If there is one important thing to remember about #Office 365 (O365), it is this: not all features and apps are for daily use. To put this idea in a proper perspective, use of technology should be about creating an impact on working activities while optimizing its features for productivity. These may seem to be an oversimplification, but having these in mind can improve usecase scenario, and increase the adoption rate.
Creating an impact and optimizing technology features for productivity can be very daunting, especially when #O365 offer so many apps and users are still fixated about the available tools and not the task.
In this Which App When (#WAW) article, we will try to make sense of #Yammer and the best way to knowing when to use it is through contextual approach i.e., usecase scenario.
Yammer, even before #Microsoft acquired it in 2012, is already known to third party developers as a communication tool and commonly known as ‘Facebook for the Enterprise’. Being likened to Facebook should already provide a clear context on how we should be using Yammer.
For example, you don't post confidential information to Facebook, or do you? If you wish to speak to a specific person, you just don't post on your friend's wall, right? And with Facebook, you get to be friends with your friends. Your own close, convivial group, in such a way that you feel connected with the right people.
At work, if you want to be connected with the right people, like the way you manage your Facebook connection with friends and family, you should use Yammer. Right people, in this context, however, is all about expertise.
If you need to be connected to people with the right expertise, Yammer is an appropriate communication tool. SharePoint and Delve are good alternatives as well, but we will cover them in separate articles.
If you have questions and you’re not sure whom to ask, go to Yammer. Watch how an organic forum elevates your issues and offer solutions. Remember that Yammer is first a social platform, just like Facebook, composed of specialized groups and very well suited for asynchronous Yam messages to build momentum for a fruitful discussion.
Use Yammer for organizational announcements, but consider other channels if there is an element of confidentiality in the information. Got those mission photos? Share them on Yammer. Your Yam will be displayed automatically where users can comment and start a conversation. One important reminder, however, is to avoid making Yammer as a duplicate place for the same communication content.
Memo about organizational announcements should go through the original channel, following the protocol of send-receive documentation. Using Yammer does not mean attaching the same memo but exerting a little effort to be creative and reinforce the formal message.
And when should you not use Yammer?
Yammer's unstructured design that allows users to create ad hoc groups can be a little bit chaotic for some. This alone renders Yammer to be not the communication tool of choice. And it does not allow offline access, so you don't use Yammer if you know you need the information to be linked and referenced.
Yammer is a good conversation starter, but saying it is a tool to capture knowledge may be overstretching it a little too much.
Yammer conversation thread may not make sense to somebody who just joined the organization. Just like reading through the entire live conversation, somebody still has to curate the information and create something out of it, like FAQ or best practices guide, to offer a distilled nuggets of knowledge.
Specific responsibilities can get easily diffused if announced through Yammer. If there are individuals primarily responsible for each task, it may be best to call them directly to discuss.
Yammer as a useful virtual communication tool is set on professional background and requirements. Digital workspace is here to stay, and the first rule of using the available apps, like Yammer, is to start using them, professionally.