To Pilot or not to Pilot E2.0 solutions.

By Poul Hebsgaard posted 06-08-2010 15:07



Much discussion about the need to pilot E2.0 solutions have taken place since Andrew McAfee posted his “Drop the pilot” blog entry a little over a month ago. Andrew summarized and responded to some of these discussions and comments in his “Drop the Pilot, Part 2”.

One of the comments from Bertrand Duperrin was: “First we have to define what a pilot is. It’s clear that not everyone gives it the same meaning and it does not always have the same purpose. In some cases it’s an experimentation that can be shut down at any time, in some other it’s more like a “time to learn” before scaling up.”

I my opinion we should also try to define what an E2.0 solution is; because the concept is evolving!

I think we have to distinguish between different types of E2.0 solutions as they evolve to become an integral part of the “business process toolset” knowledge workers use to get their work done. The same applies to GOV2.0 solutions for governmental organizations, which except for some regulatory compliance issues are similar in nature.

Most E2.0 solutions will in my opinion evolve into “social media tools used in the context of the business process” and only a few will remain standalone applications as most of them are today.

My comments in this and coming blog posts will relate to E2.0 solutions tightly integrated with the BPM toolset knowledge workers use to get their work done.

In that context my answer to “Pilot or not to Pilot” would be that “it depends” and I have tried both with some valid rationale behind each and with successful outcome for both!

Questions to ask and assess for “Pilot or not to Pilot” could be:

  • What is the culture – hardnosed business or touchy/feely?
  • Are current processes and procedures being followed to get work done or does management just think so and reality is different?
  • How digitally mature is the organization?
  • Will E2.0 introduction be accompanied with changes to business processes?
  • Will E2.0 introduction create new legal and regulatory compliance issues?
  • Have privacy (privacy issues can vary by state!) and access control issues been addressed?
  • Is a chat exchange in a process flow context a record to be regarded as material?
  • Is there a clear understanding of the difference between archiving (work flow audit trail) and journalizing (legally required record keeping for country specific “Freedom of Information Act”) and how is that managed?
  • Are current business processes up-to-date, and E2.0 will “just” be a nice add-on?
  • Is there a plan to create buy-in for E2.0 adoption – plan for selling it?

Many more questions could be added to the list but a controlled pilot could help address these questions and often the picture is not clear and issues are not obvious until you actually try to use the system to get work done.

The “shock and awe” effect of skipping the pilot can be the best approach if the organization is prepared to handle the initial turbulence and have prepared a change management team with sufficient authority to address process issues and a technology team to address system issues.

The Apple approach of “people don’t know what they want until they try it” and then they wonder “how did we ever manage without it” also count for skipping the pilot.

Any organization adding E2.0 solutions to the knowledge worker toolset should weigh the pros and cons of a pilot and make an informed decision and then go sell it to the organization. Without informed users and subsequent buy-in from users any project is likely to struggle.

#ERM #privacy #Gov20 #E20 #KM #BPM #compliance #Enterprise20