As noted in my Cim 2.0 Overview article, we are adding support for Social Business Process apps in the release in a new category called Cim Process. We will publish a number of apps in this category during 2011. In this article, I’ll take a look at the current version of the app for the Product Ideas process. This is the sample app included in the product. Follow on apps will be in the Cim Learning Center. This article will give you a feel for this particular process, and, it will serve as a primer for this class of apps.
Product Innovation Process
Innovation around Products is a staple of innovation activities in many organizations. The requirements can range from simple to complex and from pure ideation to an end-to-end innovation process. The implementation represented by this Social Business Process is on the simpler side of the spectrum. It is a great place to start with Cim providing plenty of flexibility to enhance, extend and expand.
The attached power point deck (please log into the Community to access document) contains an overview of the Product Idea process implemented in a Cim portal of the Product Management department. It includes screenshots from our demonstration site. Basically, it walks you through the process.
A key part of our Social Business Process lineup is that the basic design of the processes are very consistent. The objective is to provide a robust and balanced integration of the social part of the process with the process management features. For Product Ideas and other apps to follow we use a simplified process map as shown below. The green dots represent the social areas of the app. The blue dots show the management parts of the process.
Flexibility of Your Process
While the basic design is similar across Cim Process apps, they are designed to be flexible and easily customized to meet your needs. Some common elements to customize are:
- the branding of the overall portal and the style of each main area
- the tabs and pages of the portal
- the permissions for who can access Management, Reporting, and Administration
- the Post Idea form and fields
- the managed tags, categories, and filters of the Product Ideas community
- the fields shown on the Idea Listings and Details
- the activity auto-promotion thresholds
- the ability to add Campaigns, Challenges, and supporting communities
- what Resources are available to users – news, recognition, information, knowledge
- the number and definition of the process stage-gates
- the fields, choices, and metadata used in the process
- the displays for each gate and the available process actions
- the management view and edit forms of process actions
- the Review forms used for peer-to-peer reviews and subject matter reviews
- the system email notifications (when, to whom, and format)
- people driven notifications such as custom emails and pre-set task assignments
- actions to create tasks for teams (in their team sites) and track them programmatically
- reporting and actions for users to act on information
- ability to link to other supporting and downstream activities/sites and interact
- ability to distribute most of the features of the process to any site within a SharePoint environment
Integrated Part of Your SharePoint Environment
We are used to thinking of an app in SharePoint or a Saas app as a place you go to (a URL). This is the case when you install the Product Ideas app out of the box using an app specific Cim portal. It is built to run natively on SharePoint leveraging the data, security and administration of SharePoint.
However, it is designed to live within and across your entire SharePoint environment. Any of the key features of the app can be snapped off and distributed to other portals, sites, apps across your SharePoint environment. This increases visibility and encourages engagement – key elements that drive the effectiveness of innovation.
In addition, the actions that people take, such as process managers delegating tasks to others, natively integrates with other parts of your distributed SharePoint environment. For instance, a manager may assign a task to the Legal Department to perform a patent review. In doing so, this task can now appear in the team site of the legal department to be worked the way they work. However, the Legal Department and the Product Management team can then interact and see the status of delegated tasks in real time.
The diagram below depicts the hub and spoke way in which the Cim Process apps live and interact within your distributed SharePoint environment. Natively, each of these other parts of your environment become an extension of this process.
Stay tuned for more on Cim Social Business Processes …