The sweet data of Enterprise 2.0 success?

I for one, have thoroughly enjoyed the argy bargy over why Enterprise 2.0 projects fail and whether it’s a crock or not, plus the risks of not doing anything at all. What’s absent from all this is that interminable and incorrigible bogeyman, Mr. Hard Data, who cries. “Show me the money, or lack thereof.”

The debate is about analysis and perception, but what if (as some actually has done) someone says well actually yes, I’d like to see the money, or at least some real hard data. Anecdotes are not enough and while there might be shrill cries if the whole thang were turned off “may be valid, but a bit cute and begs question of against what.”

So let’s step back and look at what we might be aiming for. Here’s Mike Gotta on the imperatives:

•  We need to connect people globally.

•  We need to address generational shifts.

•  We need to break down barriers.

•  We need to “know what we know.”

•  We need to collaborate better.

•  We need to innovate from the bottom up.

•  We need to learn differently.

How can we apply hard data to any of these? Can we apply indices or benchmarks on collaboration and innovation such as the sociality of the networks and new widgets leaving the factory gates as a result. Maybe, but where are the numbers, and real numbers at that, not internal anecdotal ones?

Now I recall on a previous project discussing the absence of decent metrics for a wide range of comms tools in an organisation that ranged from none to completely pukka to hideously complex. The task of getting anything meaningful from the morass seemed a complete conundrum.

I discussed this with someone who had no insight into the specifics of online comms tools but a great deal to say on marketing comms and metrics. Her point was simple in the absence of decent metrics or data, don’t give up or try to boil the ocean, but start from somewhere, even if it doesn’t even begin to really address the issues.

With that aim in mind I’m going to start to throw some ideas into the pan in my next blogs on Enterprise 2.0 success factors and metrics.

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