Thinking about the “secret sauce” for the Enterprise 2.0 project management

Since the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT in February I do a lot of pondering about the “secret sauce” of successful Enterprise 2.0 projects. As an outcome of the Paris event we have already summarized the call for action in regards to the design of the future model of the enterprise. We have also heard from the various practioneers that in spite of their willingness to drive the projects and the alignment with business objectives a lot of them are struggling on the enterprise-wide adoption as well as on the sustainable transformation.

The discussions at the recent industry events in Milan or in Boston are also resembling these conclusions. As a consequence I see a need for a more sophisticated and differentiated approach to the E2.0 project management!

From the discussions with our E20 practice group we have evolved some key thoughts on this that are turning around a stronger organizational development perspective of the E20 project. The generic call for the “cultural change” as a premise for a successful project is IMHO very unprecise and misleading. In my recent talks in Milan and Geneve I have taken a more differentiated view to this in order to coin the discussion to a stronger systematic approach towards the E20 project management – as this is the declared objective for our E20 Meetups and E20 SUMMIT 2013.

In order to his I came up with the following considerations:

  • Taking in account the “Yang & Yin” factors of the technology: Though a lot of E20 evangelist have sent out the message – “Enterprise 2.0 is not about technology but about culture!” – the two sides of the “social technology coin” is IMHO very determining for the E20/social business project. On the one side we have the process enhancing characteristics of the technology (“Yang factor”) and on the other side the transformational characteristics of the technology (“Yin factor”) – with the Yin elements coming as successor of the Yang elements. So yes – it’s about culture, but technology is a critical mean to the cultural change. And the cultural change needs to go hand in hand with the technological adoption plan.
    The Yang & Yin of Social Technology
  • Understanding Enterprise 2.0 as an incremental journey: There is no such thing as an one-step-Enterprise-2.0-approach. Because of the emergent factors of the underlying technology the potentials of Enterprise 2.0 (in terms of the effects of the Yang & Yin factors of the technology) cannot be realized in a single step. Even with a cultural change objective and initiative upfront – the critical masses for the adoption have to be build up and carefully evolved to leverage the benefits of the network afterwards. The business transformation follows on a later stage – after mass adoption of social technology has been achieved and existing processes have been enhanced by social business practices. Therefore the project has to be differentiated in different stages – with different objectives, with different key stakeholders, with different critical moments and different actions to be executed.
    E20 as incremental process
  • Acknowledging the importance of OD theory for the E20 project management: As we accept the need of “cultural change” for the E20 project we should also acknowledge the importance of organizational development (abbreviated OD) theory to help evolving the project. There are mainly four different ground theories with complementary ideas that help to elaborate the change action plans: Systems Theory, Action Research & Group Dynamics, Social Constructionism Theory and Complexity Theory. Each of these theories provide implications to the E20 project management at different maturity levels.
    OD Theory Implications for the E20 Project Management
  • Distinguishing the change management in “change optimization” and “change advancement” actions: As we talk about the cultural change that needs to go hand in hand with the adoption – we have to talk about two different levels of change management. For each stage within the E20 maturity cycle we have to define specific tasks for the establishment and optimization of the given changes and specific tasks to evolve to the next stage. This leads towards a systematic approach of who to get involved and what to get evolved to move to the next stage.

To drive these ideas to further elaboration I want to discuss the “building blocks” for the E20 project excellence at the upcoming E20 Meetup in Paris on Thursday. Within this E20 project excellence model I would like to structure the different project activities to be thought to achieve E20 project excellence:

Building Blocks for the E20 Project Excellence

Looking forward to the meetup on Thursday.