Over the last year I’ve worked with CorasWorks customers on lots of deep and broad collaborative systems leveraging the social business collaboration capabilities of CorasWorks Cim on SharePoint 2010. Examples of some projects are broad idea and innovation management systems, process-intensive knowledge management systems, deep multi-phase R&D innovation processes, and complex enterprise best practices systems. Its been an intense year.
During this holiday season I am transitioning to 2012 and lightening up a bit. Here is my thought – start 2012 with some simple, lively, useful collaborative apps to get everyone quickly engaged within your SharePoint 2010 work environment, and then, we can turn back to the heavier stuff.
So, with that here are my Top 5 Lively Collaborative Apps for you to start with in 2012…
NOTE: The key for all of these is that all of the collaborative activity for communities that users watch will get feed into their CorasWorks Activity Stream wherever they work – so for 2012 you are starting off with ease and convenience for all of your users. This will be welcome.
News Channels to Watch and Engage In
The News in most SharePoint environments is really far too passive and too managed. You see the News, which is controlled, for wherever you are working. We can do better. Start off the year dropping in a few News Channel communities. They can be departmental, enterprise, topical. Think different channels for news. The key is that leveraging the Cim Activity Stream Watch feature, the user can decide what to watch at their leisure and let the news flow to them. Plus, let them vote and comment – liven it up in 2012 and give your users a choice.
Workplace Concierge Community
Put all of your helpful people at the service of each person. Drop in a collaborative community for people to post questions to the group. Typical categories are Where is?, Who is?, What are?, How can I?, Do we? People ask questions and they get answered. It should be open, lively, and rated. The great part is that each time the question is correctly answered you’ve created useful knowledge. You’ll really be rocking in a few months when people are referencing this new resource.
SharePoint Users Helping SharePoint Users Community
People are using SharePoint, right? Instead of having the pros write formal support content let your community of users play a bigger role by collaborating. Users can post tips, tricks, questions, links, ideas, needs, etc. etc. Let it be raw; let them go. And, let them vote, comment, and even do reviews of how useful it was. Let the cream posts rise to the top. Have a pro or two moderate it and lend a hand, but, you’ll find that your average user knows a lot better what they need then your pros.
What is Working? Communities, Challenges, or Contests
This is one of my real favorites. In my work on Idea & Innovation Management, a core tenant is that people don’t know what other people don’t know. So, if I’ve been doing something for 2 years, and you ask me for great new ideas, I don’t think of it. And yet, that thing that is working may be a brilliant idea for the other 20 offices around the globe. You need to encourage people to share. Do this by bringing up a What is Working? community and/or launch What is Working? Challenges such as What is Working in Selling to ABC Industry or through XYZ channel. Let the crowd contribute, vote, comment, and do evaluations where others note whether this idea didn’t work for them or did. It is a great way to discover best practices.
Build-Our-Workplace Request Community
At its best SharePoint 2010 is a living, breathing, evolving work environment. So, let folks request things. But, don’t just have a hidden, black box request process. Open it up so that all requests, through this channel, are open for comment, voting, enhancement, discussion. The objective is to let the users know what is being considered and find ways of improving on ideas and pre-aligning on good ones and letting not so good ones die a natural death. Of course, behind the community you will have a process to formally evaluate the requests, hopefully taking into account the community feedback, and move approved items forward with the system keeping all interested parties in the loop.
Think about it. As we get into the year, we will start getting back to the quarterly sales, the project management, and the ROI decisions. But, by dropping in some of these collaborative apps we will get folks engaged at the start and can then channel their energy into the more routine and process/project oriented work.