Business Case Study for Yammer
Introducing Yammer to a Small Business
TAIT is approximately 150 people overall, with half being in TES – on the environmental side of the business. Early this morning (10/06/2013) I sent Yammer invitations to a select group of people within the company. The test group included the CFO, Controller, COO, VP, some PMs and some technicians. The company currently does not formally utilize an instant messenger service. My goal is to determine whether the company will embrace Yammer as a quicker means of communication, increasing collaboration. If the Yammer test is successful, the next steps would be integrating it into the SharePoint 2013 deployment – set to occur over the next six months. As I added users to the company, I also created groups. I added a couple of users to groups in advance to see whether they would appear in those groups when they accepted the invitation. Within hours, the first user joined. One of the technicians, Gloria not only joined Yammer, but created a group! So we are off to a running start. Later in the day, I wrote and sent out an email explaining the Yammer invitation. While doing that, I added the information to this blog and resource links. It has been very interesting to see which associates at the company are interested in learning more, and are engaging enough to invite others. There was a big push about a week after Yammer was rolled out to the test group, where many people joined all on the same day. There were questions as to what it is, and those are being addressed individually rather than to the whole group – watching to see how Yammer develops dynamically at TAIT. This is still a test at this point, and things to note so far are that the people that have sent the invitations are the technicians and field office associates – the people that feel disconnected. As the project progresses, I will watch to see if management takes notice of that. I had a good conversation with Stephanie Yu at Microsoft regarding Yammer and the movement at our company so far. When questioning her suggestions regarding the timing for integration with SharePoint – her response was to integrate now. Further discussion regarding integration with SP2013 not completed yet, has left me wanting to wait to integrate it as I would not want associates to be used to it being available and then feel like something might be ‘missing’.
10/6/2013 – sent 1st round of Yammer invitations 10/6/2013 – first user joined! 4 users total joined the same day – Field Systems Auditor, Controller, Marketing Manager, Designated Operator 10/6/2013 – sent Email 1 – explanation of Yammer invitation. 10/07/2013 – 7 joined – Regulatory Affairs Manager, Health and Safety Manager, unkn title-PM, Program Manager, Project Coordinator, CFO 10/08/2013 – 2 joined – Design Engineer, Foreman Service Tech 10/10/2013 – 1 joined – Design Engineer, EIT – told in person & added from phone 10/11/2013 – 19 joined! Yammer explosion – technicians forwarding invitations to upper management. Technician, Admin, Compliance Technician, President (Owner), VP, unk title-PM, Project Manager, Project Engineer, Senior Project Manager, COO, CEO (Owner), Director, Director, IT Director, Service Technician, Field Technician 10/14/2013 – 4 joined – Foreman Service Tech, VP, Service Tech, Entitlement Manager 10/16/2013 – 3 joined – VP, Project Coordinator, Senior Project Manager 10/22/2013 – 1 joined – Project Manager, joined from Blackberry phone and has already asked how to upload pictures 10/22/2013 – discussed progress w/Stephanie at Microsoft 10/23/2013 – posted link to Yammer video, helping show associates what Yammer can be used for 11/ … Andy posted pictures, someone from the other side of the company downloaded them, surprising him. Others viewed. 11/6/13 – I “praised” a couple of people – Matt in the RFP Group, and Andy to the whole company – introducing a new element of Yammer 11/7/2013 – The Office 365 blog announced:
- all existing Office 365 Enterprise plan customers will receive licenses for Yammer Enterprise
- Office 365 Enterprise customers are no longer required to purchase Yammer Enterprise licenses for external users within their external networks.
- Tim will be glad to know (but it’s a few days late since he joined) that: Email users can now participate in Yammer group discussions via email without having to set up a Yammer account.
- More Support – Introducing the Yammer Customer Engagement Partner Program
Following the Yammer Success Center’s Social Journey
Why are we deploying Yammer? To test the associates’ response to communicating via IM rather than email
- Reduce email
- Increased response time
- Searchable conversations – if person ever left company / knowledge transfer
Alignment with Business Plan? Increased communication and collaboration directly affects our Mission: “Solve tough environmental challenges and deliver practical and efficient solutions that make sense for government, business, the community, and the environment.”
- Relating to our #3 Objective (Profit), “Gain efficiencies & develop associates for promotion through professional development training” IM communication can be more efficient, Yammer is a new skill therefore developing associates
- #4 Objective (Revenue) “Expand field and office capabilities” and also “Identify and develop new services/products based on trends in technology” Yammer can be used with external clients as well, by creating groups (like SharePoint)
How will Yammer change the organization? Goal would be reduce email and increased communication and response time. How will the organization know if Yammer is successful? If associates engage, and participate in using Yammer to communicate, that will be the first indication. More open communication and relationships developing across the nation via a more “live” connection is the next part. Increased efficiency and productivity from the associates will be the ultimate measure of success for Yammer at TAIT. Benefits for the overall organization? Increased awareness of individuals within the organization and skills we can offer to clients. Benefits to associates specifically? Increased communication and relationship development within TAIT. A more unified connectedness across offices and from field associates to offices. Current collaboration / communications challenges? Lack of ability to control and develop current TECS system. Expense of maintaining and developing current TECS system. Branch offices have limited contact with main office and rare contact with other branch offices.
Yammer Vision Statement:
Yammer at TAIT will lead to more transparent communication between branch offices, and develop relationships through sharing knowledge. Serving as a collaboration tool that integrates with our SharePoint system, working together on projects crossing geographic and functional teams will deepen our knowledge of the breadth of talent at TAIT – driving innovation and leading to increased productivity and sales. Yammer may be a simpler way to get employees to share.
What areas of focus will be most valuable in the beginning?
- Quick turnaround to finding documents
- Quick responses building relationships across branch offices, gaining better understanding of talent within the company
Focus on: How TAIT will put the prioritized initiatives for Yammer into Practice – Use Cases for Yammer accomplishing a specific task Participants: Use Case Leader for each, committed individuals across regions/departments to contribute and assign others to the meeting Task 1 – Combination – Need to set a Meeting – let the attendees see how Yammer is used for many to collaborate in a discussion to come to a resolution, and how it breaks down the barriers of role or title at a company Task 2 – Top-down, strategic use case Task 3 – Viral, bottom-up use case (hoping this will occur organically after Task 1 or 1 and 2) Use Case Template – use to outline strategy for each. More difficult to do in test scenario where not all associates are on Yammer, yet. Step 4: Drive Success Plan Your Network Launch Project Plan Template Network Roles & Responsibilities Communication Plan Step 5: Evaluate, Adapt, Iterate Measure Business Value Business Value Booklet Measuring Business Value 31 Days of Yammer