Practical Guidelines: Bringing Online Community into the Enterprise


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No one can simply push a button and create a successful online community. Implementing this paradigm-shifting technology in the corporate world is a new challenge. One size does not fit all, because each company has different reasons for implementing online community, and must accommodate different business processes.

We will be discussing what has driven the success of these knowledge management tools in the corporate environment, and what has caused their failures. This webinar will emphasize the need to:

- Focus on what the community will contribute
- Set appropriate expectations
- Avoid common points of failure
- Identify required elements

Featured Speaker from Fireman's Fund: The featured speaker for both of these webinars is Abigail Shaw. Abby has been working on the issues of web-facing knowledge management for Fireman’s Fund Insurance for nine years. Her experience there spans the development and maintenance of an enterprise intranet, the implementation of a variety of content management systems, overhauls of public websites and extranets, a podcasting program, on-demand video, and consulting with internal customers on very specific knowledge management programs and problems. She is currently Director, External Websites, but for five years her title was simply Infomaster. She has spoken at many industry conferences, including KMWorld’s.

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  • Practical Guidelines: Bringing Online Community into the Enterprise

    1. 1. Need new front page graphic
    2. 2. Introductions <ul><li>Abby Shaw, Web Channel Management, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. In her Infomaster role, Abby has helped initiate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikis and Discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mash-ups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities of Interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Before joining Fireman’s Fund 9 years ago, Abby was a vendor independent consultant providing acquisition support to large companies and government agencies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Christopher Dworin, Vice President of Business Development, GoLightly, Inc. GoLightly provides a secure, online community and collaboration platform for enterprise and associations. </li></ul>
    3. 3. We’re assuming: <ul><li>You’ve heard at least seven “official” definitions of Web 2.0… </li></ul><ul><li>You’re convinced about the business benefits of these online community tools </li></ul><ul><li>You’re ready to connect the concept with your company’s unique reality </li></ul>
    4. 4. Recycled Experience <ul><li>Records Management </li></ul><ul><li>Image Management </li></ul><ul><li>Document Management </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Management </li></ul>Now: Social Networking & Online Communities? The items being managed are now different
    5. 5. The Rock <ul><li>Corporations typically focus inward </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations change very slowly </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations and their employees maintain an old-fashioned relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations jealously defend their important assets </li></ul>
    6. 6. The Hard Place <ul><li>Information is free </li></ul><ul><li>People are our most valuable asset </li></ul><ul><li>People are free </li></ul>Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves
    7. 7. A basic definition <ul><li>“Online community in the enterprise” </li></ul>Integrated knowledge management and communications tools <ul><li>User Created Profile: “Who am I?” </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to push and pull communications </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to track, archive, and retrieve </li></ul>Tools integrated into a single system, sharing the same user profile
    8. 8. Typical tools and their sweet spots <ul><li>Groups* </li></ul><ul><li>Forum </li></ul><ul><li>Email lists / Subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Blog (for group, for each user) </li></ul><ul><li>Member Directory / User Profile </li></ul><ul><li>Library </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>Self-selected community of interest – tools tuned to group use </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing ideas across diverse and distributed group over time </li></ul><ul><li>Push communications for topics of interest – archived threads </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration on a single document – edits allowed, version control </li></ul><ul><li>Scroll of items of interest and back and forth comments </li></ul><ul><li>Part system-generated and part user generated – very flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Repository of documents and files that can be linked and shared through links </li></ul>
    9. 9. Talk to Users, Talk to Vendors <ul><li>Mix it up so you keep a realistic perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Develop your business case and a set of scenarios (they may call them “Use Cases”) to focus discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to ask about prices – it’s part of your education. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Practical Guidelines <ul><li>Documenting legal and brand exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Securing stakeholder buy-in </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for future directions </li></ul><ul><li>Managing worries about user contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for on-going maintenance </li></ul>
    11. 11. The biggest issue: Legal Exposure <ul><li>Intellectual property posted in public </li></ul><ul><li>Employee knowledge shared with strangers </li></ul><ul><li>Increased liability for taking trade secrets </li></ul><ul><li>Increased liability for inadvertently price fixing </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of captured communications, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulatory exposure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of intellectual capital that could be captured </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loss of employee time and attention </li></ul><ul><li>AIIM’s traveling show: “The Sharepoint Effect: Balancing Collaboration and Control” </li></ul>
    12. 12. Take this to your Chief Counsel <ul><li>You may not need any other justification </li></ul>
    13. 13. Securing buy-in <ul><li>Hard $ business case </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and energize key influencers </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiastic support from top executive </li></ul><ul><li>Communication plan (and resource) </li></ul><ul><li>Align the project with others’ annual goals as much as possible </li></ul>
    14. 14. Prepare for future use <ul><li>Pursue the focused business case </li></ul><ul><li>Include all related tools so you can sweep up the additional benefits – and claim them </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t buy half of a tool kit – Let your expert users choose which functions to use </li></ul>
    15. 15. Worries about User Contributors <ul><li>Rational response: others’ experience </li></ul><ul><li>Associate groups with their leaders (team and manager credit for successes) </li></ul><ul><li>People are posting information in outside networks already (current exposure) </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of unprofessional, inappropriate content </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership may not be ready: Culture challenge </li></ul>
    16. 16. On-Going Maintenance <ul><li>Often under-planned </li></ul><ul><li>Community Manager role (can outsource) </li></ul><ul><li>Automate moderation tasks by using filters, flags and screens </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the ball rolling, prime the pump </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Communications Plan rolling </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate successes made possible by online community tools </li></ul><ul><li>Link community recognition to public recognition – in Town Halls, for instance </li></ul>
    17. 17. Next Steps <ul><li>Evaluate your environment’s issues around these five categories </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to vendors, become familiar with different products </li></ul><ul><li>Go for it carefully, but GO FOR IT! </li></ul>
    18. 19. GoLightly Webinars <ul><li>GoLightly is offering a series of webinars (register at </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing Online Community into the Enterprise – Practical Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Tour of GoLightly Tools </li></ul><ul><li>10 Tactics for Building Online Community </li></ul><ul><li>Online Community for Associations </li></ul>
    19. 20. GoLightly Contact Info <ul><li>For further information about GoLightly’s Online Community and Collaboration Platform, please contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Christopher Dworin </li></ul><ul><li>VP, Business Development </li></ul><ul><li>415-847-7555 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks for participating! </li></ul>