In 2009 thought leader Bell Labs was exploring what I like to call “FaceBook for the Enterprise“.
The Intuitive Collaborative Design Group (ICD) was charged with implementing a social networking and collaboration platform across Bell Labs. A primary focus was on integrated messaging and workflow collaboration.
This was a delightful engagement: A small, but high-powered team of forward-looking professionals working on cutting-edge stuff. It was nice combination of practical and visionary. Here is the first of several “process-focused” posts excerpted from this timely case study.
Our challenges were:
- provide appropriate tools in an accessible user interface
- actively encourage participation by range of behavioral profiles
Role, Behavior, Design Challenge
First things first: Who is involved, How do they motivated and and What do they want to do ? In my opinion, you will probably find these types of behavior:
- Proactively starts new collaborative projects. Motivated by creating and leading . Often a manager.
Design Challenge: Rewards for success in crafting traction to action
- Cleans up info, reduces noise, edits and organizes information, actively creates tags. Motivated by guiding and organizing .
Design Challenge: Editorial tools – an efficient environment for providing value
- Mediates threads and forges connections among them. Motivated by harmony and compliance
Design Challenge: Management tools for crafting the environment
- Responds to (by rating) or comments on existing threads. Motivated by clarification and involvement.
Design Challenge: Convenient valuation and attribution tools
- Participates passively, contribution thru presence. Provides likes. Will join groups formed by others. Influenced by status and community.
Design Challenge: Communicate the value proposition
- Observes but little active contribution, no obvious presence. Uses service to “harvest” information provided by others. Motivated by anonymity .
Design Challenge: Overcome barriers to more active participation , while providing a safe environment.
These attributes describe a continuum of activity and often overlap in an individual.
One of our nice (I think) design solutions in the Bell labs project was to graphically map relationships across the network.
I often referred to the project as “FaceBook for the Enterprise“, but we could also call it …
Your intranet on steroids
… is sexier than it seems. It assumes that any organization or business wants to “leverage the water cooler”, i.e. affinity among the people in the organization
I must admit, I have a soft spot for intranets. But that’s another rant.
The company’s intranet is the Infrastructure. Affinity is the Model.
It’s how professionals connect. Really connect.
… and Get Things Done / Collaborate (Don’t overlook that part)
LinkedIn had the positioning, the population, and even some of the infrastructure. But they blew it.
© The Communication Studio LLC