Creating a technical solution can be like creating a living, breathing entity. I think that’s why we take it so seriously and sometimes refer to projects as “our baby.” With that said, we can invest so much time, money, blood, sweet, tears and more money to create a solution that still might not work. So, what are the three things that we must have in order to help further ensure that our digital workplace solutions are successful? In this series, we will explore three things that we think (from experience) you *must* have for a successful implementation of a digital workplace.
Digital Workplace Success Element #1 – Critical Mass
A concept originally in reference to the minimum amount of fissile material required to maintain a nuclear chain reaction – it sounds super nerdy and somewhat unnerving. But it has been applied to social science to really mean – how many users do we need to make something “stick”? And the answer can be different for different digital workplace solutions. So, let’s take a look at what and how this might apply. Given the idea of the Pareto Principal – that 20% of your users will generate 80% of usage and content – how many users do we need to make it worthwhile? And consider that the true ratio could be more like 10% contributing for 90% consuming or even 5% contributing for 95% consuming. Let’s look at the simple math:
5 total users x 20% = 1 user contributing
10 total users x 20% = 2 users contributing
50 total users x 20% = 10 users contributing
150 total users x 20% = 30 users contributing
500 total users x 20% = 100 users contributing
3,000 total users x 20% = 600 users contributing
50,000 total users x 20% = 10,000 users contributing
If you have an organization with 5 users – you’re likely going to have 1 person that creates 80% of the usage and content on a heavy social platform. That’s simply not enough for a solution like Yammer or Workplace by Facebook – they rely heavily on a subset of users creating content and everyone else “lurking” or consuming that content. As soon as you get to 150 uses and above, those platforms start to make a lot more sense, with at least a minimum number of users contributing content.
That‘s not to say that small businesses cannot benefit from a digital workplace solution. It just means that we must be aware of what technology we’re recommending to get users to adopt. For smaller organizations (5-10 people), technologies like Microsoft Teams, Slack or SharePoint can provide everything that they need. Where larger organizations could use those technologies along with heavy social platforms. Different platforms provide different methods of communication and in turn require a different number of users to keep going. It all really depends on what we’re trying to accomplish and the level of user engagement.
The bottom line is not everyone is going to be heavy users of “your baby” – so take into considering how many you need to keep your baby alive and thriving to create a meaningful digital workplace offering for your users.
Check out the upcoming posts to see the remaining two Digital Workplace Success Elements.