Yammer is like facebook. It’s a simple, powerful, real time communication tool enabling people to connect. In facebook, we keep in touch with friends and family. In yammer, we keep in touch with colleagues at work. .
Yammer is used by governments across the globe from the US to the Netherlands. Australia accounts for 29% of all government networks using Yammer, the US 33% and the UK about 26%.
Crisis commms., reduce inbox clutter, cross-regional communication, keep in touch, share news, thoughts and get feedback.
The US government used Yammer as a central location point during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill last year to co-ordinate a multi-department response and clean-up.
The Flemish government use Yammer to reduce emails and keep colleagues in the loop. When employees visit a local congress/governing body, they post an update on Yammer. It helps with knowledge flow and a transparent culture.
The Department of Transport at Brighton & Hove in the UK used Yammer to create a live traffic community. The Traffic Control Centre log incidents on Yammer, keeping parnters like council staff, parking authorities and taxi reps in the loop and creating a record of events.
The Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat use Yammer to communicate between departments and regional offices. It helps connect those in the field with those at head office.
The largest network is the NSW Dept of Education and Training. They use Yammer as a open platform for connecting faculty with students, including mentor groups and a librarian community.
Our story – from 100 to 1,247 members… 6, 574 total messages 88 groups – ranging from professional to personal
How to get the most juice? Our story is one of building from the bottom. One of the challenges working in a risk-avers organisation is you can’t go ahead with things immediately. Here’s 5 things I’ve learnt about making a Yammer network succeed in government.
Common perception was ‘it’s just a place to chat about coffee’. Running regular workshops in front of a computer, coaching those not dexterous in social media, helps alleviate this.
Create real tangible value from the outset for different teams. Sit down and ask what projects they are working on, illustrate how Yammer may help.
Yammer champions pop up out of nowhere- use them. Privacy or telecommunications- this is a good testing ground for external social media work for government. It’s easier to convince an individual than a group – identify your key targets first. Key for us was getting the CTO on board, his team then followed.
Not everyone is going to love Yammer. Half the time people just haven’t been shown the value in Yammer – dismiss it as another ‘web tool’ like a wiki. We use actual cases for why Yammer works at Justice and promote them – from workshops to idea generation. Communicating the value of what you are doing goes a long way.
Sharing with others across the Victorian Public Service, using Yammer, slideshare, meet-ups, conferences, etc.
Yammer is not a replacement for regular meetings, email, or face-to-face conversation—it is simply another communications tool which extends staff experience with new technologies and complements existing forms of communication.
Getting the most juice from a government Yammer network
for many different reasons… I
like Yammer because of its ability to "throw a stone into the pond" and see what ripples come back. I did that about three times last week, and again a couple of times today, either in open Yammer, or one of the Groups to which I belong. In short, it's a hot house for innovation that fits into five minute windows during lulls in the day. Dan Slee – Walsall Council, UK. Tom Phillips – Kent County Council, UK. Yammer is a boundary spanning tool that transcends space and time! It allows people widely dispersed to connect in real time and crowdsource ideas into practice. Neil Houghton – DPCD, Victoria.