I'm quite new to the community forum but am interested in reaching out to see if there are any people on here who have had experience with rolling out a social / collaborative software such as Yammer, Chatter, etc. within a non-profit. It seems that the process will be quite different than for instance, a CRM where the main reason for use is data storage/retrieval rather than communication.
What did your organization do? Which software did you choose? What were some of the successes or stumbles you encountered? How did you encourage interaction within the software space? I know that in the business world they encourage gamification as a strategy for encouraging use, but I am hesitant to think that translates well into the non-profit setting.
I am currently a graduate student working with a non-profit to assist them with their plan to utilize SAP Jam, which is another social collaborative software tool. They have no plan right now, but they do have a staff that is a bit jaded from a hasty software rollout that just took place.
Any insight you would like to share is helpful! Thank you!
Hi Reba_Anne. Welcome to TechSoup!
I hope you'll hear from some nonprofits that have implemented this kind of tool. In the meantime, maybe this webinar that TechSoup ran in 2014 will help. It was called Engage Volunteers With Yammer. That page has links an archive of the slides and recording.
RobertForum Moderator Robert L. Weiner ConsultingStrategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizationsrobert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] comwww.rlweiner.com
I used Yammer in the past and have seen some of the other products; most end up being rolled out and not used heavily. We've recently begun using Slack within WizeHive and another group I'm involved in (Dreamit Ventures) and there are a # of reasons it seems to be more sticky...but people do seem to adopt it and use it more. I'd start there.
CEO & Co-Founder, WizeHive
Thank you Robert! I will check this out as it might still be helpful even though it focuses solely on volunteers.
Thank you Mike. Are you suggesting that Slack is more attractive to staff than Yammer in your experience? Can you elaborate? Do you think it is due to specific features within the platform, or because of the users' enthusiasm, or...? Just curious. Thanks!-Rebecca
I'm a software / business guy so it's kind of hard to put a finger on but somehow slack has created a user experience that people just seem to naturally absorb and "get" whereas I just think many organizations found less adoption with Yammer and some of these other products. I'm sure there are some loyal yammer groups out there who love it...but without trying to be a cheerleader I have been very impressed with the organic growth of Slack in my organizations.
Mike -- thank you for clarifying. I think that is the mystery with rolling this out. It's still not yet an established mode of work communication, so it's hard to pinpoint what worked or failed. I appreciate the insight about the general usability of Slack, even though my organization has moved beyond the step of vetting alternative platforms.
All the best,Rebecca
Hey Rebecca, welcome to TechSoup and thanks for joining!
Having juggled projects with multiple orgs over the years, collaborative work communication (specifically interoperability) is something I hope to eventually master - if it’s even possible, given how quickly ICT is evolving! I’d love to see how your findings can inform others in the forum who might be looking to up their team productivity - best practices for combining team chat and doc editing functions, for instance.
Here’s smartsheet’s top 5 tips for vetting online collaboration tools (look past the selly-sell for some good info).
Chris Delatorre · comms geek, science freak, remote work advocate · urbanmolecule.com
I would have to say my favorites are glip (really easy to put notes on images, and the task assigning software is great); Asana (if you are into really detailed task lists), and of course basecamp (although I'm not liking version 3.0 as much as 2.0)
Curious Davidwes, what major differences do you see between basecamp 2.0 and 3.0?
In 2.0 no matter what you commented on it would show up in "discussions". Not so in Basecamp 3.0. If you make a comment on a picture, it might show up as an alert, but no where really on your home screen.
Its been much harder to organize and track things that are both conversations and attachments for instance.
Thanks, Chris! This is a great resource for folks who are still vetting the different tools. Unfortunately, the organization I am working with has already chosen their platform. I think the platform choice is a crucial part of the process, but I am more curious about the actual decisions in implementing any of these types of social software on an organization-wide level. Thank you for posting the link, and I hope it is helpful for others who navigate here.
David, Thanks for mentioning Basecamp and Asana. I’ve heard of Basecamp before and also heard they had an update, but interesting to hear your opinion on 3.0. For my situation, I think there is a similar lingering question of the relationship between the organizational knowledge repository and the “live” creation of information and documents in their social collaborative software.
I'm not an IT guy, but what I've noticed is that products like these are often "introduced" with some kind of tour of their various functions/operations but with no sense of how or why a staff person would use it. If people don't see the value in it, it will never take off. Instead, I would think it best to find a "champion" among users (not IT staff) who will NOT try to "sell" the software/service, but rather get to work on incorporating it into daily work life so that colleagues will more or less "have to" use the product in order to get something done. The key thing is to have a "real" purpose for the software/service.
We had some people who wouldn't use Outlook calendar. For a while, others would just avoid using the scheduling functions because one or two people didn't have a functional calendar. This just suppressed adoption. After a short while, people grew impatient with the holdouts and began scheduling meetings with Outlook calendar, anyway. It sounds coercive (and is, I guess), but if the software/service has real utility, putting it to work right away will let everyone "see" its virtues, far more quickly than endless tutorials/videos and all the rest.
Just my two cents.
TechSoup actually uses Yammer and it can be a challenge to get increased participation.
I had found this post in the past when we were researching ways to increase participation and some of theirs tactics could easily be applied to other tools like SAPs.
Lewis Haidt Senior Manager, TechSoup Online Community and Social Media @lewisha
Reba -- I'm curious what you have learned since Feb of last year on this topic relating to collaborative software. Any insight you now have would be great to hear.
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