In the last weeks, I have been running a project deploying a Enterprise Social Network in a SME, not targeting the whole company (about 300 employees and 3 industrial sites) but a special project, strategic to the future of the company.
Let’s discover together the value created by such a tool.
What kind of value for a project
More than just for your project, let’s discover what is the main value of an ESN?
As all Social Network, ESN main value is about… Sharing ideas and information, connecting people who would have never reached each other otherwise (esp. true in corporate with lots of employees and organisations) and cross-pollinating of concepts and ideas.
In a project this will ease your communication within your project team. As every seasoned project manager knows, communication is key in the performance of a project team.
How to use an ESN within a project
Setting this ESN was a challenge, both in terms of project management and in team management. After a couple of months running this ESN, we have already some feedback to share:
- Change management shouldn’t be neglected
Whatever is your core activity, from technology to services, do not think that your team members know Social Network through their personal life. We have set a change management program that we have later on adapted to the first feedback of the team.
- Create Groups and stream according to your key activities
According to our WBS and the communication plan we have set groups according to the main WBS items. We have also set stream of information on the main transversal topics: contract management, planning, HR…
- Be the first champion of your Project Social Network
Be the first user of your ESN. This is the golden rule if you want to deploy an ESN for your project. If you use it, regularly, professionally, your team will use it.
- Allow personal use of your ESN
The goal of your ESN is to connect people and create a cohesion within your project team. Allow your team to create recreational groups and stream. Give your team the keys of your ESN to create even more cohesion and value for your project. Some of your team want to run together at lunch? Let’s create a running group. Share their best receipts for mid-day lunch? There’s a group for that. Go drink a beer after work?…
As a conclusion
ESN will definitely create value for your project and at last your company especially if you set up a coherent approach and strategy to first deploy it wisely, then to give the keys to your team so that they could take ownership of the tool.
Thanks for reading!
Some more resources on the topic