A couple of posts ago I talked about Social Collaboration and Business Processes being two sides of the same coin in Cim 2.0. They are different animals but very related. In this article, I’ll drill down into an example of features in Cim 2.0 that show how and why they are different, similar and related.
We’ll look at a comparison of the experience of the crowd users (the general community) vs. the managers of the process in terms of collaborative activity. In Cim as in any social business process tool, activity and more specifically decisions are primarily done in a “social” context. This is a small “s” meaning group decisions. This promotes visibility, engagement, and ideally, better decisions. This differs from a sequential workflow process where decisions are made sequentially and in a black box. For instance, decisions at each stage of a stage gate process in Cim may be made a group of people or a committee.
We refer to each specific context of activity as a social eddie. So the crowd rating, commenting, and reviewing of an idea is one social eddie. A management team doing rating, commenting, and their reviews prior to making a decision is another social eddie.
In a standard social business process the Crowd social eddie is separate, different, but, very related to the Management social eddie. The schematic here gives you a visual of the relationship. Again, think two sides of the same coin.
Below we will do the following: 1) look at The Crowd Social Eddie, 2) look at the Management Social Eddie, 3) sum up how they compare, and 4) and present some interesting nuances to a process with social eddies.
The Crowd Social Eddie
Let’s look first at the Crowd Social Eddie and how it feels in Cim 2.0. Below is a screenshot of the detail for a Process Improvement submission. Here the crowd collaborates on the idea. As shown, they have made comments, uploaded some files, and done some peer reviews.
A key piece is the ability for anyone in the crowd to do formal reviews of the idea. This is a new option in Cim 2.0 – a very nice one if you want some empirical data from the crowd. As items are reviewed the average score is shown. The screenshot below is a completed review – the questions are radial choices for empirical results. However, you can also have subjective questions, dates, numbers. Thus, you can get empirical data, subjective data, and absolute data (great for getting crowdsourced projections).
Management Social Eddie
Now, let’s turn to the management side of the coin. They can see the activity happening in the crowd as they look to make their decisions. However, with Cim 2.0 they also have their own, private Management Activity console as shown below.
On the left they see all of the ideas that are in the review stage. For each one, they see details on the right side. They can also vote (!), comment, and do management reviews for each idea. Above, we are showing the tab with the Votes. Note that here each managers’ vote is shown for all of the other managers to see (whereas in The Crowd, the star ratings are not shown to all).
Now, lets look at the management reviews. Below we show their questions. They are different form the peer review form that the Crowd uses.
Summary of Different Sides of the Coin
Let’s review some of the differences and similarities in these two social eddies:
- in the Crowd they are working on one idea at a time, whereas, in Management they are acting on many ideas in a single Management Activity display (kind of speed reviewing)
- both social eddies have the ability to have custom review forms to capture empirical data and score it, yet, the questions can be different to meet the objectives
- in the Crowd, you typically don’t show the individual Star Ratings, whereas, in the Management display a) they are called Votes vs. Ratings and b) they are explicitly shown for each person (ideally, the management people are voting as part of collective decision making)
In addition, there are a couple of nuances about a social business process as described above…
As already noted, the activity and decision making is primarily done in a “social” context. However, at any point you can kick off sequential workflows where it may be necessary to get a specific approval or specific input before the group decision can be made. Examples are a Legal sign off, a Feasibility Assessment, or a Finance decision.
Further, it is interesting that just because the management team may have started its review process or even made the decision – this does not mean that the Crowd Social Eddie has stopped working the idea. They will see the Status as an item progresses through the Stage Gates – and their conversation may change. For instance, imagine the conversation after the management team decides not to implement a process, or, decides that they are actually going to fund a change and go forward.
Yes, this can seem a bit chaotic with all of those social eddies going on. However, the key is that the role of the tool is to enable the social eddies to occur but as part of a structured process that programmatically moves things forward, with solid empirical data, towards informed and better decisions and results.
You might say it is the best of both worlds – or, you could say that it is two sides of the same coin.