This is the fourth and final part in a series of posts on how FSG-Social Impact Consultants, is implementing emergent collaboration strategies and technologies within its organization. Part one on business drivers can be found here , part two on culture shifts can be found here, and part three on structure shifts and tool selection can be found here. Founded in 2000 as Foundation Strategy Group, FSG is a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research. Today, FSG with approximately 80 employees and celebrates a decade of global social impact. We interviewed Carl Frappaolo, Director of Knowledge Management at FSG, which has been implementing its emergent collaboration technologies and strategies for around two months. The full case study on FSGcan be downloaded for free along with half a dozen other emergent collaboration case studies and resources.
The Financial impact
The technology cost is in the low tens of thousands of dollars over two years. However, costs will most likely ramp this up in the future as FSG considers additional integrations and customization’s. Man hour costs in terms of developing a new role and having a few employees spend their time on the knowledge management team is around 150-200k annually.
At this point since, FSG is just rolling out the technology and does not have any numbers in terms of how much money was made or saved, however, that was not their primary driver when they become involved with emergent collaboration.
Future Plans For Changes And/Or Enhancements
FSG has many plans in the works. As they look forward to the next two years, they will spend time integrating Salesforce, Outlook, and Central Desktop more tightly together. They also want to improve their search engine including the way in which it provides relevancy ranking. They would also like to customize and improve the interface and make it look and do things specifically the way people at FSG think and work. For example, integrating a “drop-box” like functionality to auto-sync offline and online information has been discussed.
The biggest lesson FSG learned was that no matter how prepared one thinks they are or how diligent they are, there will always be surprises. Mr. Frappaolo gave a very comprehensive list of use cases to the solution providers they evaluated, but once FSG began deployment; plenty of other case studies came up. Even in known situations there will be glitches and bugs that popped up. There is a big difference between a controlled and a live environment. The other lesson learned was that the absorption and adoption rate is so different from person to person. The platform absolutely has to be intuitive. The days of expecting users to go through weeks of training are over.
What Worked And What Did Not, And Horror/Success Stories
Ideally, Mr. Frappaolo wished they had mandatory training for longer as well as more vendor training information and resources for them to use. Quick reference cards would have been helpful and he is in the process of creating them. Tested the system more in a sandbox environment would have also been great, but ultimately would have affected their project deadlines. There have been no real catastrophic horror stories (yet) and he is hopeful that will remain the case.