Lotus Connections is the market leading Enterprise 2.0 collaboration solution. It provides powerful collaborative tools that can transform organizations and empower users by making knowledge and information more accessible. The question is, how effective is your organization’s use of Lotus Connections?
One of the most powerful features of Lotus Connections is the profiles feature. The profiles allow users to find people outside of their immediate sphere with knowledge that they may be in need of. The benefits of this can be huge, by enabling users to reach out across teams you can:
- Improve cross team communication
- Leverage knowledge across geographies
- Reduce the amount of re-learning within the organization
The primary source of this data is the profile itself that shows information about the person. By default, this is populated from sources such as LDAP and displays information that has existed in common intranet whitepages since the early days of the internet. This is useful, but not a huge step forward from what was there before. The real benefits come from getting the users to describe themselves because in many cases the organizational view of an individual will not describe their skills and expertise.
There are a number of different methods to help users populate their profile and I would like to go through them with you here.
1. Tell them what they need to do
Lotus Connections has a lot of options and places where information can be entered and it can be overwhelming for a new user who doesn’t know where to start. A simple graphical widget can give them an indication of their profile maturity and how it can be improved. To a certain point these can be thought of as collectable achievements and is a well known method in getting users more involved in systems.
JustNudge has produced a widget that provides this feedback to the user, giving them both a graphical representation of their progress together with information on a potential next step.
The feedback can be relatively dynamic, it should suggest many potential options to the user:
This method has the following advantages:
- You give the user a clear path to completing their profile.
- There is an incentive for completing the profile – it may sound trival but how many of us have completed our profile on LinkedIn based on a similar concept?
2. Making profile population easier
By default the entry fields for Lotus Connections are text boxes. This has the advantage in that it allows great flexibility in the entry of data but is not so good when the user should be selecting an option from a list. It is possible to change the connections entry fields in Lotus Connections 2.5 as shown below:
By provide a select box for data entry you can:
- Capture information simply and accurately.
- Use the information captured to possibly populate other fields
The profiles feature in Lotus Connections is one of the most important parts of Lotus Connections and can be customized to ensure that user’s populate it correctly. JustNudge Software has a pre-built profile progress widget that can give feedback to the user and we also provide services for profile customization. If you require more information then contact us for more information.