Use Microblogging in multiple ways!
Information regarding daily business:
“Mr. Smith from Company X called and asked for a workshop. Who is available and can take over?"
Business related web links:
“Take a look at this new product from our competitor” or “That's an interesting app - I think we should evaluate using it.”
Status updates about temporary leaves:
“I'll be out of the office today because of an external workshop, but you can reach me via my mobile if urgent. I'm back tomorrow."
Content usually shared in emails to all:
“We plan to order pizza for lunch. If you want to join us please answer until noon and tell me what pizza you'd like.”
“I have an idea for a new product feature. Let me know what you think about it.”
“Hey guys, our new feature is online. Could you please give it a try and report bugs you find? Thanks a ton!”
Ask questions to get a quick reply:
“What is the best way to do generate a PDF directly from a Confluence page, any ideas?"
1. Enterprise news for the employees
The internal microblog can be used as an enterprise ticker to feed relevant news. Employees are always up to date.
2. Easily communicate reports, results, and resolutions in the enterprise
A summary as a microblog entry with a link to a wiki document can be a practical solution for communicating information that is important to many employees.
3. Replace irrelevant emails “to all” by microblog feeds
Emails that are sent to all, rarely are of interest to all employees. On the contrary. Most of the time, @all messages are irrelevant to part of or even most of the recipients and thus not only annoying, but also time consuming and adding to the email stress. Moving messages from email to the microblog is a relief for all employees.
4. See which news were internally sent to all employees
A microblog makes internal communication of news more transparent. It can easily be reviewed, which news have already been communicated and which ones have not.
5. Inform teams about current changes in the project
A team needs to be informed quickly about project changes. These definitely need to be documented in detail in the wiki, however, a microblog entry assures quick information with the option for direct feedback. Project work can thus be synchronized without exchanging emails. Short information that is relevant to the project, such as notes from a call, bugs, etc., are noted in the microblog and appear in the wiki through integration of the microblog group.
6. Discussion about current challenges of customers
A microblog can make meetings more efficient and even reduce meetings. It allows to discuss and digitally record current challenges in a project. Questions can be answered, without having to meet in person.
7. Show secured or department specific communication half public
Discussions can be limited to a certain group of people and can be led half public. By using groups, important news are distinguished from less important news and communicated to specific target groups.
8. Public discussion of internal decisions
Businesses, that want their employees to participate, will ask their colleagues for their opinion. A microblog offers a basis for a quick and structured discussion, during which users can also be addressed personally.
9. Digitalize personal smalltalk and make it available
At first sight, the small talk in the hallway or the lunch together appears to be unproductive time. When taking a closer look, it becomes clear, that such conversations are an important part of their work: They communicate, vent, and analyze questions from projects, discuss their daily work and give each other hints and feedback. A microblog is the digital counterpart to the hallway discussion, and in addition it conserves information that can be made available to anybody who is interested.
10. Wish colleagues a happy birthday
Even private messages with comparatively little importance in the business context are classical microblog entries. Those can be birthday wishes to a colleague, a post, that a birthday cake is waiting for everybody in the kitchen, or news such as “Peter was born this morning at 4:10 a.m. Mother and child are well, father is exhausted. ;)”
11. Celebrate project success together
Celebrations after successful completion of projects are important for the team to review the project, and toast to the achievements. A microblog is the perfect venue for digital versions of such celebrations, to show appreciation for each other, exchange stories, and to show other teams that a project was successfully finished.
12. Make correct use of emails
An enterprise microblog helps differentiate channels of communication and to use the existing media for what they are intended to use. A microblog fills a gap for messages, whose content will still be relevant at some point down the road. Emails to groups or “to all” will be reduced significantly.
13. Publish highly available news instead of posting notes
Notes with reminders for appointments, absence times or tips for daily business are posted to walls and doors in many offices. Compact microblog news are always accessible from any work place at any time – and are noted.
14. Stay up to date – even across subsidiaries
A microblog helps dispersed teams communicate effectively and efficiently. While information in a wiki is documented all encompassing and detailed, the microblog is the only opportunity for the important and useful hallway talks.
15. Share web content with valuable news and relevance for the business
Employees can inform their colleagues about interesting internet content and innovations in the web (websites, techniques, functions, hardware) via microblog and exchange opinions with other team members.
16. Get quick and easy feedback to topics and questions
A microblog is a quick medium that also allows to receive quick feedback. Answers to questions such as “Who is covering for the marketing manager, while she is on vacation?”, “Who do I owe money for the pizza today?” or “When will we receive the certificates for the Scrum training?” are quickly found, without having to leave the desk and without sending emails to all.
17. Filter information on daily business
Used consequently and systematically, the internal microblog is an important filter for daily business for many employees: What is posted here, is relevant for many colleagues, what doesn’t appear in the microblog is not necessarily of importance for most employees. The use case “filter” helps save time and focus on the really important information.
18. Get in touch with colleagues that you otherwise don’t meet
The quick exchange via microblog is motivating and adds to creating a common identity. Especially when teams are spread out, this form of contact is not to be underestimated and an important use case.
19. Coordination and discussion of ideas in the business
Brainstorming elements are one of the strong points of the microblogging concept. It allows to easily communicate ideas in the microblog and to quickly get ahead in the discussion: Several employees think about an idea and comment on it. Internal communication is thus effective and it is possible to receive a broad feedback from many perspectives.
20. Picture data streams from other systems for information and discussion
Dynamic information from other internal systems such as the wiki or the task management system can be integrated into the microblog via interfaces and can be discussed right there.
21. Mobile access to microblog via smartphone
Professional microblogging systems such as Status.net or Communote allow mobile access via smartphone. Content can be not only read but also actively posted. News from a customer appointment can be communicated on short notice and can be discussed. Announcements from key employees can made from the go, such as “My car broke down, I won’t be in the office until noon”. Microblog entries and comments in discussions can even be made from a train ride.
22. Information about enterprise news
It is possible to embed current news from the enterprise website into the microblog via RSS feed, in order to inform all employees about published news and to keep everyone up to date.
23. Communicate appointments, changes, and reminders internally
A training is moved, the attendance list for an external training is about to close, an internal event is about to happen. Such messages are typical @all emails and are much better located in the microblog, where they can easily and quickly be communicated internally.
24. Prepare for, discuss, and make project decisions together
When projects move into the decisive phase, the microblog can be used in addition to the wiki for extensive documentation to prepare for, discuss, and make project decisions together.
25. Benefit from the experience of others in specific problems during daily business
The solution and discussion of specific problems that would require direct exchange with colleagues in daily business, can effectively and easily be moved to the microblog. Especially developers benefit from the quick exchange. The answer to “The big question: product detail view PDF – how to create it? OpenOffice (Java on server is very old and limited space)? Perl (very limited PDF options)? Ruby (new language on the server)? LaTex (hard to tame, old)?” will be found quickly.
26. “Coffee machine broken” and other news
A committed service employee might be quick in sending messages like this one via email to all colleagues, while this type of message is a rather typical microblog post. This use case also reduces email stress.
27. Nonavailability of internal systems
An email from the IT department, that the PM system will be offline for a moment, may not be relevant and thus annoying to most employees. This kind of information should be in the microblog (and possibly even in a specific group), where affected employees can immediately notice it without bothering other employees.
28. Announce and report employee fluctuation
An employee is leaving the business? A new colleague is starting? The microblog is the ideal communication channel, to inform employees about fluctuations in personnel. Additionally, new employees can present themselves in writing and with images (mature microblogging software such as Status.net or Communote allow the attachment of images and documents).
29. Internally communicate and celebrate success of the business
Successes should be celebrated and shared with colleagues. A microblog posting is the better solution compared to email, since the amount of emails is reduced and the feedback of employees is central and transparent. The same applies to bad news: Especially in challenging times, a quick feedback from everyone can be helpful.
30. Make use of expert search
Who can help with a specific problem? If there is no special expert database in the wiki, a question in the microblog might be the most effective method, to find the right contact – with the least amount of work for everyone involved.
31. Meet new employees in the business
Especially in bigger corporations, where you don’t meet everyone every day, a microblog offers the opportunity to create more transparency and to get to know other colleagues and their abilities and strengths. The chat-like, informal exchange supports this approach.
In addition to being a relevant host of information and discussions, the microblog can be a lot of fun. Links to silly web content, stories from an email communication and daily business and so on are part of the fun group in the microblog – a use case that entertains.
33. Search for earlier discussions about interesting topics
The internal microblog is searchable by members, groups, but also by specific topics. No information gets lost and it is easy to continue former discussions, if necessary.
34. Quickly get involved in new projects and understand project history
Project discussions in the microblog have the advantage, that they can always be traced. It is easier for new team members, to get involved in a new project and to understand the project history, since all relevant content is part of the specific groups and is tagged.
35. Integration of clients via external microblogging rooms
Professional microblogging tools offer the opportunity to involve the customer and partners in the discussions via closed groups. The microblog can thus serve as a small extranet.
36. Status updates on personal availability
It is important for colleagues to know, if relevant contact persons are on site or not. The microblog post of a department manager “I will be with customer XY for a workshop all day and will be available by phone after 5 pm” may be relevant to both colleagues in the same department, team members in a project team, but also service team members, who can give specific details about availability on the phone.
Asja Hermanns, Manager for Intranet & Knowledge Management at B.Braun on her experience with Microblog
Why did you choose to use Microblogging?
"The main reason was to make it easier for colleagues to exchange with each other, especially internationally."
How has Microblogging improved the communication in your organization?
"The colleagues can really exchange more quickly, because before we only had news channels, which are of course more difficult to edit and post, whereas Microblog is intuitive and simple, so that more colleagues, well, communicate and exchange more."
How did your colleagues and employees adopt Microblogging?
"Generally, very very well. Many colleagues jumped on it right when it went live, and really wanted to have the Microblog. Eventually there were some that it did not work out for, mostly because the use case was different. They tried posting news posts in there and didn't see the idea of exchanging. Where the colleagues got that the idea is exchange, the Microblog has been running very well."