Thursday, February 26, 2015

Notes day 3 IntraTeam Event Copenhagen 2015 #iec15

As I did yesterday, I'm sharing my (rough) notes with you all. Please find them below. Others are live-blogging the conference. Please follow them as well. I pointed to their blogs yesterday.

Dave Snowden, The organization as a loosely coupled network

About systems, cognition and the patterns of those.

Three functional types of systems:
  • Ordered: Order is cool, but after success we get seduced by it.
  • Chaotic: no boundaries or structure
  • Complex adaptive system (co-evolution): We’re moving away from content to linkages that are defined by people.
These systems work in very different ways. Illustrates this with the ‘7/8 year old children party’.

Refers to the Cynefin framework, a sense-making framework. Some remarks Dave made related to the framework:
  • If you’ve done two interviews you already have a hypothesis that is hard to give up.
  • Complexity requires more management than in the ordered domain, but the management is different. It’s about creating safe-to-fail experiments. It leads to a dramatic reduction in costs and managerial stress.
  • Failure is better for learning than success. If you copy best-practices you will never innovate.
The future is distributed. Dave says there will be no intranets in the future. We will work with something like a bundle of apps. This fits better with how organizations work.

Snowden wraps up his talk with insights about human language (‘meaning is not found in text’), patterns (from ambigious, positive questions) and the importance of stories (collect them regularly, in real-time).

Arthur Turkstra, Bring out the best with Iris

Didn't take a lot of notes on this talk. I just listened. But, in short, Arthur shared his experience with design and his design principles for intranets.

One interesting statement I did write down is: Design for all humans. Human behavior is predictable.

David Gurteen, Conversational Leadership

The purpose of the Knowledge Café is to bring a group of people together to have a conversation on a topic of mutual interest.

The aims include:
  • learning from each other
  • sharing ideas and insights
  • gaining a deeper understanding of the topic and the issues involved
  • and exploring possibilities
It also helps:
  • connect people
  • improve inter-personal relationships
  • breaks down organizational silo’s
The process of the Cafe:
  • speaker makes a short presentation
  • poses a question (what makes a good question?)
  • small group conversations at tables
  • 3 rounds of conversation
  • whole group conversation in a circle
  • approximately 2 hours in total
Conversations are the lifeblood of the organization. Some even say conversation is the organization.

There are many tools to facilitate conversation: dialogue, knowledge cafes, peer assist, De Bono’s six thinking hats, brainstorms, etc.

David thinks we should move towards conversational leadership. Conversational leaders can be described in the following way:
  • modify their behavior to take a conversational approach to the way that we work and interact with each other
  • help build a strong social fabric and a sense of community by connecting people and helping them build relationships with each other
  • practice conversational methods daily such as peer assists, after action reviews and knowledge cafe's
Look for Conversational Architects in your organizations. David thinks managers should start with this.

Luke Mepham, Considering SharePoint in the Cloud?

Product or service, cloud vs. non-cloud, software vs service? Understanding these differences is essential when want to choose between SharePoint on premise and Office 365.

Customization was not possible for Office365 in the past. It's now possible. But MS doesn't allow anything that breaks the service. And Aviva learned to see this as a good thing. However customization is only allowed on a different server and that costs money. And don't except all requests for customization. Sometimes an extra service is better than a customization.
Upgrades, they were happy that they would always be the latest version. However... the upgrade is done whether or not it has any benefits for the organization. You cannot choose.
Security-wise Office365 is amazingly secure. It complies to ISO 27001, SAS70 Type II and EU Safe Harbor. Aviva also uses two-factor authentication to make sure the employee-side of security is covered.

Luke is also sure 'SharePoint' will move to the cloud. Some of the services (like Yammer) are cloud-based and will always be.

Final talk is by Anders Quitzau about 'Demystifying cognitive computing and putting Watson at work'. I didn't take any notes during this talk. Just listened and tweeted. You can find all the tweets by searching for 'IEC15'.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Notes from day 2 IntraTeam Event Copenhagen 2015 #iec15

I'm attending the 2015-edition of the IntraTeam Event in Copenhagen. It the 10th time it has been organized and it's my first time at the event. I'm writing along with the talks that I attended and will share my rough notes with you below. These are the notes from day 2 (- Day 1 was the workshop day. As I had to give a workshop I don't have any notes on Day 1. The slides for my/our workshop can be found here).

James Robertson, How design thinking is transforming

Intranets could do more with design. There are several tools to design intranets like:
  • Cardsorting
  • Tree testing (for instance by using Treejack)
  • Wireframing
  • Usability testing
James stresses that we should designing intranets that engage. Intranet should not only be useful (as he thought in the past), but also be beautiful. Employees look at it every day. It should delight employees. He shows several examples of intranets that do this:
  • Accolade
  • Calgary Board of Education (based on Sharepoint)
  • vxconnect, Virgin America's intranet
Also design should change the way of working. Coles – mycoles and Lakewood High School are shown as examples.

Theresa Regli, Evaluating mobile platforms for the enterprise
The main question Theresa will be addressing in her talk is: Should you go big or small when it comes to mobile technology? Big is go with Google, Microsoft, etc. But there are quite some best-of-breed smaller vendors.

What does enterprise mobile technology do?
  • it helps you with mobile app and mobile web experience development
  • services required by these mobile applications
Key players in the market are:
  • Infrastructure: e.g. IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, SAP
  • Mobility specialists: e.g. Verivo, Appmobi, Xamarin
  • Niche offerings: e.g. Corana labs, July systems, Spring
The smaller vendors/specialist are much more focused on details and distributing to all types of mobile devices. The big guys focus on android and ios and that’s it.

What exactly are you trying to do?
  • simpler b2c (consumer apps)
  • b2e applications
  • location based
  • online and offline
  • mobile websites (make websites responsive, one-on-one conversion)
  • etc.
Theresa doesn’t think there’s a case for a complete native app for the intranet.
Hybrid apps: downloadable applications but the core uses standard web technologies.
Make sure you have a strategy and choose between a native app or responsive intranet and something in-between.

Closing thoughts
Select big infrastructure if:
  • already invested in them
  • need capabilities to mobilize other products with the suite
  • enterprise concerns more important than breadth of functionality
  • mostly suitable for b2e scenarios
  • usability focused on hybrid approach
In other situations go for a niche vendor.

Dana Leeson, Complicated business management systems made easy

Works for BSI, British Standards Institution (global company)

How do we support our employees?

Shows an (ugly) screenshot of BSi’s assurance business management system just before 2014. They knew they had to do something.

Four separate systems had to be integrated into one (experience), that would manage 3000+ documents:
  1. assurance
  2. product certification
  3. medical devices
  4. standards & publishing
They structured the documents into 4 content types and x document types and x document categories. And assigned an owner. They developed a form with 20 fields to upload and share a document.

BSi wanted to make the system purely focused on work, not on things like news that don’t have to do with news for auditors.

The entry point to the new systems gave a simple overview of updates and comments and links to useful pages.

The users like the system because it’s easy, gives a good overview of work and the documents can be found.

This system is used by auditors and is audited by auditors.

They thought this project would be done in 6 months, it took them 2 years. Know your internal limitations. External examples of speed don’t always work in your organization.

Perttu Tolvanen, Intranet systems beyond SharePoint – overview of the best alternative

You need to understand the philosophy behind systems you can use as an intranet platform.

Make sure you draw out how the (intranet) system relates to other systems. It can help you select the right intranet platform.

Perttu sees 2 trends:
  1. Social layer for the enterprise. Many of the older intranet system providers haven’t found the answer to the social layer.
  2. Microsoft and the cloud. SharePoint 2013 is a dying platform. All investment is in Office365.
And he distinguished between different types of intranets for which different platforms are right:
  1. Social publishing, e.g. Episerver, Confluence, Umbraco, Jive
  2. Complex social publishing (SharePoint doesn’t support this), e.g. Episerver, Drupal, Umbraco. These platforms also support mobile strategies as well.
  3. Management portal concept (hard to move to the cloud), e.g. Liferay, exo, ibm, SharePoint, Oracle
  4. Social publishing and teamwork, e.g. SharePoing, Confluence, Jive, Dropbox
  5. Social publishing and teamwork and document management, e.g. Dropbox, Alfresco, Liferay, IBM
Tomorrow we'll continue with notes from day 2 of the event.

Others are live-blogging the event, please refer to Sam Marshall and Wedge Black's blog.