But what's the business case? Nodding intently and listening to the question for the million trillionth time, suddenly it hits me. "Well, maybe your people can stop doing things that nobody cares about and reinvest that time in something useful".
D'oh. Inside Voice! Inside Voice! Inside Voice!
User engagement. Adoption rates. Participation. Content ingestion. To get a business case for an ECM deployment (never mind Enterprise 2.0....) companies need to kneel at the altar of the Pivot Table to get an ROI justification. Achieving said benefit means systems need to be used and stuff needs to be put into them.
People put the content into content management systems. When they don't do that, content management projects don't deliver that magical ROI. Luring typical information workers into a system perceived as onerous, complex, corporately mandated that ultimately seems not relevant to day to day tasks is tough.
But maybe there's an angle we've missed...
"Personal Productivity for ME... but the Community benefits"... this is how I've been describing emerging 2.0 tools as they enter mainstream business.
Social Bookmarks - are MY favorite items... but like-minded colleagues get the info and share their own... Blog - dead easy simple self publishing for ME, but my readers only need to find me in one place... Social Networks - let me tell you about MY expertise and experience and maybe we'll find some common interests and exchange information of mutual benefit.
When I started blogging personally a few years ago, like most bloggers, I became obsessed with my hit rates. Playing around with Sitemeter.. Google Analytics.. other cool tools du jour trying to understand: Who was reading me? How did they find me? Who linked to me? Does anybody bother coming back?
Seriously - name a blogger who isn't consumed with their traffic patterns and referrals. Yeah, thought so.
But... hang on. Where have I seen this before?
Haven't good old document management tools been providing metrics and tracking on content for umm... almost 2 decades? Who edited, who printed, who emailed, who viewed, who copied....kind of old skool, actually.
So here's my question: Why not apply the blogger self-absorption mentality to corporate ECM contributors? Bloggers who are motivated by traffic hits write content of interest to their audience. More hits = more on the topic. I often joke (not...) about Productivity Driven By Ego. In the enterprise space, why don't I pay attention to the content people read and well, quit producing the content they don't. Why do smart expensive educated knowledge workers invest time in things that no one bothers to look at?
Audit trails, activity lists, document history is the measurement of usefulness. One of my favourite analysts at Gartner - Debra Logan - uses the phrase "content valuation". But you can't know what's used and whether it's valued if you don't measure the consumption of specific content artifacts.
Why do I personally invest the time in tagging my Harlequin dive bar concert videos on YouTube? Because I want them to be found and be more popular than the ones my sister posted... Meaningful metadata lets them be found in the sea of millions upon millions of cheesy music clips. Why can't my colleagues find my whitepapers that easily....
Measure, track, compare, assess, weigh... Spend time on things that are useful to people, and stop doing things that aren't. Sounds like ROI to me.
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