25 Sep Let’s Get Building – A Checklist for Enterprise Social Collaboration

In our last post on social enterprise collaboration use cases, we learned how to identify potential use cases that stand to bring valuable activity to a burgeoning online network. To move to the next phase and build the network, let’s check the viability of our use case assumptions against four basic criteria:

Low Barrier – Don’t Ask for a Sea Change. The Introduction Should Be a Basic Shift:

  • Business processes that do not need highly specialized workflow tools.
  • Business processes that rely on colleagues collaborating – co-creation & editorial, approval, ideation, deliberation, communication.

In the Flow – Don’t Ask for Additional Work. Activity Should Be Part of Work:

  • Part of regular, daily, activity
  • The network is where the work happens.
  • The network is where communication around the work happens.
  • The network is where decisions about work are made and communicated.

Visibly Demonstrable – Private Groups Don’t Demonstrate Successful Use:

  • Work can be open to as many as possible demonstrating use and enticing others to emulate successful use.
  • Involves enough participants to demonstrate a meaningful flow of activity, but not so much as to lose focus.
  • Private use cases are not out of the question, but they do not support the growth strategy of a young environment. They may be included, but should be outnumbered by open use cases.

Engaged and Committed – With a Use Case that Is Relevant and Valuable, Build Enthusiasm and Support:

  • There is buy in and awareness that change may present challenges.
  • There is a commitment to participation from leaders/use case leaders/use case group.
  • There is a commitment to engagement strategy (participation and stewardship) to support use cases and members.

Remember to keep use cases simple. Seek those with needs that can be easily met by shifting to collaboration tools. It’s very easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis around tools, workflows and customizations. When getting started, the idea is to introduce immediate, valuable activity to a variety of use cases and users. As use is established and the network matures, the introduction of more complex or customized use can develop on the healthy bedrock that’s already been established.

Now that we’ve got a stick to measure the efficacy of starter use cases, we’ll turn our attention to the people and teams who’ll support them. Next week, we’ll talk about identifying and developing champions to help build the network, and get this thing off the ground.

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Other Resources:

Gain insight and leverage resources for building your strategy from our friends at the Community Roundtable. The CR offers fantastic training opportunities (, a peer community, as well as data and reports to support social business and the social executive.  Check it out: