A Wiki of Enterprise 2.0 Case StudiesIn an April 2006 post, I talked about the work Andrew McAfee, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, has done in analyzing the benefits to companies of business communication tools like blogs and wikis.
For many companies, these "Enterprise 2.0" collaboration tools are a revised approach to creating an intranet. Unlike many traditional intranets, the Enterprise 2.0 tools, properly set up, actually work, in the sense that they attract active participation and are generally easy to keep updated. The basic switch in platforms is from complex knowledge management software and one-to-many authoring, to easy-to-install software that enables many-to-many authoring.
To get a look at specifics of how some organizations are using tools like wikis, blogs, and social bookmarking, you can browse a slowly growing group of case studies posted at cases2.com, a site sponsored by McAfee and hosted by the social software vendor, Socialtext.
The cases themselves are presented using Socialtext's web-based wiki software. The submitters organize their stories by populating a template that includes these sections:
- One sentence summary
- Company information
- Case description
- Enterprise 2.0 solution
- Results / Benefits
- Hurdles / Challenges
- Lessons learned
- Information about the case specifically, the name of the author, and any disclosures about relationships between the author and the company in the case, the technology vendor(s), etc.
- Comments / questions from readers (virtually none, so far)
- The Angel.com case illustrates how a company can implement wikis for communicating internally and with customers. This particular case was written by a Socialtext employee who did not get around to identifying hurdles and challenges and lessons learned, so the story is unfortunately incomplete.
- The BUPA case illustrates an application of social bookmarking to facilitate social networking, content management, and knowledge sharing. The iConcerina case, submitted by the same social bookmarking vendor, offers further useful tips.
- The Citrix Community case illustrates how an unofficial community can be created that fosters communication among employees, clients, and people at partner organizations. This case also enumerates hurdles that need to be anticipated and addressed.
- The Intrawest case illustrates how Enterprise 2.0 tools can help create solidarity among employees.
- The Specialized Bicycle case illustrates how use of online workspace can cut time to project completion, improve the accuracy of updates to information and status reports, and encourage transparency among team members in communicating their contributions to the joint effort.
- The Uniglo case illustrates an effective way of collecting timely feedback from hundreds of field locations (retail stores in this particular instance).
- The YNNO case illustrates how a consultancy can use an online knowledge sharing application as a document management system and collaboration platform.