Friday, June 29, 2012

SuccessFactors Jam Turns Documents From Information Repositories Into Information Radiators

A few months back, I wrote about information radiation as an educational technique. This is the technique of posting documents on a physical wall in the project room so that others stumble into it and learn about it. Sometimes a second person may join the viewer and strike up a conversation, which in turn enhances their learning. We started doing this with good results for teams in a physical location.

We are now able to replicate this online in the HCM Exchange community that we maintain for virtual teams. Most of the content in organizations, even in the age of the internet, exists in documents. People in organizations are more comfortable creating and sharing information in document formats. We found this out by analyzing the content creation and consumption patterns in collaboration rooms. These documents could be in PowerPoint, Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats.

Image Courtesy  flickr.com/photos/charlie_cravero/ 
SuccessFactors Jam display all pages of a document in the group wall where pages of the document catch the eye of participants. They can comment on those documents right there on the group wall. When they click on a certain page, they are directly taken to that page. They can then comment on particular sections of that page. These comments inturn, show up on the group wall, where one or more people can join the conversation about content in that page. We noticed that consumption of documents and collaboration around documents goes up when documents updates show up in the group wall. 

In our community SuccessFactors Jam is turning existing documents from information repositories to information radiators. This is helping my colleagues crack open documents, discuss them, debate them, add to them and spread the word efficiently and more frequently that it was possible before.

Here is an example of how SuccessFactors Jam enabled a conversation about a section of a document between my colleagues. The key thing to note here is the idea to think about mentoring came from a colleague who manages the Analytics products who would not have otherwise looked at this document.

Information radiated and enabled a very meaningful conversation thanks to this feature in SuccessFactors Jam.


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