Anyone using Yammer for government?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Cottle 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #154659

    Recent articles about internal communications suggest facilitating open discussion among employees for this purpose, internally. Is anyone using Yammer or any other approach like this?


  • #154681

    Steve Cottle

    My team (at private sector org) used Yammer with great success. For us, it was most helpful for sharing information that several members or the whole team should see or weigh in on, or items for situational awareness (news, status, etc.). We found tagging to be critical to ensure the right people saw the right things and took the right action (and so it could be found later). I found myself using the direct team’s yammer group (very operational) constantly and the wider organization’s yammer network (more informational, twitter-like) only when I had time.

    The keys for us to get it working were to set ground rules, run a strict 1 week pilot where we communicated nearly exclusively on Yammer, then decide for which items Yammer was the best forum. We then used Yammer for those issues going forward. Incorporating lessons learned at the end of that week and then after a month also helped us use the tool effectively. Finally, we had a “community gardener” who really helped in the early months by making sure everything was tagged and setting norms on that front.

    Biggest benefit? E-mail inbox was MUCH more manageable!

  • #154679

    Steve Ressler

    I think VA has a pretty big Yammer community

    Here’s a good Yammer post on GovLoop previously as well –

  • #154677

    Josh Folk

    I know that Deloitte’s GovLab has been working with Yammer. I’m curious to know which agencies are currently using it as well.

  • #154675

    Joe Flood

    I used it in a past job and thought it was great. But organizations need to have a commitment to openness among employees. Trying to control it too much will turn it into a lifeless community. Here’s what I wrote about the experience:

  • #154673

    Paul Boos

    We were using it, but are evidently swapping away from it. 🙁 It appears our main IT office seems to think Yammer needs to meet the same FISMA requirements as our intranet (at least that is what they are stating) and they have stated they want the follow-on tool to tie into our Lotus Notes system (I guess in some manner other than email notification( and into our business systems.

    I’ve used it here at EPA and USDA/RD. It’s a great tool for sharing information.

  • #154671

    Thanks all – I have to read the linked posts but just a few quick followups:

    – Who generally approves it? CIO?
    – Any comments on merits vs. instant messaging?
    – Anyone have a written policy they can share?

    Other ideas for facilitating internal communication between employees directly welcome too.

  • #154669

    Mark Sullivan

    I would also be interested in hearing about anyone using other private social network tools for either intra-agency, inter-agency, or inter-jurisdictional collaboration…

  • #154667

    Jeff Evans

    In various state government Departments and agencies we are using Yammer fairly extensively in Victoria, Australia.

    There are the currently 17 Yammer networks for Departments/agencies:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Membership depends on having a departmental email address and an invitation.Within these networks there are a variety of Groups, for instance at Department of Health we have 24 Groups, some closed but most open to people joining by request. Some Groups are only set up for brief periods (eg the life of a small project).

    We also have two cross-department Yammer groups, which seem to be active & well used by a minority of members

    • VPS Yammer Adoption (soon to be renamed) and
    • VPS Ideas & Innovation

    At my department we also share project-related information with contractors (who set the Yammer group up and invited public service people to join).

    There was a pilot (before my time here) at Health, but I know our then Secretary was a keen supporter of the trial and now we have well over 400 members (out of some 1800 staff).

    I think some Departments and agencies are more advanced/committed to using Yammer than others, and some are more hesitant about value, risks, governance, etc. – pretty much as you’d expect I guess.

  • #154665

    Joe Williams

    NASA is using Yammer, and has been for a few years. I tried it initially, but didn’t connect with a community that had similar interests to mine and didn’t see any differentiation between it and other SM outlets. That’s my experience…others may have more positive ones to relate.

  • #154663

    Related question – anyone using internal Facebook or Ning?

  • #154661

    Jason Blum

    We’re playing around with

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