Research

We help employees share knowledge and ideas. And we try and practice what we preach!

Through our consulting work, and building and running a software platform, we think hard about the trends, lessons learned and success factors we observe that support our belief that groups of people work, learn and deliver real ‘value’ when given the freedom to informally collaborate and share their ideas and work through networked computing.

Briefings

Recent areas we’ve researched and written about:

5 new skills for today’s trainer

Twitter, Bring your Own Device, Social Business…organisations, IT and employee attitudes and expectations have transformed over recent years. Has the Training Department kept up?
Read the briefing.

Making SharePoint Social

SharePoint is pretty much a de facto ‘OS’ for organisations. But its not instinctively a ‘social’ platform. What does SharePoint need to make it ‘sing’?
Read the briefing.

Designing for collaboration?

How we can design work to be more collaborative using social business software?
Read the briefing.

Rebooting the Training Department

Over the last few years Employees work and learn with better tools, and in broader contexts. Has the Training Department kept up?
Read the briefing.

How we see the world (of work)

More broadly, we’ve developed several ‘lens’ that we use to frame and shape our thinking and work.

Return on Attention

A measure of how effectively an activity delivers some business value, measured against the time the employee spent on it. I think it’s an interesting ‘lens’ in which to evaluate and design software.

Jobs to be Done

Jobs to be Done is a Harvard Business School technique for evaluating products and services by examining what customers really ‘hire’ a product to do, rather than the preconception of its designers. It’s a great way to analyse and design technology for ‘real people’.

Data driven Design

Using data to drive decisions about appropriate technology and features.
A model I like to use are ‘cow paths’ – the informal ‘short cuts’ people take to get to information in a site, subverting carefully designed ‘official’ organisational and information hierarchies.
Tracking User activity and basic research (calling people up, micro-surveys, etc.) helps reveal these otherwise hidden interactions in websites.
For an organisation, these unexpected short cuts reveal unintended use of tools, undiscovered ‘Jobs to be Done’, process workarounds, and even just straightforward misunderstandings.

IT is a fashion business.

There’s always something new.
Corporate IT is undergoing a major change with the introduction of tablets and phones, but many vendors are focused on just delivering content to today’s iPads etc. and are missing a wider issue around how tablets change the context of how employees are interacting with devices.

While projects should support accessible standards as a baseline, I think there is a wider requirement to consider the change in context – how mobile devices are changing the employee interaction; smaller slices of attention, more reflective reading, etc.