Technology is not the problem

Ripping out a software or technology stack is not going to fix the issues of bad project management, lack of collaboration and user engagement.

The technology is not the problem – in a workshop run by world renown Collaboration expert Michael Sampson he explained to the audience that the technology – regardless of the vendor – is only 10% of any kind of user adoption hurdle.

10 % Tech Vs 90% People


Strangely enough 90% of the audience got it – the normal users, the power users the knowledge workers – the real people, the people who count.

The remaining 10% who made all the right noises and then promptly went back to “it’s my way or the highway” approach were what can be best described as “the management”. These are the same people who write articles and tweet about collaborating and being a “social business”.

Sorry Mr 10% but if you don’t listen to your 90% it doesn’t matter if you have a Lotus/IBM solution, Microsoft, Oracle, Jive, Social Text – the list goes on – put in whatever technology you like – if you do not communicate what your goals, strategy and success targets you will go round and around in a vicious circle of vendor bashing.

In turn this will alienate the 90%

Your users don’t resist change – they resist being told they HAVE to change. If the 90% aren’t involved or consulted they will resist. Engage your users, empower them to input ideas and suggestions.

Sell your solution – the magic 90% need to know how their working lives will be improved, how they can collaborate and work more efficiently – keep them in the loop.

Offer Help – training, workshops and sessions where the magic 90% can feedback – have a dynamic plan – things will change when you engage your users.

Discuss and Communicate – two way discussions, frequent (but relevant) communication, ensure you are receiving feedback and process it accordingly (do not ignore the negative feedback), collaborating is the key.

This is not rocket science it is common sense!

So why do so many organisations still blame the technology?

Social Connections 1 – the sessions

The majority of the presentations from Monday are in the Social Connections 1 event on Slideshare, including the following:

Stuart McIntyre’s opening session:

Daniel Siddle from Headshift/Dachis Group:

Jon Mell from IBM:

Joseph D’Armi from Portal:

Michael Ahern from IBM:

Simon Vaughan and Chris Graves from Cardiff University:

Claudio Procida from IBM:

Andy Piper from IBM:

Closing Thoughts:

The remaining sessions will be added ASAP

Social Connections 1 – the session videos

Here are the recordings of the sessions from Social Connections 1.

Session 1

First morning session, featuring Stuart McIntyre of Collaboration Matters, Daniel Siddle of Headshift and Jon Mell of IBM.


Session 2

Second morning session, featuring Stuart McIntyre, Mike Roche of IBM, Joseph D’Armi of Portal and Michael Ahern of IBM.
(Apologies, this is a lower quality recording than that originally streamed – the higher quality version was corrupted.)


Session 3

First afternoon session, featuring Stuart McIntyre, Mark Calleran of The Salvation Army, Simon Vaughan and Chris Graves of Cardiff University.
(Apologies, Youtube seems incapable of displaying the last hour of this recording (featuring Rebecca Okoroji of Portal and Andy Piper of IBM) – we’re working on it!)


Session 4

Last session of the day, featuring Stuart McIntyre, Claudio Procida of IBM, Daniel Siddle, Jon Mell, Michael Roche, and Sharon Bellamy of City University.

Social Connections 1 – Thank You

I would like to say a Thank you to all that supported the first Social Connections user group in London on Monday 4th July.

There was a fantastic turn out of 50 people on the day and 120 watching the sessions on-line.

  • Thank you to all the speakers – sessions and presentations will be available (watch the Social Connections site for details)
  • Thanks to all that assisted in the setting up and running of the event
  • To the boys at the Salvations Army for a fantastic venue, AV and streaming service – you are amazing
  • To our sponsors – Portal, Ascendant and Collaboration Matters
  • To everyone that attended – We couldn’t do it without you

We are planning on meeting approx every 6 months and would love some feedback on what sessions you would like to see, location, format etc.

So once again a big thank you from all of us

Announcing the first IBM Connections user group!

I am delighted to announce that today we are launching:

Social Connections – the IBM Connections user group

Initially based in the UK (but open to members world-wide) Social Connections aims to be the place where individuals with an interest in IBM Connections can come to meet, share knowledge, develop best practices, discuss adoption strategies and to generally build a network of key folks with a similar focus.

We will try to be customer-focused, enabling organisations that are using the product to share their experiences and to ask for advice from others.  Partners and IBMers will be welcome, but we will try to always satisfy the needs of customers first.

Organised by a panel of willing individuals from around the Connections community in the UK (including  Stuart McIntyre from Collaboration matters, me (Sharon Bellamy of City University), Simon Vaughan of Cardiff University and Jon Mell of IBM), the group will organise two main events each year (targeted for late Spring and late Autumn) in the form of meetings held primarily on customer sites.  With a mix of business and technical sessions, plus plenty of chance for networking, we hope they will be fun events with real business value.

Today, we are also announcing details of our inaugural event, Social Connections 1, scheduled for 4th July 2011 in London.

Thanks to the gracious assistance of Mark Calleran and his organisation, the event will be held at The Salvation Army‘s international headquarters just adjacent to the Millennium Bridge in the centre of London.

Image:Announcing the first IBM Connections user group!

The event will start at 9:30 and run through to 17:00, and feature a selection of the very best speakers from IBM, customers and partners.  We will have a mix of business-focused sessions, customer case studies and technical deep-dives in order to satisfy all tastes, including an IBM keynote.  Best of all, we will ensure that there is plenty of time for networking and sharing of experiences and tips for successful Connections deployments.

Registration will be opening soon, and we’ll be on the lookout for both sponsors and session abstracts over the next couple of weeks.

Come join us!