Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 4 of Enterprise 2.0 Boston: Lockheed Martin & Enterprise 2.0

I just saw an outstanding session on a real adoption and social collaboration success stories, from one of the biggest U.S. companies.

Their summary:

"Enterprise 2.0 at Lockheed Martin is sparking a knowledge management revolution enabling the business to more effectively compete, win, and perform. At its core, a social computing platform empowers knowledge workers by lowering the barriers to create, share, and find information. The platform evolved from collaborative tools and now includes Web 2.0 tools such as social bookmarking, blogs, wikis, discussion groups, weekly activity reporting, and personal/team spaces. This session will communicate what the platform is, demonstrate the components, and share some case studies and lessons learned from the E2.0 implementation at Lockheed Martin."

Christopher Keohane, Unity Product Owner, Lockheed Martin
Shawn Dahlen, Unity Program Manager, Lockheed Martin

The goal of their "Unity" project was to bring social collaboration; "Express * Discover * Connect" [nice motto and branding!]

One major purpose was to meet Retirement / Recruitment challenge. Another was because they collaborate too often with meetings, powerpoint, and email.

They wanted to allow each individual to express themselves in their day-to-day activities. Each must be grounded in the day-to-day activities, create content because it will help get the job done.

Put together key messages and a product strategy.

1) Provide user experience that users will love; else the contrast with the fun stuff they use at home will be too great.
2) Address "What's in it for me."; Provide tools to operate more effectively. Have to ground in personal utility. Network effects come later.
3) Balance the need to share with the need to know; there is competitive / HR sensitive information in there.
4) Foster an ecosystem around a standard platform (?); in a large organization, there are lots of IT groups.

UNITY platform was the result.

It was built on Google as Search, Windows Sharepoint Services, with Newsgator as feed reader. They added bookmarking, custom discussion boards, Weekly Activity Reporting, and a suggestion tool.

A Backend data warehouse collects all relationships, feeds into "spaces." There are personal spaces and team spaces. Both types can network and relate to each other. Each space can have blogs, wikis, documents, discussion forums, and bookmarks.

Users didn't want different sets of collaboration tools.

Each activity generates RSS feeds, that can be consumed by Newsgator or portal.

Activity reports integrated into a branded "UReport" tool. Let people tag their activities so they could be reported on later. Also great for transferring knowledge. Shows all tasks, people that have been met with over 6 months. Can look at individual status reports of individuals to see what they are doing, engage with the right people.

UReport is a custom .net application. Their idea of organizing around tasks / activities is a good one.

LM employees can subscribe to activities that people you follow. See stream of activity, be plugged into what they are doing.

What is the value of a list of friends? Real value is to be able to watch what people are doing and search network or ask question within group.

Personal network search--can search content just created by your network.

Right now the attention data is just from social system. They are looking at being able to watch different component that tracks activities, feed in to the attention system.

With 150,000 people, opportunities may be greater, but each person loses the ability to market value across the enterprise.

The personal space allows to connect and network. Shows interests (mountain biking, kayaking, child, astronomy). Shows stream of activity, so there isn't a blank page without content. It gets filled in through daily work.

They built basic platform in 2007; built beta and collected feedback. Rolled out Unity earlier in 2008. There are 4,000 personal spaces, growing 10% every three weeks. Want to roll out across all of LM in 3rd-4th quarter. The most succesful approach was to play up the team space and downplay the personal blog. Collect lessons learned every 3 weeks. Managers blogging in the team space really helped the engineers see the bigger picture and feel engaged. Specific expertise varies from area to area. Based ROI on ability to find information. What really sold them was customer's interest, expressed in RFPs. Wanted to potentially sell to clients. LM might potentially make available as open source. They are more systems integrators than software vendors.

Legal, HR, and Information Security are on the system, and some of them are the champions.

Growth has been viral to date. It's the early adopters spreading the word. They had to add some polish and enhance the look and feel after the first release. People who already have to collaborate between groups are good champions. Some organizations need this tool more than others (for instance, people developing process documentation).

Created tags using a custom version of 'free" Sharepoint lists. [I want to know more about their tags and how they feed into search, content, and the profiles].

Unity team had bimonthly hourlong training sessions, and developed wiki FAQ and screencasts. This wasn't effective enough. Also have a FAQ wiki. It answered questions like, "Why am I creating a wiki in the first place? Why am I blogging?" How & why are both key. Why am I using a wiki versus a blog?

The Unity development put together a "collaboration playbook" for themselves to show what you would use a wiki or a blog for. When do I use email / phone / wiki? Put together best practices. Depends on whether everyone else needs to know answer. Internally focused team of 40 needed to work together. Keep documentation simple and terse, bullets, not paragraph length. There was a request to share the playbook with the world. [we have developed a simplistic version of a playbook for us internally on the KM team at Goodwin, but haven't done much with it.]

"It's now baked into the rhythm of what we do as a team."

One way to sell it is to show people the power of links. When you're trying to get information you can link to other resources. Find and refind information serendipitously.

Wikis allow you to capture process and make documentation generation easy.

The intranet-style application has a nice look & feel. Tabs for "Home / Connect / Documents / List / Blog / Wiki / Tags."

They abandoned subsites. Created sites that can be networked together so that you can go in and change who the parent is.

Users create a space through a workflow.

Discussion boards are another custom application. People can put out a question on a forum. Responses come in in 15 minutes to an hour. People from all over the country responded to a question about a foreign country's navy.

Blogs shine in the team spaces. Team space for process compliance got input from geographically diverse set of people.

What's next?

--SIP labeling (sets security at item level at six tiers)
--Export control filters
--exposing team affiliation in profles.

Lessons Learned:

"Think big, start small, move fast."

Paint the biggest picture you can on how to solve the business needs. Get motivated and excited around clear goals. Show how you can transform the business. Demonstrate passion.

Shawn started small with an $8k pilot. It worked, got $50K for wiki. Now have 40 engineers. You have to incorporate feedback into the next steps.

These guys were excellent presenters because they were so excited about what they were doing. The backchannel was really excited by this one. I hope that they keep sharing this great story.


Unknown said...


Sounds like a good success story in Collaboration Spaces. I am curious to know the followings:

1) You mentioned they use Personal Spaces; do they use SharePoint's My Sites or something else?
2) What do they use for Team Spaces, is it SharePoint's Team Sites?
3) Do they use SharePoint's WIKI and Blogs or something else?
4) Why using Google search where SharePoint Search is available? What are the challenges they faced with SharePoint's Search?


Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment Monir.

I think both the personal spaces and the team spaces were custom developed, although the NewsGator Social Sites is probably key to the tagging side of things. Shawn said that they have a team of 40 (!) engineers working for them so they can afford custom development.

There wasn't any discussion of why they used Google search. They were using "free" Sharepoint, though. Since they weren't in a MOSS 2007 environment, I doubt they were using the Sharepoint wikis and blogs. Again, custom development.