Improving communication and collaboration at an international electronics group

We planned and managed the deployment of Jive Social Software for Rohde & Schwarz UK, the UK arm of an international electronics group specialised in test and measurement equipment for radiocommunications.

With the introduction of the Jive social business platform our client was looking to improve communication and collaboration spanning multiple divisions and locations in the UK.

The results from the latest employee engagement survey had shown low employee satisfaction levels in areas related to internal communication and collaboration, while highlighting the need for more ‘search and pull’ vs. traditional broadcasting of information. And with most employees working primarily in sales and marketing roles, the UK office was in need of better tools and processes for supporting key use cases supporting revenue growth.

To succeed, the approach with Jive would need to:

  • Connect together workers in different locations
  • Capture corporate memory that could be accessed by employees anywhere, anytime
  • Enable multi-directional comms across the business
  • Remove the need for the old legacy document library
  • Strike a good balance between corporate structured and user generated content
  • Make existing business processes more collaborative
  • Use a data-driven approach to measure and track progress
  • Allow full control over data ownership and access, due to strict data security requirements

Ultimately, the vision was for Jive to be used to drive cross-border collaboration over time, through the ongoing support of leadership that would encourage behavioural change across the different group regions.

Commencing with a kickoff workshop with the project team, we scoped the business requirements, use cases and KPI’s from all key stakeholders. The workshop enabled us to identify and prioritise key use cases and create a plan for implementing and managing these. It also enabled us to identify business stakeholders that would then approached to become super-users on the platform, therefore managing spaces in Jive and helping others get on board.

We then conducted a tech landscape assessment where we consulted with core team and relevant stakeholders to map the current and planned collaborative technology landscape. This workshop enabled us to identify key strategic IT requirements that Jive would need to cater for and/or align with, and potential areas for integration with other LoB apps.

The outputs from these two workpieces were then used to inform a Jive architecture plan developed  in collaboration with the project team. The agreed architecture was then implemented in an agile, incremental way, with significant communities on the platform addressing key priorities for launch being configured first. This allowed us to demonstrate value, whilst keeping the platform as lightweight and easy to manage as possible. Aside from the technical configuration, we also provided guidelines for branding the homepage and spaces implemented, and assisted the project team in generating and uploading branding material on Jive.

Running in parallel with the technical configuration and as part of the change management workstream, we developed a simple framework for identifying and setting out clear end-user benefits of the tools, as well as a detailed comms messaging campaign that set out audiences, channels and timings for launch.

In addition, we rolled out an education plan whereby we trained the admins and super users (community managers) of the platform ahead of launch, to give them enough time to get up to speed with using Jive and assist the community manager in generating content for launch.

On launch day we delivered general training for all users and then specific, use-case related training to key stakeholder teams that was tailored to the particular business requirements of each group.

Finally, to help the in-house community management team stay on top of their activities during the first months following the launch, we developed a hands-on, practical community management plan that incorporated technical and behaviour related aspects and included the implementation of a Jive-Help group that all super-users would join to help onboard their peers.

Our agile approach enabled us to successfully launch the platform on-time and on-budget and get positive feedback from most employees on launch day and during the first days following launch.

Through our vision and comms plan implementation we succeeded in clarifying the vision and key messages for Jive’s rollout in the UK, as a secure and mobile-enabled tool for connecting employees and allowing them to collaborate and learn from each other. Key successes were:

  • The targeted messaging for specific functional groups was instrumental in helping these teams get up to speed with using Jive to support their business processes faster
  • Through leveraging Jive’s ability to surface information from different places across various sections in the platform, we enabled the UK office to connect different vertical teams and support knowledge cross functional sharing across UK employees
  • The granular space structure implemented for product sales and market teams maximised product awareness, enabled cross-sharing and increased visibility of sales collateral across different teams
  • The library for official documents we implemented through Jive successfully replaced the old digital library, and allowed for improved publishing, sharing and management of core business documents
  • On top of that, people can now voice their opinions and share useful information in both public spaces and groups, which will help improve peer-to-peer understanding and connections between employees working in the different locations
  • Through a CEO blog that we surfaced on the homepage, the leadership team will increasingly reduce its distance from the rest of the organisation, and our suggestions for a dedicated space for company-to-employee comms will facilitate dissemination of company news updates while secured maximum visibility for important announcements.

Overall, with our help, the UK department successfully demonstrated an innovative approach to the group’s German Headquarters with the launch of its Jive social business platform, and the approach is now considered as an example of best practice for other global strands of the organisation to follow.