Business value models in the digital workplace

Business Value Models in the Digital Workplace

Digital workplace projects like enterprise social network (ESN) implementations or large scale social collaboration tools often move ahead, understandably, as an IT-lead project, with perhaps HR or internal communications partnership to help improve employee engagement.  Upfront planning and alignment on broader strategic business objectives are often missing, however. As projects roll out organizations and digital transformation teams often struggle to clarify and articulate business value and impact.

Large sale enterprise social network platforms or social collaboration tools often come with dashboards and instrumentation that provides a view on platform operations and gives a community management or digital transformation change team some basic information about users and activity.

Too often, however, a view on progress and impact starts and stops with these metrics and you’ll find conversations between a community manager and their management go something like this.  Such dialogue suggests that the community manager doesn’t have the aligned framework to articulate business value, and the executive is not sure what questions to ask.

In these cases there’s often an over-reliance on the operational metrics of the platform to tell the story.

Platform analytics are helpful as indicators but don’t provide an abundance of business insight. These analytics can help a digital workplace team begin to ask questions about their program. How’s our rollout doing? Is more training indicated? Are more campaigns needed for baseline engagement?  Are there pockets of the overall organization that are not showing up on the platform?

But one’s digital transformation or ESN program design needs to be driven and shaped by your organizations business imperatives. What kind of employee engagement do you need to drive? What are the key business processes or work practices that you want to change? What are the impact metrics and KPIs that will substantiate success or at least validate meaningful improvement? How are you going to design your program to impact those business imperatives?

Here is a set of tools I designed to use in planning a digital workplace program that helps your team facilitate and engage stakeholders and leadership.

  • Program and operational metrics helps you tune your engagement, adoption and change program.
  • Business value assessments give you the insight on where the program is making a difference to the business.

Using this framework to plan your program helps set the stage for a common understanding of what your digital workplace program is driving towards to help the business. It’s shaped to align with company priorities. You can identify where in the organization the change could take place or be most impactful or prioritize based on your available resources to manage a change program.

You can then use use the framework to set priorities specific use cases within business imperatives.

And, you can begin to establish some common language with your stakeholders around what is meant mean by success for your organization, to organize a program of change, to validate results and identify how to amplify it.

Here’s some additional business imperatives to start the conversation in your organization.