Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Putting Social Media into ITSM: Part 3

The Big Payoff

In Parts 1 and 2 I tried to give a general overview of social media and the issues around it.

The crux of the matter is though there is a lot of talk about social media and ITSM, but not many ideas for how it can be used in reality, either now or in the future. So here is my very own set of ideas. Well I might have borrowed one or two of them, after all you can't have social media without plagiarism.

Intelligence Gathering
Trawl external and internal social media to get a feel for what people are saying about you and your competitors. Whats that, you say you don't have competitors? Trust me if you work in IT you do. Don't fall into the spy mentality though. And if your customers and stakeholders aren't saying nice things about you think long and hard about how to react.Of course gathering intelligence is no use unless you can turn it into actions...

Incubating Innovation
Don't just lurk on social media, use it to try out ideas with an audience that is generally going to be on your side, but also has a tendency to be brutally honest. Thinking about changing service desk hours? Ask what people think. Better still ask them for ideas, like that unified new starter process that combines HR and IT requirements. After all it is all about....

Perhaps this is too basic to even mention? Social media  is all about communication and communication is a two way process. Ask and listen. Listen and ask. In time you will....

Build Relationships
An issue many of us face in IT is that our relationships with customers are asymmetrical and skewed towards certain kinds of interactions, often ones where the customer isn't happy. Use social media to build relationships with the user and customer community.In fact why not...

Build a Community
Corporate attempts to plug into the knowledge, ideas and energy of the workforce are notoriously prone to failure. Trust me, I've seen the state of far too many internal ITSM Wikis.Make use of the self-organising nature of social media to promote communities, and if possible to build bridges between communities to create highly connected "small worlds". Get your super users together, they might even help you....

Educate Users
People listen to their peers, or those they naturally respect. So why not use peers to educate other users? This is especially useful when uses face issues that are around a mixture of IT and business process, not pure technology issues. Another way to get both users and support teams engaged is...

DARPA have turned what was a game into a way of crowd sourcing how an autonomous sub-hunting vessel should search for its prey. OK, actually I got bored after playing it for half an hour, but the concept is good. So how about a "game" where support staff score points for solving issues they haven't come across before, or for visiting users at their desks? Don't forget the game isn't over until you've killed the boss.

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