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Key attitudes for Enterprise 2.0 success

There is a lot of focus on all the technical stuff around Enterprise 2.0 – the platforms, open source v. proprietary, etc. But achieving success with Enterprise 2.0 can actually come down to attitude as much as anything else.

My top 5 attitudes for Enterprise 2.0 sucess follow. Again this is not an exhaustive list, merely some notes I’ve made based on conversations at the recent Enteprise 2.0 Executive Forum.

  1. Collaboration – building a spirit of cooperation and sharing of ideas and input is important because with Entperprise 2.0 we are moving away from familiar routines of application development and deployment.  We need to ensure that all stakeholders participate and have a voice.
  2. Dialogue + feedback loops + listening – collaboration is enabled by listening, dialogue and feedback loops.  For it to work we need managers to model this kind of behaviour and the rest of the team will generally follow.
  3. Fail early, fail often – permission to fail is an important factor in eventual success for Enterprise 2.0 as there are many unknowns.  The idea of failing early and at low cost can be a difficult one to come to terms with for managers who are used to the false security of waterfall projects.  But it is important to study the failures, they are packed with information for future success.
  4. Pre-determine no-go points – pre-determined decision making processes and schedules are very important. Just like climbing Mt Everest knowing when to stop can be the difference between mild disappointment and disaster. But disaster can be avoided by taking the time to agree go/no-go points upfront for projects.
  5. Usability above all – we know from user responses to web 2.0 applications that they will accept less functionality as long as what they have is usable.  This means getting the designers and UX people involved as part of the core team and not excluding them until the last moment.  More usable applications usually equal better uptake.

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