Methodology

We deliver our value through a programme framework which comprises the strategic and tactical activities required to move an organisation from current to future state collaboration and communication.

The framework is outcome-focused and contextual, meaning it supports your particular goals and requirements whichever stage you’re at or whatever the resources at your disposal.

Better Working Methodology

Using this framework you can:

  • Assess where you are and where you’re aiming in terms of communicating and working more effectively – in teams, across functions, geographies, operating companies and globally.

  • Plan your strategy and programme to move from current to future state, including technology selection and detailed programme design.

  • Activate your programme, introduce new ways of working, nurture adoption of technology and encourage culture change.

  • Embed these tools, behaviours and culture to fully transform the way work gets done, making work better for individuals whilst driving hard outcomes for the business.

  • Track progress to support continuous improvement and provide management with dashboards and frequent updates.

Assess

Whatever the level of collaboration and communication maturity in your organisation, you can’t move forward effectively without knowing where you’re starting and where you’re heading.

Successful programmes require cultural and technological levers to be pulled in the right order. So before you start planning, you need to map out your current technological and cultural landscapes. And don’t forget to take into account global and local perspectives, which can often be very different.

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So before you move forward, make sure you consider:

Cultural factors, such as

  • Leadership buy-in.
  • Performance management frameworks / balanced incentivisation for day job and cross business contributions.
  • Integration of collaborative outcomes and desired behaviours into corporate narrative / story.

Technological factors, such as

  • Having the right tools in place to achieve the desired business outcomes.
  • Employee understanding of the purpose and co-existence of these tools.
  • Employee understanding of how and when to use these tools.

Strategic business outcomes

In parallel to assessing your starting point, it’s important to frame what the desired end-game looks like in terms of hard business outcomes like cross-selling, new product development, and productivity metrics. Your strategy needs to be hardwired into your corporate strategy; this isn’t about doing collaboration or social for social’s sake.

It’s important to do your research properly. Indeed many initiatives fail and a huge amount of money is wasted due to cutting corners and making the wrong assumptions. Cloud-based technologies seem so easy to switch on, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s therefore easy to get real strategic value out of them.

The right tools for the job

At Betterworking we’re experienced in measuring and defining cultural and technological readiness: from how multiple, disconnected legacy intranets and enterprise social tools co-exist in global organisations; to assessing requirements, barriers and enablers for collaboration within less complex organisations.

From this we have developed a number of tools including our collaborative readiness and alignment models which are used to assess your current state, define where you’re trying to get to, and provide a framework for your planning and strategy development.

Plan

Effective planning means involving the right people from the start: in other words, you need to collaborate to deliver collaboration.

You need to include the right people if you’re to make the right decisions about how to get from A to B. And as a team you’ll have some fundamental questions to address.

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Early adoption / use case identification

  • What ‘use cases’ (high value, measurable, strategic priority areas) are we going to focus on, and how do we identify these before we’ve even rolled out the tools?
  • How do we identify champions/superusers and what is their role?

Technology

  • Are we going to continue to use current local or global intranets?
  • Do we need to bring in new technology, or is the plan to breath new life into existing tools (or a combination of the two)?
  • How do all these tools co-exist and how will we communicate their purpose / educate users?

Roll-out strategy

  • Are we going to run small carefully managed pilots – with the risk that they don’t generate critical mass required to demonstrate value – or are we going ‘big bang’ with brand new tools across the business?
  • Do we need to create the collaborative culture first – then then focus on the technology – or are we going to roll out the technology in the hope that it will impact on the culture?

Measurement

  • How are we going to measure all of this?
  • What are the KPIs and how do we identify them when we’re venturing largely into the unknown with new technology and behaviours?
  • How do we set up the measurement framework to support our strategy?

There are many decisions to be made, and one thing is for sure: these should not be made in isolation by a small team in one function like Internal Comms or IT.  You need to take a collaborative approach to ensure you make the right plans, both cross functionally (IT/IC/HR…) and business-wide (the right balance of corporate centre and operating company / business unit input and buy-in).

At Betterworking we have first hand, award-winning experience, both client side and through helping our clients to develop successful global and local strategies and plans. Working with you, we’ll develop both the strategic roadmap and appropriate operational workstreams to effectively deliver your collaborative technology and behaviour change programme.

Activate

Working better means changing ingrained behaviours, and this won’t happen on its own. Inspire technology adoption and culture change with initiatives to overcome barriers and leverage enablers.

For people to start using new tools (or finally adopt existing ones…) they need to understand what the tools are for, how to use them, when to use them and perhaps most importantly, why to use them. And the ‘why’ needs to be clear both from an organisational perspective down to the WIIFM (‘What’s in it for me?’), and everything in between (‘What’s in it for my business unit, my team?’).

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It’s also vital to address common barriers to adoption, such as:

Overcoming fear of change

  • New technology and behaviours bring a whole host of fears, for example being uncomfortable ‘working out loud’, security concerns, ‘social’ being seen as to time wasting, loss of command and control authority, even simply the fear of looking silly posting something in front of a wider audience than normal.
  • People don’t want to engage with the platform until there is a critical amount of people and content on there. So how do I get things off the ground?

Leadership visibility

  • Leaders aren’t leading the way, so there’s no one to follow, how do we get around this? Who do we bring on board and in what order?
  • How do we identify other leaders and champions to lead the way, how can we activate a champion network?

Resource and budget

  • Having spent significant sums on software licenses, often teams are left with the challenge of ‘driving adoption’ on the assumption this can be done with a couple of posters and some mouse mats. How do we drive adoption without spending a fortune?
  • Change management – how can we, on a limited budget, develop and manage all the communications, education, content, community management, governance, tech development, and the rest?

At Betterworking we have award-winning experience of driving adoption of a whole host of different types of tools, in different sectors, cultures and to achieve diverse business outcomes. And we’re able to bring a combination of data driven approaches, creativity and the benefit of our experience to design 3 to 6 month activation programmes, whatever you’re trying to activate.

Embed

Early wins are one thing, but sustainable long-term success is the real objective. In this critical phase it’s important to build on initial momentum to start embedding new ways of working.

Once you’re through the initial launch phase, and the buzz of excitement is starting to wane, you need to establish new behaviours further in the business. Sure, some early adopters did a great job, but most likely a large proportion of employees are still yet to dip their toe in the water, let alone ready to adopt truly new ways of working.

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With many plates to spin, focus on the right ones to build and maintain momentum:

Community management

  • Ongoing day-to-day community management, support and facilitation: how do you help all these users, and how do you decide what areas to focus your limited resource and budget on?
  • Use cases and success stories: monitor the use cases you identified up front and spread the successes of those that worked. Crucially, stay alert and agile enough to identify new use cases you hadn’t even anticipated.

Senior leader engagement

  • Wider senior leader adoption: what should you be doing to coach and develop leaders in the business so they can lead by example? Many of them are fearful, or worse – vocal naysayers.
  • Identify potential high-impact use cases based on current strategic priorities and encourage senior leaders to utilise the new platform to help with their objectives.

Channel purpose, clarity and development

  • Channel/platform confusion: how do you generate and maintain high levels of awareness of what the tools are all for, how they co-exist, and how to use them?
  • Constantly changing landscapes: how do we keep up with changing landscapes in each operating company? And what about increasingly demanding employee expectations – bring your own device, access anytime, anywhere…

At Betterworking we know the period following launch and the initial adoption campaign is when the hard work really begins. Reaping ongoing ROI from these tools requires ongoing effort, education, communication, coaching, sharing of successes, and keeping things fresh and exciting.

We’ve developed models to address the importance of integrated education, communication and content planning to ensure you kill several birds with one stone in each of your campaigns and other embedding activities.


Track

Analytics and reporting are a key element of any effective technology and behaviour change programme. But handle with care, as ill-judged monitoring can easily backfire.

On-going management reporting is normally a given. Understandably senior leaders want to know how much bang the business is getting for its buck. And you’ll want to see both short-term progress reports to inform tactical decisions as well as detailed quarterly or annual reporting against original strategic KPI’s.

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What to measure?

Many start off thinking that reporting on how many active users, how much user-generated content (e.g. blogs, or documents), and so forth will be sufficient. But they then receive a big ‘so what?’ at the first steering group with senior management. So what else should you be tracking?

Look beyond on-platform reporting

Often the basic analytics packages that come with your software are quite limited. At a relatively simple level you should be going further, extracting data to segment your users according to participation levels (e.g. creators, participators, spectators, inactives) as well as by geography, or operating company, or whatever else is relevant to your strategy.

Tie back to strategic outcomes for your reporting to carry weight

If you’ve done your homework upfront in your Assess and Plan phases, then you should have a good outcome-based measurement framework in place. Now extract the data from the relevant sources to populate your dashboards and reports.

These tend to include data from:

  • User surveys and research
  • Organisation structure data
  • Other people data (e.g. existing engagement surveys)
  • Web trends data
  • And of course data from your enterprise social and collaborative technology(ies)

Use caution when monitoring and reporting

The volume and depth of data generated from social and collaborative technologies provide ample opportunities for advanced analysis using Big Data and predictive modelling techniques.

However, while it’s increasingly possible to capture and manipulate data about your employees from multiple sources both inside and outside the enterprise, it’s vital this is approached appropriately. This means being highly sensitive to issues such as privacy and trust, to ensure your monitoring and reporting activities don’t kill off the collaborative and social behaviours you’re trying to encourage.

Get the right balance

At Betterworking we understand that tracking and measurement needs to go further by being hardwired into your business strategy and linked to the business outcomes. So for example, are you really driving cross functional collaboration, and how is this supporting new product development? Or are you really improving cross-selling or increasing productivity?

We’ll help you get the right balance with your metrics and reporting: to provide the insights you need to continually improve, while guarding against the unintended consequences of inappropriate monitoring.