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In our earlier post, we explored growing interest in a new class of social application that AIIM calls “Enterprise Q&A”. We concluded that design and user experience were critically important. To deliver this type of application effectively, design practices had to accommodate the social dynamics that occur as people participate in various roles within “answer networks”. As organizations invest in social collaboration platforms, many of these systems will have, or will eventually include, an Enterprise Q&A capability. Design practices that prioritize user experience and social participation, not just Q&A automation, will likely deliver the best solution. While it seems to be straightforward design challenge (ask a question, get an answer), the cultural and social networking dynamics can be very nuanced. Those nuances are easily overlooked if solution providers implement Enterprise Q&A from a technological perspective.

Below are several strategy, design, and user experience considerations you might want to ask yourself if you are looking into this topic:

Just because you deploy a technology platform that includes Enterprise Q&A, its availability should not be positioned as some type of panacea. There’s no assurance that employees will share what they know, or that responses will be timely and relevant. It does not guarantee spillover affects that lead to better levels of employee engagement elsewhere. Alone, it’s unlikely to transform the organization or cause significant cultural change. Enterprise Q&A is just one of many social affordances technology platforms enable. Strategies need to plan and execute on a range of organizational, leadership, communication, change management, and governance practices to influence employee participation in ways that deliver desired business outcomes.

The report is available for download here (note: you do need to provide contact information prior to access).

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