Social working: portrait of a new intranet

Managing Partner Magazine has published an excellent article by Steve Perry (ex Freshfields) called "Social working: portrait of a new intranet*" the article looks at the steps taken by Freshfields to increase collaboration across the firm.

As Steve explains in the introduction to the article "We wanted to (increase collaboration)...using the new Enterprise 2.0 social business tools that lower the barriers to fee-earners using knowledge management systems...the old intranet had a mountain of information, but too much...was out of date, ownership was difficult to trrace and the system itself was not used...because it was not perceived as being user friendly or adding business value"

Steve then explains in detail the process Freshfields undertook to replace their existing system with an Enterprise wiki system called Confluence, which is provided by an Australian company called Atlassian. Information provided by Steve in this article includes:

  • What is Enterprise 2.0
  • Issues with the old Intranet
  • The solution
  • The pilot stage
  • How to increase fee-earner participation
  • How it's being used
  • Key results

The most interesting thing to read about from my perspective was how Steve and Freshfields encouarged fee-earners to contribut to the wiki. Steve has some great suggestions on how to encourage fee-earner participation pointing out that "People will more willingly participate if the Enterprise 2.0 initiative is seen as strategically important and partners actively support it" Steve also provides other suggestions for encouraging participation by fee-earners, these include:

  • Targeting to ensure there is a clear objective
  • Including the Enterprise 2.0 project in formal communications
  • Identifying champions

This is a really interesting article, which has some useful tips if you're currently or are thinking about deploying a wiki or replacing your existing intranet with a wiki.

*You may need a subscription to view this article online