I had to complete five new ones, no less! What I didn’t realize was happening was the fact that I was sneaking Web 2.0 in thru the backdoor and into our company and embedding it into our network!
How you might ask? Well, quite by accident or was it subconsciously? You be the judge.
Making the Connection
As I was creating the first SOP, I came to the section where I had to list referencial materials such as forms that must be filled out for all procedures mentioned in the document.
I knew I had all of the forms stored on my SharePoint 2007 Enterprise system in the IS Forms folder. I also had the SOP documents stored on SharePoint in the SOP folder right near the forms. Hmmm, I thought. Why don’t I just use hyperlinks on the form names that could actually launch the Word or Excel application and open the form required? Simple habit from my blogging experiences.
I added more hyperlinks not just to the forms but to all other resources referenced in the document such as the list of authorized Vendors with contact and account information, computer inventory databases, spreadsheets used to track Blackberry numbers and so much more.
Strengths in Numbers
There were many sections where I needed more information and feedback in order to complete. Instead of the usual emailing back and forth of documents with colleagues trying to complete a document, I thought it might be more efficient if we somehow collaborated on the document in realtime. Since SharePoint didn’t have this feature and we didn’t have our own solution in place yet, I decided to use Zoho Meeting. Within minutes I had a few of my colleagues all looking at the same documents and screens that I was looking at it, right from their own desks. We took turns making changes to the procedures and in no time at all completed what would’ve taken days previously!
Seeing The Light!
OK, so now this usually boring activity is becoming more fun and becoming alive because it could actually turn out to be a useful tool. I was only beginning the process of smuggling Web 2.0 in thru the kitchen.I arrived at a difficult section in the document where I had to describe a process that I could do with my eyes closed but it was hard to explain in words. I wondered, how would I explain this on the web? As I was staring at the screen I saw a lightbulb. No, not the proverbial idea lightbulb but something at the top of my screen that looked like a lightbulb. It was the icon for the Jing Project screencasting program that I had recently installed! I smiled as I put web 2.0 and 2.0 together. I would create a screencast of the difficult and detailed sections of my SOP! Talk about perfect timing!
After creating the screencast and creating a hyperlink to the movie from within the document, I couldn’t believe how much I was enjoying the once tideous and excruciating process had become!
The document that used to be a listless static piece of paper was now a supercharged webpage with images, hyperlinks to forms, spreadsheets, databases, contact lists, websites and more.
Tip of the Iceberg
Needless to say, this was a rather simplistic example of how we can incorporate some of the best features of social media and social networking into the enterprise.
There are countless other ways to do this limited only by the imagination. I’ve already begun to think of ways to add live group chat to the process and video conferencing, perhaps with twitter feeds and flickr embedded images. We just need to look at the way we’ve always done things from a different perspective.
Think Web 2.0 which doesn’t just mean FREE, my friends. I think it means thinking outside the box and towards making everything more collaborative, effective and heck, even fun! What’s wrong with breathing some life into the stale, musty business world? Who says we have to let all the kids on Facebook and MySpace have all the joy? We each have the choice to do something differently or do them the same way we’ve always done them. In the end, it’s up to you which path you take.
Me? I’m taking the road to funville!
Excuse me, there goes my snitter. What did Scoble get himself into this time?!