Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know that my company has been working on various projects that leverage BPM and SOA technologies. One of the biggest challenges we have is dealing with culture change and providing the right level of communication to people at all levels. Next week, we plan on implementing a few Enterprise 2.0 technologies to address those challenges.

Enterprise 2.0 is a fancy term that represents a host of web based collaboration tools like blogs, wikis, social networking platforms, RSS readers, bookmarking, tagging, and many others. Dion Hinchcliffe has one of the best blogs that explain Enterprise 2.0 (also called Web 2.0 in Business). His article called Social Media Goes Mainstream does an fantastic job of explaining Enterprise 2.0 and its benefits.

Back to my scenario. On our corporate portal, we are launching an enterprise architecture community which will link to the wiki and our blogs. Members of our architecture team will blog about various topics to share lessons learned, tips and tricks, and various research information as we learn more about the technologies we use. Our project manager will blog about the project, our testing architect will discuss the ins and outs of testing SOA, our configuration management guy will cover his area of expertise, and I will blog about the EA team's vision and strategic direction. All of our governance information will be accessible via our wiki. We are leveraging Mediawiki, the same open source wiki tool that runs Wikipedia. For the blogging software we are using Wordpress, another open source tool. Our next step is to implement a RSS reader so people can subscribe to content that is relevant to them.

Driving traffic to this new community on the portal can be challenging. Our plan is to have our CIO send a biweekly communication to all of IT. He will distribute an email with a URL to his blog which should bring most people to the site. In his blogroll will be links to the EA team's blogs and the enterprise wiki. Our hope is that in addition to keeping people informed about projects and technology, people will start to collaborate on the site. Once the collaboration starts, fresh new ideas should emerge from the staff and knowledge sharing and collective intelligence will prevail.

If this new EA community is successful, we can take it to the next level and start experimenting with tagging and social bookmarking. This will allow people to tag and rank information that is relevant to them which in turn makes popular content easier to find. One of the challenges that many companies, including ours, have with their portal is that it is difficult to find documents. Tagging and ranking solves this problem.

So next week we unleash some of these Enterprise 2.0 technologies to the masses. I expect adoption to be slow since many people are probably not familiar with these tools. But the biweekly CIO communication should be the "killer app" that drives the traffic to the site. Hopefully these tools will improve communications. We will still use all of the other communication mechanisms as well, but the blogs will allow for frequent, short communications that can reach large audiences in a short amount of time.

I will share the lessons learned on this experiment as we encounter them.


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"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there"

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