Our definition of strategy within the roadmap is “Once the organization begins to develop experience with social technologies and has identified potential business value from their use, it is important to create a framework that identifies how it expects to use these technologies, and the goals and objectives for their use.”
We believe that as in all business plans, planning your strategy early on in the execution of any project, including social business is essential to increasing the odds of success, as well as identifying the critical path, variables, and conditions needed and desired.
The following outline of considerations should be the path you should follow when entering in the strategy phase. This outline is explained in richer detail within the roadmap in section 3, however for faster implementation, it is in short form here. Sub-sequential blogs diving deeper into strategy can be found in future posts within this series:
1. Conduct an organizational assessment
Starting with an internal and/or external assessment based on the desired state of engagement with one or more communities should be priority before you go any further in this roadmap.
2. Conduct a brand assessment
Another key part of the assessment is to determine whether your organization is in control of its brand. You should conduct a thorough search, both through social media and through more traditional search engines, to see if you have a presence on various commercial services.
3. Begin the planning and project management
The next step is to use the results of the assessments to do some planning. While social technologies and processes can be faster to implement than more traditional ones, they still require proper planning in order to avoid costly mistakes and rework.
4. Identify appropriate team members.
Some of these will self-identify either as early users of social technologies or as representative of key stakeholders like IT and legal. The team must also include representatives of the business areas.
5. Identify potential resources required to proceed.
This could include technologies, a development or “sandbox” environment, project management tools, or even outside resources like consultants.
6. Prepare a project plan with timelines and budgets.
This will also help to raise the visibility of the initiative with management and will ensure their understanding of the project’s goals and objectives.
– Identify critical success factors.
7. Establish an initial governance framework
This is to address the highest levels of early governance in the beginning, as you continue to implement the roadmap, the governance picture will become clearer on what works and what doesn’t and what to enforce and what is not as important. Governance is covered deeper for our readers in Step 7 of the roadmap and will be covered in addition in future blog posts within this series.
– Develop the initial social media policy-
– Develop initial security plans.
– Develop the initial project team
8. Conduct internal marketing
When you introduce something new to an environment there is always a need to let others know something new or different exists, as not all changes go noticed. You will need to build awareness from within at all levels on the social business initiative – what it is, its purpose, and what it means to individual users, other employees, and the organization as a whole.
9. Develop the social business team
– Social media strategist
– Community manager
– Content managers (e.g. wiki gardeners
10. Develop the social business strategy
– Formal business case.
– Risk assessment.
– Culture assessment.
– Process assessment
Develop the organization-specific social business roadmap.
While following the course presented within this master roadmap, your organization should consider developing its own specific roadmap that is tailored to its unique needs. Not all of the sub-steps in this roadmap will apply. An inside implementation may require a different path than an external approach. Therefore, you may end up with two roadmaps if you choose to develop an internal collaborative system and an external facing community for your customers.