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By Amy Rollier

In the cloud economy, supporting collaborative information and content sharing within and outside of a company is the new standard. Today’s workers expect a consumer-grade experience.

Social media in particular is changing the way we work. Salesforce Chatter is a social collaboration tool built within Salesforce for achieving rapid collaboration and productivity. In Salesforce, users can Chatter to individuals, groups, or directly on records.

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Determining how and whether to rollout Chatter with a new Salesforce implementation can feel like treading murky waters. There are many questions to consider:

  • Does the organization already have a collaboration tool? Is it widely adopted? Will users be confused as to why and when to use Chatter? Can Chatter be expanded to non-Salesforce users?
  • Should everyone be allowed to create groups? What are the pros and cons of limiting this?
  • How do I limit inappropriate use of Chatter? What configuration settings and apps are available?
  • What are best practices for using Chatter with partners and customers? Can I use Chatter as a marketing tool? Can certain content remain private?
  • Should Chatter be used as a support tool? Is it easily reportable and trackable?

To help you navigate the murk, Appirio has identified 5 key focus areas for a successful Chatter implementation:

Identify business drivers and expected outcomes

Determine if the benefits of Chatter align with identified business objectives or aid in overcoming existing pain points in productivity.

Develop use cases for early adopters and identify biggest benefits

Use cases are used to identify users, benefits, and scenarios/processes best suited for Chatter.

  • Identify business processes where collaboration will bring the biggest benefit (e.g., project management, customer support).
  • Incorporate collaboration on specific objects (e.g., accounts and opportunities that will speed up processes or make them more efficient).
  • Identify and nurture Chatter champions to drive adoption after go-live.
  • Leverage public and private groups for different purposes. For example, use Chatter during training to replace the old paper “parking lot.” This drives adoption from day one and allows users a “safe” place to practice — especially those not as social media savvy.

Define Chatter etiquette, guidelines, and best practices for use

Guidelines establish tone and help set expectations with users early about when and how to use Chatter. For example, define what type of confidential information should not be posted to Chatter. Typically, the same corporate guidelines that apply to email may also apply to Chatter.

Define configuration for go-live

Chatter configuration in Salesforce gives you control over Chatter user settings. Determine what relevant groups should be available at launch, such as an all-company broadcast-only group. Update processes to include automated Chatter from objects. Consider AppExchange enhancements to solve various business needs.

Determine a deployment timeline and strategy

The timeline is highly dependent on what other initiatives are happening at the same time, including your overall Salesforce deployment timeline. Appirio can help you determine a rollout strategy that best suits your company culture and users.

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