Yammer… Organic growth or a little bit of structure? Or a bit of both?

There are lots of arguments for and against each side however it is my view that it should be a blend of both. My firm has been using Yammer for 3 years now and it’s never really taken off at all.. It was always limited to a small group of central knowledge workers with smatterings of IT, trainers and comm’s specialists.

A new Yammer drive in my firm has started which is good, however I believe we have not really done the basic’s, which risk its adoption and ongoing success. This may be the business analyst in me but we don’t have a scope, a set of objectives or guidance from what I can see. It’s been promoted as an organic entity and it will just evolve with its users. Most of the content on there so far relates to questions from new users about why, what and how (scope and objectives). I may be proved wrong (I hope I am) but the organic view is only half the story.

A tweet from @VMaryAbraham pointed me in the direction of a post by Mike Cassettari who talks about the future of KM “I don’t think the future is about managing unstructured content, but is about managing the interaction of vetted, curated information with new social practices”. He goes on to talk about ‘content-centric socialisation’ which he defines as a blend of the two.

I read another post this time on the Yammer blog on a firms experience and what they were doing to make the most of the system. I think they touch on two very good points. The extensive use of groups and the use of hashtags to help focus content for the right people.

I’m not saying there should be strict governance or rules just some headline hints and tips and overall objectives. I hope our firms use evolves into this sort of system. Otherwise it could easily just be ’another’ system that contains some good KM but is hard to locate or distil to other interested parties. I’ll let you know in a couple of months time.

Any other Yammer stories in law firms please comment.

One thought on “Yammer… Organic growth or a little bit of structure? Or a bit of both?

  1. Nice post Ben. Firms and individuals are going to use Yammer in different ways and I don’t think we should be too prescriptive around what people can and cant do, for example some people might want to create an account and just consume the content that is being created but not necessarily contribute. I defnitely think there should be guidance available for people so that the site isn’t inundated with “how do I” and “what” is posts.

    The “why” question is much more difficult as it will depend both on an individual and the department but there should be some overall strategy around why the firm is using Yammer without being discouraging.

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