Marrying social networking with business process transformation

Marrying social networking with business process transformation is all about making the process work with the technology rather than the other way around. So says a new article quoting Cisco Systems.

This article from the Seri Atina blog discusses the issue around this. A key quote from the article is that "to be truly transformative social networking alone won’t cut it: business process transformation is a key factor" The article goes on to say "While the technology tends to get the attention,..... it’s the business process change enabled by social networking, when properly managed, that drives productivity gains. Just 10 per cent of the effort that goes into a successful social networking implementation is technological"

Being an old fashioned process person, the question I now have is "Should we change the process to leverage the technology?" Traditionally the answer on this has been "No", and I still maintain that if you design your process around your technology then whenever the technology changes your process will have to be re-designed. This is not good process management.

However, I believe that what we are saying in this case is that the process is being defined by the technology - which is a different thing altogether. I believe that the process as it is defined would probably not exist without the social media needed to make it happen. In this case I think there is a case to be built for using social media to leverage the process and to define it accordingly. However this still calls for ensuring that the process is not solution dependent (i.e let's build this process to work around Friendfeed or Yammer, rather than saying let's build the process around a generic social networking application that allows messaging and link sharing). At the point you get to the procedure, it is then appropriate to detail the application that will be used to make this happen.

Some interesting thoughts in the article. Well worth a quick read.

It also fits very nicely into my series of posts discussing the interaction between social media and business process management.

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