James Mullan Facilitating Collaboration & Fostering Innovation - FreePint Topic Series: The Social Enterprise
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By James Mullan


As one of the series producers for the new FreePint Topic Series: The Social Enterprise, James Mullan looks at how social tools are growing in importance. However, their implementation and governance needs to be carefully considered. FreePint's new Topic Series: The Social Enterprise will help readers understand how collaborative and social tools can be implemented and used effectively.


FreePint Topic Series: The Social EnterpriseImproving work processes, facilitating collaboration, fostering innovation and enhancing knowledge management... these are just a few of the ways in which enterprises are using collaborative and social tools like SharePoint, Yammer and Pulse.

Whilst many enterprises have acknowledged the role internal collaboration tools have to play, it's vitally important to ensure there are adequate guidelines in place to manage them effectively.

Governance is Important

Developing governance guidelines for internal collaboration is an essential part of any plan to roll-out a tool that takes advantage of social concepts.

However, when developing a governance plan or guidelines it's important to ensure they are flexible enough to manage new risks and issues as they emerge, whilst not discouraging individuals from posting content.

...But Needs to Be "Done Right"

Done correctly social media governance can create a pull that encourages employees to adopt the tool you're implementing. You only have to look at PwC's views on social collaboration to understand how important it is.

One of the later articles in the imminent FreePint Topic Series: The Social Enterprise will look at the ways in which managers can develop governance documents and guidelines, which encourage users to engage with social tools.

SharePoint - All That Glitters Isn't Gold...

SharePoint is a tool that has been used by many organisations for a number of years.

Whilst the allure of SharePoint is obvious, does SharePoint really deliver on what it promises? It was certainly a hot topic in 2013, especially with the continued integration of Yammer and the improvements to its social offering. I expect this to continue in 2014.

However, for many organisations SharePoint remains something that needs to be "smacked into shape", as reported in this article on the PCWorld website.

How to Make the Most of SharePoint

Whilst SharePoint is a great platform for collaboration and file sharing, it won't always do everything users would like it to do. Many organisations have to turn to add-ons to improve the SharePoint experience for their users.

Having said that, SharePoint 2013 is a vast improvement on previous versions, especially around social. However, knowing the best way to deliver a good social experience within SharePoint is something many organisations struggle with.

One of the articles in this FreePint Topic Series: The Social Enterprise will take a closer look at the role of SharePoint, especially its social offerings and provide tips on how to make the most of this very powerful tool.

FreePint Topic Series: The Social Enterprise

Lauching next week, this series will seek to help readers understand some of the issues that affect the adoption of social technologies.

Articles in progress include:

  • How to implement social technology strategically
  • Developing good social media habits
  • A case study from an organisation that developed and implemented a bespoke social platform
  • Steps organisations need to take in order to make social succeed
  • Exploring what "value" means in the context of the social enterprise
  • A look at the role of SharePoint, and other relevant technologies.

Editor's Note: The Social Enterprise

The FreePint Topic Series: The Social Enterprise runs from January to February 2014 to examine the ways that organisations are maximising internal social connections and knowledge management. Register your interest now for notification of new content published in the series, to get early announcements to register for FreePint Webinars produced in the series, and to receive a free copy of the FreePint Report: Buyer's Guide on Social Tools, scheduled for publication in February.

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