one that makes scaling up very easy and does not obstruct the new way of working. This requires a suitable platform, new procedures as well as kpis and training in order to provide assurance within the organization. In this way, the entire organization can be examined and processes deemed sui- table or desirable can be converted into stigmergic or social variants. The greater the number of processes that can be transformed, the more flexible and efficient the organization becomes and the more varied the work is for employees and the easier it is for the organization to incorporate strategies involving crm and the new way of working. Designing training programs Specific target groups have different training needs. For instance, users with greater background in the web and technology probably have more experience with the possibilities of introducing a social platform than their less technically- minded colleagues. Requirements will also differ for internal users, your employees, and any external ones, such as customers, suppliers or other business relations. Answering the question “what’s in it for me?” is the best way to meet the needs of each of these user groups. The previously established personas and scenarios can provide you very good support in this respect. They help you to adopt an end-user perspective and, from this viewpoint, you can aptly map out the training and edu- cational needs. Train the trainers To improve the training and, at the same time, to train the early adop- ters as catalysts and moderators, a training program is, so to speak, tested on this target group. This group also probably contains a large number of web-savvy users, so it is good to involve a number of less experienced users in order for feedback to be collected from several perspectives. For example, there are people in the Com- munications department who can support you during the pr campaign, or a number of managers who normally might use modern 2.0 solutions to a lesser extent. 120 TeamPark
  • 112. By providing training, you supply experience about the content and form that you might give it. By listening attentively to the experiences of these initially trained individuals, you will be able to prefect training strategies and, even bet- ter, co-ordinate them with subsequent target groups. Implementation 121
  • 113. Notes 122 TeamPark
  • 114. 13 Life The most important products and work of/in this phase are: • Providing Training and Education in order to teach the user the necessary skills. • Organizing Install Parties, Workshops and Life Hacking events: occasions that not only affect the atmosphere but also generate the experience of an event. • Pro-active presence of expertise on the work floor by making use of Floor Walking. • Using Catalysis to provide quality content and vitality to the platform at an accelerated rate. • Active Community Management of companies to prevent uncontrolled growth while encouraging contributions. • Moderation and monitoring of content in a way that keeps the platform free of inappropriate language and encourages quality. • Thorough Measurement and Evaluation to maintain a grip on successful deployment and rapidly gain experience. It is not enough just to provide the organization with a platform, it must be actively brought to life with great commitment. How a platform should be given vitality largely depends on the type of platform and its application. A platform geared to the outside world (for example customers or suppliers), is very differ- ent from an internal platform for the organization. Customers and suppliers Life 123
  • 115. cannot generally be told what to do, unlike employees who may be provided with new procedures and media. In general it is impossible to train and instruct visitors to a customer platform, while such options exist for employees working on an internal platform. Best Practices How do you get people to the point of participating in the activities of a social platform? The success of social software is unfortunately not predictable. Why was YouTube successful and not Google video or Yahoo video? Why Hyves in the Netherlands and not MySpace? Why Google and not Alta Vista? No one can say. Does this mean that everything must be a gamble and that nothing can be done to compel success? The answer is obvious: of course something can be done. But what is it that must be done to make a community successful? It starts by furnishing the appropriate social software. TeamPark provides soft- ware with a balanced and adapted social character and strong vitality It supplies software that facilitates organic processes. It ensures an agile starting point. It is now up to the participants to make something out of it, but this will not likely happen on its own. How to go about it then? In this case, there is no one road to Rome, and the getting there does not involve hard science. For example, below are recommendations from Flickr, Google, Joshua Porter43 and Juri Engeström or Jaiku.44 We give them to you to be placed alongside the building blocks that we consider important and that we, obviously, will describe in greater detail. 43 http://bokardo.com 44 http://www.upstream.nl/comments.php?id=521_0_1_0_C 124 TeamPark
  • 116. Training and instruction Without doubt, we can briefly and succinctly say that new opportuni- ties require new skills, and therefore training. Of course, such instruction might take the form of a conventional tutorial in which a user must click here and click there and that commonly accompanies well-known product introductions or that make up most technical training programs. It is much more fun and profitable to receive training in the form of a case study or game. An example is provided by the “day in the life” experience: a fun and informative run-through of a possible work- day complete with an extremely likely set of tasks. Such activity ensures that par- Life 125
  • 117. ticipants stick with it and that the training procedure attains a slightly longer half-life than standard workbook-based training programs. Think of it as a kind of serious game in which the roles are assigned to personas and tasks of the scenarios created in the strategy phase. For a case study in which certain goals are to be accomplished, there should be points that have to be scored. In effect, scoring points is actually a minor matter, and much more value is derived from the discussions subsequent to the analysis of the results from the various scenarios. They not only touch on the skills that the participants have gained and whether they had difficulty in acquiring these new capacities, but also and in particular the manner in which the various scenarios impact on the par- ticipants. And therefore on the user’s organization as well. By including the most important functionalities in the various scenarios and thus the case components, participants are exposed to these functionalities in an organized manner without merely learning to press buttons while disregarding the deeper meaning of the functions involved. The training programs are tailored to target groups and must provide relevant scenarios. In discussing a scenario, current common practices can consequently be compared to the procedure just used. Clearly, such comparison provides a big assist in any attempt to make the new way of working concrete. It furthermore provides a clear boost to the organ- ization’s transition and the socialization of the selected processes. Besides such planned training, it is also useful to use a kind of ad-hoc training method. For instance, catalysts can be used as a kind of on-demand social help desk that can be called or emailed directly. In addition, a well-trained official help desk may provide comparable support and training. This clearly requires a different attitude from a help desk that is geared to resolving issues as quickly as possible, after which it breaks the contact with the employee. It is not only intended for technical support and troubleshooting. It is, in fact, concerned with offering real support for the work of the employee. In other words, sincere help and support in the training of skills. Perhaps the above-described feels rather ad hoc and does not therefore fit so well in the structure or culture of your organization. It is also possible to add some- what more structure. Organize informal walk-in sessions for end users. For exam- ple, set up an innovation café that provides not just a demonstration but also 126 TeamPark
  • 118. makes it possible to conduct brief collective training sessions. A physical location that is highly visible to end users and staffed by people who know how the organization can be provided with further help. They act as the eyes and ears of training. With feedback from participants, they can adjust the instruction and training plan initially published during the strategy phase. Install parties Besides the above-mentioned training, instruction and support meth- ods, there are also a number of ways to enliven the platform further. The approach required to instill such vitality involves collective common experience; it does not so much adopt a training perspective but one more concerned with sharing knowl- edge, experience and insights. Install parties may help users still having difficulty accessing the platform to overcome the obstacles. This is actually a form of technical support. The approach is not intended to personally help everyone at the party but, by means of a short central presentation, help users along the way and then allow new users to help each other keep everything in play. Of course, this is supported by additional expertise from a number of specialists such as catalysts or the staff at the help desk. It is great that such informal settings can constitute a party in which people become excited about helping each other. They are also made eager to see more of the possibilities and to share acquired knowledge with others. This positive attitude exists not only at the install party but also outside it, when participants return to work in their separate organizational units. The well-known wildfires of a cultural trend will spread throughout the organization, and the last step of successful implementation and deployment in the user organization will find enthusiastic support among your own staff. The network organization will be used to train and support your employees. This undoubtedly has much greater effect than having the transition managed by a small department comprised of a limited number of people. Life 127
  • 119. Workshops Such an install party is actually a type of workshop in which users not only view a presentation but also can and must begin to work with the new platform. The nice thing about workshops is that the distance between experts and potential users is super small. In informal settings, you are easily able to reach your goals because there is direct contact with end users. There is cross-fertilization and exchange of best and possibly worst practices. To obtain a good atmosphere in the workshops, they should be started with a little input: reading a presentation on the possibilities or something similar. After all, participants expect you to establish the framework. Do not be formal; that would put a brake on contributions and reciprocal self-help. Introducing an unexpected activity has proven to work well at the start of a workshop. An example might be the tags from the workshop in the awareness phase described earlier. Especially if it also involves a part of the physical activities, we quickly separate ourselves from the daily grind and open our minds to new possibilities. By linking results from the awareness phase to choices in the strategy phase as well as to the platform going live, users obtain the feeling that they are finally getting what they are asking for. Establishing such links always kicks this work- shop off on the right foot. The group for which you plan and organize the workshop depends mainly on the culture of the organization, and to a lesser extent, on its structure as well. In a more formal organization with hard lines of control, it may be difficult to assemble a wide array of users in one group and get them to help themselves. Think of a top manager who is given an explanation by a newly-hired young whipper-snapper. Could this happen in your organization? It would be nice if it could, because this would mean that you already have an open and informal culture. You might then include users from your entire population in the work- shops. If, however, things are not so simple in your organization (and its culture), then you would be wise to offer separate training to the various layers and try to break down this structure here and there. You would do well to follow a good example; for this reason, enthusiasm from (internal) leadership or your major (external) accounts is required. If you are forced to separate into different groups, then you would do well to train and support management and the leading customers, so they can be at ease and feel 128 TeamPark
  • 120. comfortable with the new approach. If this leading group is first given such train- ing and instruction in the form of workshops and the like, you can then work together to train and support the rest of the organization. It may be that manage- ment might not always have the best capacities in this regard and, if the organi- zational culture allows it, it could be more interesting to encourage cross pollina- tion among layers. Do not be afraid to experiment, obtain results and make adjustments where necessary. You can best judge if your organization can handle such cross-pollination. Life hacking The deployment of it resources in an unconventional way in order to be more productive at work comes under the somewhat unconventional name of Life Hacking. Wikipedia describes it as a mix of time management, knowledge management and personal development, with a touch of Web 2.0 and a dash of MacGyver. In discussing training, we already mentioned the idea of using the workday as a basis for scenarios. We were then talking about hypothetical but very real and realistic scenarios. Life hacking is about real people and real scenarios. How could we do the same things differently through creative use of the opportunities that arise? Think about how meetings are currently being conducted: How dif- ficult is it to schedule a date or time when everyone is available and how are we recording and processing the minutes of such meetings? Planning meetings and other appointments is easier when following the policy of an open agenda. If the organizer can quickly see at a single glance who and is available and when they are available, the continuous fruitlessness of trying to make arrangements is over. There are also other solutions to be considered in which potential participants indicate when they can and/or want to meet. As a consequence, organizers decide when the meeting is scheduled on the basis of this input. The creation of minutes after a meeting is another activity that is often regarded as irritating. One of the participants creates a Word document that is then end- lessly circulated by email until a dictator finally molds it into a final form. There are other ways: a dynamic document in the form of a wiki, for example. One of Life 129
  • 121. the people from the meeting enters a draft in the wiki, which is then supplemented by everyone else. After about four days, a manager switches the wiki to read only and the minutes are completed. Clearly, these are two examples that may be more or less applicable to your organization. They are again presented as types of general sample scenarios. You will have to explore the creative possibilities for your own organization. The open secret is to break away from the notion that “we always did things this way” and reconsider the ways that there are and to collectively choose or create the approaches that best suit your organization. Such activity is done together, on-site and specific to your circumstances. The possibilities of tooling have only a few restrictions and any limitations that you encounter should be dealt with by thinking: “What would MacGyver do…” Floor walking We already have already presented and discussed a number of structural and ad-hoc methods of training and support. Most of them will not take place at the workstations of employees or other end users. However, such locations will precisely be the sites of floor walking, the presence for the newly introduced platform on end-user work stations. Think of it as a pro-active help desk providing direct support immediately on site. How good can it get for you end users! This is not only incredibly convenient for your end users, but you are also doing yourself a big favor. After all, you will be capable of recording the knowledge and information of real users on site. By being present and providing support for the work, you can ensure that, in addition to the basic functionality, attention is also given to the somewhat more specific needs of a particular user or user group. This will give you valuable insight into the real impact of the new pos- sibilities on the work and lives of end users. You can re-apply your training program to better suit the needs of this group. The nice thing is that, if you are present on the floor, you not only assist in the execution of the regular activities but can also discuss tasks and work out how they might be handled. For instance, you can discuss the MacGyver approach from the perspective of Life Hacking and apply it to end users. Floor walking is a rewarding and refreshing way to deal with the introduction of new possibilities. 130 TeamPark
  • 122. It encourages involvement of the various layers and departments throughout the organization, from the beginning of the process in the awareness phase to changes on the floor in the vitalization phase. This all entails direct interaction with end users that is dominated by education, training and listening. Another side of vitalizing the environment concerns issues that take place behind the scene. They are not directly perceived by users who, for that matter, do not have to know about them. They are, in fact, tasks and activities that are executed on the platform itself. Such tasks are intended to encourage users to actively contribute, to prevent uncontrolled sprawl and to promote quality. Catalysis Catalysts are used to encourage users to use the new platform and to bring them into contact with their fellow employees. But what is to be done? Where to begin? What exactly are the typical activities that will attract your users to the platform and/or keep them using it? It must first be said that here they need to follow their hearts. On the bottom line, catalysts are selected on the basis of your existing Web 2.0 behavior and motivation. They have taken part in discussions concerning the strategy of the organization, the objectives and the ultimately meas- urable results and changes with the head catalyst. They have an enthusiastic and positive attitude. Social collaboration and communication is not yet just another new hype; instead, it appears to be a development that will bring about many, many changes in the world. Catalysts are among the vanguard at the beginning of something wonder- ful. They are meant to share this enthusiasm by working on the platform. They will work in the new way of working and provide a good example. They will furthermore set up communities, involve fellow employees and win them over. This will be done not just with words but with deeds. They will transform the new way of working into the way embraced by all employees as no other. That is what it is ultimately all about. Exemplary stigmergic collaboration will convert fellow employees to a better way of working together. Life 131
  • 123. Simply providing a good example will not however be enough. If you want to focus attention on something new, then you will have to be noticeable. You must go the extra mile. Below are a few examples. Organize! What should be organized? Obviously, you will have to speak to peo- ple about their work and area of knowledge within the company in order to gain their conversion. Organize life meetings, virtual meetings for knowledge sharing and, in particular, combinations of the above two elements, causing active and intensive knowledge sharing to occur. But additionally, much nicer and perhaps more effective, talk to people about their hobbies, interests and talents, as they will be most at ease in dealing with these subjects. And do not do this only online. Think, for example, about organ- izing photography courses, cooking courses, painting courses, language courses, sports days, survival days, track days and driving lessons. Connect these activities to a contest or something else that will give it a push and make sure that any results are shared on the platform (such as content in the form of photos, stories or recipes). Contests, playful competitions, reviews, everything is possible. After a photography course, participants should be given the opportunity to upload their artistic work to their own library or weblog, whereupon an expe- rienced photographer and other participants may express criticism or even praise. A nice incentive would be to hang the best photos in the office or in the depart- ment. There is a wide range of fun and stimulating activities that may come to mind. Discussions will arise on their own and an online photo club will emerge. Do not be afraid of the hobby element. The aim is to “launch” the platform. Online socialization is in itself is a goal and, in the beginning, it is especially important for people to simply access the platform and feel that hanging out there is a pleasurable experience. Organize cooking classes and allow participants to subsequently post their reci- pes on their weblogs, or else on a wiki, so that others can revise the recipe. At the end of the year, a cookbook may be published at the cost of the company. A recipe appears every month in the company newsletter. The best recipe will be served in the cafeteria on every first Monday of the month. Be creative! Organ- 132 TeamPark
  • 124. ize race track days with car dealers and leasing companies where people can try out different cars, in addition to their own. Have the reviews posted online and ensure that people can extensively discuss the cars and even rate them. Everyone will want to voice their opinion. Make sure that dealers and leasing companies inform your employees through the community. Give them their own accounts for this purpose. For dealers, this is also a welcome opportunity because it ena- bles them to approach many people with little effort and without having to resort to “spamming.” Allow people to do as much as possible themselves, while still working in con- sultation with the organization, which lays the course or channels the activity. Make an announcement on the platform. Make a budget available and see if the amount is enough. Maybe even include software that allows online gaming among employees such as a tetris league, a tic-tac-toe battle or a Sudoku tournament. Think of the pos- sibilities of Windows Messenger (msn) to cultivate activities among employ- ees. An online auction on the platform is of course obvious; it will begin to function well almost immediately and, if the company is large enough, a playful form of online dating will also become instantly popular. Soon, perhaps. a carpooling initiative will follow et voilà, this would have direct benefits for regular business operations. Bookmarking and Activity streaming Bookmarking is an activity with immediate added value for the busi- ness. Social and enterprise bookmarking involves the link dumping of articles from other web sites and communities within their own platforms. A link dump is a brief summary of and a hyperlink to an external article or community. The members of the community can vote on these link dumps. This means of communication may be used to keep each other informed of market developments, while voting auto- matically has a sifting effect, as the voting procedure automatically separates major and minor items. In this way, account managers can, for example, keep abreast of what they feel to be important developments. Life 133
  • 125. Another low-threshold activity with immediate added value is Twitter-like activ- ity streaming. As its primary purpose, activity streaming can help to keep fellow employees informed about what you are doing. It is enjoyable to stream and quickly creates spin-off, such as actual unsolicited but welcome and useful assist- ance with work or problems. It brings information to you without you actively issuing a search command. Satisfaction One of the main incentives in fostering a community is to provide rewards. Participants must personally see the benefit of their contributions. Very rewarding is confirmation that a contribution has been noticed by others. It is now the trend to have a corporate blog to which ceos also contribute. Often a comment will be provided in such cases out of common courtesy, and that is true enough. It would be much better if the ceo would comment honestly on the items of others. This is often much more stimulating than other blogs that are less interesting to the community. If an initiative germinates in the organic environment with a half-life longer than a few days, then go there and give it some attention. Give the initiative takers the necessary extra time or budget. Reward is also facilitated by the proper technique. Many intranets have the capacity to post blogs and upload media (the collaboration/work-group solutions of most large software producers have this capacity as part of their standard packages), but no-one can then find the contributions because a collective front page is missing, for example. Community Management At the time of writing, there are currently many different definitions of community management in circulation. These vary from a market community expert to what we call in this book a catalyst. Within our TeamPark method, we understand community management as nothing more and nothing less than the optimization of the communities on the social platform. 134 TeamPark
  • 126. Communities are created on a social platform because, at a given moment, a user feels the need to create a community. It is just that simple. The community of 1 user is born. If you can create a community so easily, then uncontrolled growth is guaranteed. Not everyone will go and see first whether a community exists that has about the same or very similar purpose. As a result, many communities can be created having the same subject. Another consequence of this organic way of working is that other major areas of knowledge that are important for the company may not have corresponding communities created for them. The previously discussed Human Resources and Marketing departments will create important communities for themselves. But who will create communities for “current account,” “do’s and don’ts of the decimal accounting system,” and “iso-9002 tips and tricks”? For optimum benefit to the company, a balance has to be struck between areas of knowledge, the organizational structure of an organization and the communi- ties on the social platform. And not just that! A great deal of sprawl and overlap will occur even within the more social communities on the platform. We have already learned that management of platforms may not be of the type that leads. Soft guidance and a gentle hand on the wheel are better ways of describing how the platform should be managed. Methods to be employed by a community manager include filtering, bookmark- ing and influencing. The communications manager can join the communities and, working from within, try to direct the attention of the members of the commu- nity or “one member” to other existing communities dealing with the same subject and to bookmark this second community. Nothing however is mandatory. If individuals persist in their structure, then that is the way it is. Communities that do not yet exist but are important for the organization can be set up and brought to life. Moderation and content monitoring Moderation and content control are dirty words in the blogosphere. The original bloggers and forum users did not want any intervention in discussions or comments, or any incursion of “censorship” as they were quick to label it. This Life 135
  • 127. view is oversimplified and untenable on a large social platform. In addition, mod- eration on a social platform involves much more than just policing comments and discussions. The diversity of people, opinions and insights creates the tendency to do things in a new, idiosyncratic way more frequently that is desirable, while collaboration means that things should be done is the same, uniform manner. Starting numer- ous communities around a single issue may, at a given moment, become undesir- able. Maybe it was just a mistake caused by the starter of the community not taking a good look round. New clone communities should simply be merged with existing ones, and there is no harm done. Content can easily be entered in the wrong place, and should simply be moved. Keywords that differ from the standard ones must simply be adjusted. This seems obvious and, as previously described, can be performed without any discussion; simple notification is suf- ficient. This is not censorship and it is not against the “organic base” of the platform. There are people who constantly need to be charged with these activ- ities, and the platform must be continuously moderated. It may also become more serious. According to Godwin’s Law, “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” This type of behavior and negative contributions cannot be tolerated, and any such deviant activity should be cured by means of mod- eration. Now fortunately, moderators are not always checking the platform, and the majority of the participants will certainly have good intentions. Entirely in line with the trends described in this book, moderators need not therefore just play the role of platform watchdog. We have common goals and it is in our common interest that the platform remains a pleasant place to contact each other and share knowledge. If someone oversteps the mark, anyone can in fact effectively intervene. Anyone can give a user a thumb down or possibly indicate, in a polite comment, that a certain contribution does not have the most appropriate tone or touch the right strings. It is therefore a shared task and joint responsibility to keep the platform clean and friendly. User Generated Content has its own filter and undertakes its own clean-up activities. 136 TeamPark
  • 128. Of course, moderators must also prevent users from sharing outright illegal things or flouting the imposed legal framework in some other way. Such illicit activity can cause your organization big problems and perhaps even financial loss. At a certain moment, it becomes time to act, return the users to the right path and help to prevent worse from happening. Intervention should usually be interpreted in a gentler sense, although sometimes it must involve a bit harder form of enforcement. The moderator may intervene by gently placing a message that indicates, or points to the generally applicable rules. The message may remind users of the platform’s purpose, as well as the common manners employed at the company. A personal appeal and warning given offenders indicate that things have gone too far. In this case, too far means that other, more serious steps might be taken if the rules are transgressed. Moderators show their teeth but do not bite right away. It should be evident that a moderator intends to act more resolutely and intervene more firmly, if need be. This may involve the temporary suspension of certain rights and even a temporary ban. Consider revoking the right to contribute or even imposing a temporary reading ban on an offender. This should teach him or her a lesson, shouldn’t it? Exclusion from the community in which the said user has gone too far is also an option. If it is truly necessary, you will have to exclude people from the platform to protect and preserve the good of the well- meaning majority. A ban is a measure of last resort , even if it is still only tem- porary. Measurements The more that is happening on the platform, the more you are able to determine whether your previously chosen strategy is successful and meets your needs, and where you possibly can adjust. You can then decide whether your stated goals will be met and whether they were realistic. You will have opportunities to adjust and to reset your course based on previously determined kpis. Depending on what you have decided in this regard, you will also have to make some measure- ments. Some things are very easy to measure. For instance, you might determine the total number of users that have logged on, users with a better than half-finished Life 137
  • 129. profile and statistics concerning repeat visits. This provides an initial indication of the target audience that you are reaching. If very few users take the trouble to check the platform out or if users do not bother to partially build up a full profile, than they obviously do not feel sufficiently attracted by the platform. Additional marketing and/or pr can help steer more potential users to the plat- form and point out the benefits of use. Small incentives may also work very well. Examples may be publicizing the user of the week or spotlighting specific features. Spotlights are a wonderful way to alert potential users to selected topics by using pr to shine a figurative light on them. Besides user measurements, there are also a number of valuable factors to meas- ure with regard to contributed content. One possibility is the number of contri- butions in the form of blog, forum and wiki posts. But also the number of com- munities and the range of the participants and content in the communities. These relationships may give you some insight into what are known as trending topics. What is currently happening in the communities on the platform? You can also use such data to determine if additional community management is required, or any other form of pr. The insight will help you to see if greater emphasis should be placed on business or recreational items. The trick is to adopt a consistent approach made up of the right mix. Ideally, you have outlined what this mix is for your organization in the strategy phase. It is certainly not always the intention to have a nice fifty-fifty split between business-related issues and. let us say, other content. It is your platform for your communities, your people and your organizational goals. And therefore up to you to make the most effective division. Besides these quantitative issues, it is also good to measure or otherwise assess the level of quality and consistency of any content. Let us explain this point a little more clearly. Besides the statistics about use and raw figures regarding content, you can gain insight from evaluating content. Such evaluation could entail recording the number of times content is read, or at least visited. But also the number of comments received and the number of votes or stars that have been gathered. Another important element on the social platform involves add- ing keywords by providing content with tags. The extensive use of standardized tags makes the platform better suited to content searches and, as a result, increases its value for the organization, as well as for the user. 138 TeamPark
  • 130. Additionally, a completely organic platform can also be evaluated. This is done using tools that make the social graph apparent to the organization. Groups or “clusters” form as a result of shared interests or connections. Making these ties explicit will reveal new action points for promoting collaboration. The organization’s social graph shows where the hotspots are. You see the peo- ple who are most frequently consulted as sources of knowledge or who most actively participate in the dissemination of content. You discover where the real knowledge of the organization is located. It is important for any organization to detect and cultivate this informal organizational structure. The hotspots must be nourished. Below are a number of ways to make quantitative and qualitative measurements of your social platform, which we list purely for the sake of providing you with inspiration. Measurement Quantitative Qualitative Users and Created Recently Active, Completeness, Relationships, Photos, Profiles Judgment Bookmarks Made Public, Private, Per user, Unique bookmarks, Top 10 Percent, Users with at least 1, Tracking list, Users linked in bookmark, Users with more than 10 bookmarks Tags Added Unique Tags, Number per user, Unique collaborators, Top 10 percent, Users with at least 1, Users with more than 10 Communities Created Active, Public, Moderated, Private, Unique owners, Unique users Blogs Published Group / Team / Community blogs, Unique makers, Unique writers, Number read, Number of comments, Number of notifications, Tags Activities Created Types, Members, Unique owner, Users with more than 2 Homepage Available Widgets used, Unique users widgets Files Number and Recently updated, Number of times shared, Private, total size Recently downloaded, Tagged, Rated, Commented on, Recommended, Added to collections Wikis Number and Recently updated, Attachments, Tags, Popular Tags, size of wikis, Comments, Recommended, Unique users who have Wiki pages recommended Life 139
  • 131. Making these measurements over time will disclose recognizable patterns. Chang- ing numbers provide input concerning the growth and evolution of the social platform. In addition to noting any changes that have occurred since the last measurement, it is also interesting to note the evolution of the types of changes that occur over time. The 2nd derivative. Such as the number of new profiles in the past week as compared to the previous week. Or the number of new tags or new taggers that there have been added. Not measured in pure numbers but as a change. These figures give you short (days, week) and longer term (months, years) insight into the trends regarding the adoption of the platform and provide you with a basis on which you can easily adjust and re-orient your catalysts and pr campaign. 140 TeamPark
  • 132. Notes Life 141
  • 133. Final Word February 4, 2010 - Social software has 210,000,000 hits on Google and even as much as 589,000,000 on Yahoo. It was the hot topic last year, but how hot is it now? Over six months have elapsed since writing the first version of this book, and a great deal has happened during that period both here at Sogeti, but most certainly all around us. The questions that we originally asked were: “Will socialization of the company really catch on?”, “Is it simply a hype that will quickly pass?” These have largely been answered. To Illustrate: In November 2009, we held a customer seminar on the subject of this book. It was attended by 135 participants representing 90 companies. The turnout was a good one for such a seminar. We organize many similar events for our clients, and there are about 3 exceptional sessions a year, at which over a 100 attendees show up. We were consequently delighted. Following each seminar, we call up participants and ask them about their views of the event and whether there is any need to clarify a few points in a personal meeting. In general, there is a moderate response to such an offer, in the sense that about 1 in 10 clients need to have to plan in an additional hour in their already busy schedules in order to discuss the relevant issues. This time, the follow-up calls to our seminar revealed that 85 of the 90 attendees wanted to make an appointment. Unprec- edented! We would dare say that any business employing knowledge workers is currently in the process of preparing for the acquisition of social software for its organization. And this provides an immediate answer to the second question. Besides the ever- increasing number of hits on Google and Yahoo, interest still is growing, along with the number of blogs, seminars, books, articles and conferences on the subject. Every day we gain more practical experience due to the questions from our cus- tomers, colleagues or readers of our blog http://TeamPark.org. Without doubt, we are extremely grateful for this wealth of input. Final Word 143