Enterprise 2.0

Anti-patterns & Cargo Cult Enterprise 2.0


Last week I was introduced to a new concept by @stevecrowder namely anti-patterns. I say new, but as will be apparent, the patterns themselves will be familiar to anyone who has worked in either a corporation or small firm where the spirit of Dilbert is left to haunt business practices unhindered by any sense of propriety or common sense.

As can be learned from that venerable organ of veracity Wikipedia, the term was developed to describe software development, but it has applicability in wider business practices. What interests me, as ever, is the specific applicability to enterprise social. A quick Google on E2.0 and anti-patterns revealed some interesting presentations from Aaron Kim at IBM on web 2.0, but what intrigues me about anti-patterns is more how it relates to business process and social technology adoption.
A quick skim of the Wikipedia piece reveals a litany of Dilbertian business practices, ones that many of us, myself included, are unfortunately only too familiar with. The ones that chimed the most with my experiences were silos, authoritarian management styles, escalation of commitment, smoke and mirrors, boat anchor, the silver bullet and the golden hammer (never to be used at the same time, well not often).
For me, social technologies are about undoing these duff processes and practices. And this is where I perhaps veer away from the orthodox definition of the anti-pattern. I concur with “Some repeated pattern of action, process or structure that initially appears to be beneficial, but ultimately produces more bad consequences than beneficial results” but wonder about the applicability of  the “refactored solution”, namely a solution that already exists that is clearly documented, proven in actual practice and repeatable. I don’t think we’re at this stage with social yet, maybe we never will be for the following reason.
Social technologies have the potential to not only reinvent and recreate, they also have the capacity to create new unthought of solutions. They innovate. They create black swans by the gaggle and even the googol.
It’s for this reason that I’m suspicious of approaches that take an existing process and try and ‘make it social’. This I believe seriously misses the point. Whilst social might destabilise a ‘sub-optimal’ business practice forcing its reconstruction as something more efficient, or rather more humanly efficient; it is more likely to simply reinforce the anti-pattern. The pattern remains the same, it might be refactored with social technologies but the same duff processes still click on.
But more than this, slapping on social tools with the hope of a magical change is magical thinking. It’s cargo cult logic too – a key type of programming anti-pattern, but one that a social enterprise project can all too easily fall into. This is when all the social tools are assembled and with magic chants of engagement and collaboration are cried forth, but no one thinks to really put these into the practice of busting anti-patterns. But is that an anti-pattern itself?
Enterprise 2.0

Jive Software’s secret new release

This week saw the unlrelease of iPhone 5, the sad demise of Steve Jobs and JiveWorld 11 in Vegas. Many of course were hoping to see the iPhone 5 debut and were disappointed. No one really expected a Jive 6 to be released so soon after 5 and many companies I know of are still on 4.5, waiting for the right time to upgrade. I think there’s all the more reason now to make that upgrade – Jive 5 now pushes the limits of enterprise social business software.

A lot of the people I know who are running Jive projects were at JiveWorld – (one year I will get there!) I have been following it from afar and especially via Twitter #JW11. What I’ve seen so far at the event points to more than an upgrade – what was released was the extension and evolution of the ecosystem. This was mainly apparent in a series of press releases either just before or during the event.

It’s worth listing these out:
Spigit and Jive Partner on Next Generation Social Enterprise App

“By integrating Spigit’s engaging game mechanics, goal orientation, idea graduation and idea trading with Jive’s social collaboration platform, customers are able to capitalize on the collective intelligence within their internal and external communities.”

Jive and Bunchball Team Up to Bring Gamification to Jive

“Bunchball’s Nitro gamification engine encourages Jive users to explore and master the wealth of functionality available in the platform. Nitro for Jive uses reward, status, achievement, competition, and real-time feedback as motivation for users of the platform.”

Goshido + Jive: Making Project Management Social

“A great idea in a Jive discussion could become a complex project for an entire team, executed in Goshido.  With Goshido, anyone can connect actions together into projects that can evolve and grow.”

Wrike: Simple Social Project Management

Polycom and Jive Announce Strategic Relationship to Bring HD Video Collaboration to Social Business

“…strategic relationship to integrate Polycom HD video into Jive’s social business platform. The new solution will transform how businesses engage and collaborate with customers, employees, and partners. The solution will allow Jive customers to conduct live video chats, including group video calls, as well as record video meetings or messages for archiving, training, and ongoing collaboration.”

No doubt there are other releases and updates that I’ve missed – I did note Alfresco’s presence at JiveWorld and a Tweet from fellow Social Business Council member Brice Jewell on an update to the Jive / SharePoint Connector caught my eye.

Taken together these releases point to quite a leap forward. Jive is synching up with HD Video collaboration, enhancing ways to collaborate and plan by using social project management tools and doing the deep dive on gamification and innovation/ideation with the news from Spigit and Bunchball. Collectively, these are effectively a new release of Jive…

It’s for these sorts of reasons that after an engagement supporting the successful launch of global IBM Connections project in Banking, I’m really looking forward to working with the Jive application again. That should be applications – Darwin willing (I’ve a long drive south from Edinburgh ahead), I’ll be working on no less than four, fully loaded (Video, Ideation, Analytics, etc)  Jive 5 installations in one of the world’s largest media/advertising houses.

As a footnote – I’ve now worked hands on with all 3 of Gartner’s leading enterprise social applications – Jive, Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Connections. Might have to write up a practitioner’s comparison one day soon.