What does collaboration look like in your organization, and how do you know if the tools and processes you have deployed are successful? That was the premise of a survey conducted by Beezy and a panel of MVPs and experts within the SharePoint and Office 365 community in Q1 of this year. In a webinar scheduled for Thursday, June 16th entitled "Measuring the Impact of SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online" (register here), I'll be joined by one of these panelists, Microsoft senior product manager Mark Kashman (@mkashman), as we walk through the community survey results and discuss how organizations can leverage this data to better define and measure the impact of SharePoint.
Defining success within the enterprise
Depending on your role, whether your focus is on the back-end infrastructure or the front-end business analysis, your definition of collaboration -- and the tools that you use to collaborate with customers and peers -- may be different from others within your organization. One of the goals of the 'Measuring Collaboration Success' initiative and related survey was to look for commonalities between definitions, enabling us to learn from the community and to determine some fundamental measurements for success. You can read more on the initiative in our press release.
Most companies inherently believe they are good at collaboration, but when you ask them how they define success, and how they measure their collaboration efforts to ensure value is being provided, they struggle to articulate these things.
Collaboration is a broad topic that can encompass everything from email to instant messaging to real-time video communication. While companies use a variety of technologies to collaborate, the intended goals of collaboration efforts are fairly consistent across organizations: to share information, to improve communication, and to support corporate culture.
We may approach collaboration in different ways, but we all consistently fail at defining "success." And if it is not well defined, how can we measure it, much less claim success?
The 'Measuring Collaboration Success' initiative is being conducted in three segments: the first segment and related survey looked at how organizations define customer success, with the results to be shared during the Kashman webinar and related whitepaper. The second segment will focus on measurement, and the third and final segment will focus on implementing a successful strategy. Each segment runs for 6 to 8 weeks, all surveys are completely anonymous, and all survey data is being made available for free to respondents.
Learning from peers in the community
During the webinar, Mark and I will share some of the key takeaways from the survey results, and relate them our own experiences in working with SharePoint and Office 365, as well as many other productivity and collaboration solutions over the years. For example, as shown in the graph below, very few respondents claim outright success in their collaboration efforts. Diving into some of the comments from respondents and panelists alike, what is consistent across organizations are successful small team efforts, often led by power users or managers who help evangelize tools and best practices, which can make-or-break an internal collaboration effort.
Similarly, when asked about the level of detail behind corporate goals for collaboration, most respondents identified a general lack of definition and articulated goals or strategy. There is a direct connect between these two questions, and the responses from the community. Without clearly stated goals, it is not surprising that organizations struggle with finding success over the long-term.
While not a scientific survey, there is much that can be learned from these kinds of community initiatives. Collaboration requirements and metrics can vary widely by company, industry, and role. The goal of the ‘Measuring Collaboration Success’ initiative is to identify those commonalities, and to develop a shared understanding of the success drivers behind collaboration so that the appropriate metrics can be tracked.
Register for the webinar
In addition to sharing the survey results, Mark and I will discuss how companies can better position collaboration within the enterprise to show measurable business value. We will also discuss how the recent Future of SharePoint announcements from Microsoft will impact the success of your SharePoint efforts. We will break down the definitions of success used by SharePoint customers around the world, and provide insights into how Microsoft is helping those companies better deliver on their collaboration goals, so don't miss it!
Register here for Measuring the Impact of SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online on June 16th