Is it time your organisation started using social tools?

Ready, set, go!
The big question many organisations are asking themselves internally is, should we be using social tools to encourage knowledge sharing and improve collaboration between teams and individuals?

Whilst there are some very good examples of organisations using social tools to great affect. There are many organisations who are only now beginning to look at the benefits social tools bring. So its not surprise that James Robertson, an world renowned expert on intranets and the integration of social tools within intranets has written a post called "How ready is your organisation for social tools?"

In his blog post James looks at how intranet teams can identify whether and organisation is ready to implement social tools. But before looking at this he discusses some of the issues that can arise from organisations implementing social tools too quickly or too slowly.

The danger with rolling out social tools too early is of course that the organisation isn't ready for them and they simply wont be accepted. On the other hand choose to roll out social tools too slowly and you may miss an opportunity to roll out social tools to a group that have shown an interest in them. Whilst it's important to carefully think about when you roll out your social tools, you also need to ensure you engage with the groups that will ensure the success of your rollout. James defines these as follows;
Leaders - who set organisational strategies and policies
Stakeholders - who own key business processes and system 
Staff - who must be active and engaged with the new social tools
As James says, "no social project can flourish without the involvement of these three groups" so you need to ensure you have their full support before embarking on a social tools project. James then looks at how intranet teams within organisations can identify whether an organisation is ready to implement social tools.

James uses what he calls a "temperature check" to identify how the various groups within an organisation feel about social tools. Rather then repeat what James has published I would recommend a thorough read of this section as it outlines a useful way to get a sense of how likely it is that a social tool will be accepted by the groups James mentions earlier in his post.

This is an excellent blog post, which I would recommend to any intranet manager who is being asked to look at social tools.