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Summary:

It can be very difficult to get an organization to accept corporate microblogging as a means of facilitating closer collaboration. However, while I am the first to say that changing an organization’s communications model can be a challenge, it’s not impossible. You and your team might […]

It can be very difficult to get an organization to accept corporate microblogging as a means of facilitating closer collaboration. However, while I am the first to say that changing an organization’s communications model can be a challenge, it’s not impossible.

You and your team might be looking to a corporate microblogging platform to resolve some sort of communications issue. In this post we are going to take a look at how you can implement corporate microblogging for maximum benefit.

Run a pilot. Both Yammer and Present.ly have free versions, which make running a corporate microblogging pilot test for your organization a no-brainer — you aren’t dinging anybody’s budget to try it out. For the pilot, I advise choosing one project team — preferably one with vocal participants who are going to give feedback on the merits (or lack thereof) of the microblogging platform you are piloting.

Positively contrast microblogging vs. email. Failures in email communications abound in many geographically dispersed teams– and not all of those failures are technical in nature. I recommend auditing your team’s prior email communications to see where a corporate microblogging solution could augment and even replace email for project communications.

Communicate the successes. Changing from a communications medium like email requires some selling throughout the process. I’ve worked on communications software rollouts; you aren’t going to be able to escape those users who don’t want to change. This is the kind of user who needs to see your project team’s growing usage of corporate microblogging and its benefits.

Fit microblogging into an overall communications plan. Typically, project teams have just email and maybe instant messaging available to them. Above and beyond that, the organization might be using SharePoint or some sort of document management system. Making the jump to a new tool requires a plan; don’t just implement new tools for the sake of new tools. I often recommend a communications plan (informal or formal) that defines appropriate communications channels for team members..

Find a champion. As I mentioned in my previous post “Corporate Culture, Not Technology, Drives Collaboration“, rolling out a new technology like corporate microblogging requires management support to champion the cause.

Today’s online communications tools including corporate microblogging offer many benefits compared to corporate network-only email, faxes and telephone calls. However, your successful implementation of a corporate microblogging platform requires planning and strategy to ensure its adoption offers productivity to your team and a remedy to lingering project communications issues.

Have you implemented a corporate microblogging solution? Share your war stories, tips and advice below.

  1. Good post! Yes, we have implemented and are rolling out enterprise microblogging. Two posts describing our experiences can be found here and here.

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  2. [...] Wave and enterprise-class social media tools like Yammer and Present.ly (which we’ve covered previously).While email is a traditional and often-used form of project communication it does no good as a [...]

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  3. Interesting post! We were lucky to avoid most problems with adoption. We started using project management software (Wrike), which also has activity stream, comments and microblogging feature as a part of application. Since it also integrates with email, no microblogging vs email for us!
    Couple of links to share –
    http://www.projectmanagers.net/profiles/blogs/the-future-of-project
    http://www.wrike.com/projectmanagement/07/01/2010/Microblogging-in-Project-Management-2-0

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