Winning the Web 2.0 race

Using technology to drive organisational change and performance improvement is not a novel idea. Large scale ERP, CRM and specific workflow systems have been developed over many decades and have delivered significant performance improvements.

But these technical implementations have been developed in a world-culture of ‘command and control’.

Web 2.0, the social web, has suddenly provided an enormous amount of data and insight which organisations are struggling to analyse. It has also driven change within markets and goods and services at an unprecedented rate and there is no reason to expect that this will slow in the near future.

Existing business systems and traditional approaches to delivering new business systems are failing to meet these changed market realities.

One ASX-listed company in sales and service delivery is confronting the problem of an existing business system with structured workflow. The system, now over 10 years old, delivers activities and reminders at half the required rate and three times as slowly as competitor’s systems. The structured workflow is holding back productivity improvements.

However, from the CIO’s perspective, the different needs of individual customer groups means that investment in the same type of system, although technically viable, will never deliver a guaranteed ROI as the market moves too fast.

Even the homely CRM system needs to be more agile as organisations seek to constantly refine their understanding of the existing customer base and its needs as well as responding to emerging customers and new products and services.

For virtually all organisations their market will not allow them to wait for the development of a new CRM or a new full workflow solution or a data warehouse that may be five years in delivery. They need improvements and insights now.

SharePoint has the capacity to deliver these incremental improvements not necessarily as a replacement to existing business systems, although it can, but just as often as an adjunct or overlay. For the organisation with the old workflow system it is possible to modify part of the workflow using SharePoint while retaining the rest of the system.

SharePoint analytics can be used to deliver insight direct from business systems that currently exist plus data from new sources without the dependency of the delivery of a full data warehouse. And once in place the SharePoint solution has the flexibility to be modified further as needs change or business requirements becomes clearer.

However, without a doubt it is SharePoint’s ability to deliver shared insight by providing staff with the facility to access the organisation’s information and knowledge through self service that really delivers improvements in an organisation. The traditional method of seeking the right person by searching an often out-of-date people search function, putting a request in by email and hoping that the holder of the information hasn’t just gone on five weeks leave is a thing of the past with SharePoint.

For most organisations, it’s a game of catch up at the moment. An enormous amount of change is needed (and rapidly) while expectations and the scope is rarely clear.

Senior managers are often unfamiliar with the technologies available and although they are aware of the barriers existing within their organisation they are reliant on their experts to craft the strategy.

Web 2.0 is changing enterprise behaviour and organisations need to plan for Web 3.0 now. However, quick wins with iterative improvements can be delivered through SharePoint 2010.

Unique World undertakes a tailored and unique approach to diagnosing the key barriers to change and prioritising solutions that can be implemented incrementally. The Unique World Knowledge Management Maturity Model or (KM3) delivers a holistic approach to implementing a Knowledge Management Strategy. To ensure business relevance these knowledge areas are also mapped against the organisation’s core business driver.

To achieve this, Unique World uses pre-existing maturity models, such as the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), a framework for business process improvement, and relates the knowledge management objectives against this business driver.

The resultant analysis and strategy with roadmap delivers an approach which can drive managed and aligned change across multiple parts of the business from learning and development to records and intranet and business analytics simultaneously.

For the CEO, the report delivers the insights that speak to all areas of the business in terms of the action required. For the CIO charged with the requirement to deliver transformative change the report delivers a staged roadmap for technical implementation, a clearly identified set of business owners and most importantly the basis for a business case.

It is this approach to Knowledge Management that is successfully enabling that ASX listed company to dramatically improve its productivity without the development of the new CRM or the new full workflow solution or the data warehouse that may be 5 years in delivery – and ultimately to re-invigorate its organisation in real time.