Over the course of the past month, I’ve shared with you that I think there is real value in piloting Enterprise 2.0 tools (here, here, and here). In that short time, my thinking on what a pilot is, and what strategies we should embrace to guide our work, have evolved. In short, I’ve come to understand a pilot as the space where you spend your energy fixing a group’s problems. It’s not that the tool itself is limited to a certain group, or that you’re limiting what tools are available (both bad ideas), but that you’re focusing your time as an Enterprise 2.0 solutions provider to meet the specific needs of a real team or community.
With just over a month of the launch of Maarifa 2.0, we’ve covered a lot of territory. Sometimes it helps to step back and put it all in context, especially for those of you who may be new to the site. In this post, I’ll review the major themes, lessons learned, and best sources for ongoing learning.
In this series, you’ll see 3-4 weekly posts so stay tuned for more.
In this series, we’ll tackle a range of very-real problems that likely all organizations face, but that are known pain points for non-profits, and their development/fundraising teams in particular.
In this first post, we’ll deal with the issue of data accuracy. Specifically, we’ll address:
- how organizations can get on the the path to effectively breaking down data silos
- how organizations can build systems to easily communicate and centralize data and metrics the organization needs to communicate with the outside world
- plant seeds
- fail fast
- make little bets
- plan for loss, change with the future
As you may have read, I believe that pilots – that is, the limited deployment of web 2.0 tools – can be useful. Fundamentally, my case was that pilots can be useful when deploying tools related to strong ties (e.g. wikis) while they are not necessary for tools that connect weak ties (e.g. micro-blogging). There’s an important caveat to this proposition: measure value (even soft value), not ROI. Use pilots to identify additional opportunities, raise awareness, and build the foundations for a wider deployment. In short, pilots are not good at measuring ROI because of luck (or the absence of it).
There is a healthy, but fierce debate among Web 2.0 folks about whether or not to pilot collaborative and social tools within an organization. While I understand the position that many on the “do not pilot” standpoint take, I disagree, rather emphatically. Instead, I offer a new approach: do both.