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Social Groups and SharePoint promise big returns, but require a substantial effort

SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online, Office 365 have been designed with collaboration as one of the primary out-of-the box feature sets. So organizations can benefit by implementing Yammer groups, but should plan on a lot of effort to ensure success.

We’ve recently published several posts to this blog about a new set of video training content exclusively offered on SharePoint-Videos: SP13-317 Making Enterprise Social Real in your Organization with Yammer and SharePoint. Naomi Moneypenny, who leads this curriculum, emphasizes the importance of Yammer groups for the ROI opportunity they represent. In her opinion, a finely tuned Yammer group can perform like “email on steroids”.

But Moneypenny also makes very clear the selectivity organizations must exercised when they choose an administrator for a Yammer group, if the choice is to prove to be the right one. In this writer’s opinion, specific organizations can make a highly useful determination as to whether or not the effort required is worth it, based on the objective for the Yammer group.

Organizations operating within very heavily regulated industries can especially benefit from high performance Yammer groups. It is much easier to monitor compliance with new guidelines when key personnel who need to perform differently when regulations change are all participants within a Yammer group. As well, new information can be disseminated to this same group in a much faster fashion when the information is included in a Yammer group alert. Finally, everyone benefits when members of a Yammer group are posting status updates on the topic of how they are deciding to implement these new regulations.

On the other hand, some organizations simply won’t benefit from even a finely tuned, high performance Yammer group. So, for them, it won’t make sense to make the effort required to get the group going correctly.

Bottom line, SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online, Office 365 are computing application platforms. When they are understood in this way, then stakeholders should narrow their focus and highlight a specific set of computing procedures (enterprise content management, enterprise document management, collaboration, business intelligence) rather than maintain a very horizontal approach seeking to capitalize on all of the features and capabilities of the platform.

Ira Michael Blonder

©Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder 2014 All Rights Reserved