Want to look behind the scenes of the E2.0 SUMMIT? Processes and all …

During the last few days a lot of discussing has happened behind the stage of the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT – and it is triggering more worthwhile posts as well. As the idea of the E2.0 SUMMIT on Oct 6-8th is to represent a community and expertise hub for the European Enterprise 2.0 community this is a great thing to have, we really want to reflect the common Enterprise 2.0 discussions (especially from an European point of view).

So as we’ve been working on the scope and concept of the SUMMIT with several members of the advisory board – who were very active in contributing ideas and overall evaluating the topic list we’ve been devising. Calling on this round of experts in the field is only natural: We want the event to be attractive for both thought-leaders and practitioners, and we want to attract all the essential players of the E 2.0 industry. So we called on our “trusted” circle of people to provide the feedback we need and add ideas.

By now we can tell you that we’re finished with putting up the structure and scope side of the agenda for the October 6-8 event in Frankfurt. You may have a sneak preview here – now we are entering the stage of staffing the panels with the right people. So from the big picture the event structures as follows:

  • Day 1 / Oct 6th: WikiCamp ’09 (besides the regular workshop day)
  • Day 2 / Oct 7th: plenum sessions in the morning, then fourparallel panel sessions (each 50mins – means 4×3 panels on Day 2)
  • Day 3 / Oct 8th: 3 parallel panel sessions in the morning (each 50mins – means 3×3 panels on Day 3) plus 2 plenum sessions in the afternoon

So in total we’ve got 5 plenum sessions and 21 single track sessions for the E 2.0 SUMMIT. Each of these tracks is designed to be of interest to a distinct set of people, and tries to avoid conflicts with thematically related parts. Additionally we’ve included some industry panels (telco & banks), and several open
space orientated sessions.

For the “trusted” circle of experts feedback we can say that the biggest topic of the behind the scenes discussions was the dichotomy between orderly processes (read BPM) and the fuzzy world of Social Software (read Enterprise 2.0), how to deal with it, and basically how to tackle the topic at the conference. So while we all shared understanding a nice thread evolved that covered things like:

  • How do we prevent that social software works out to be just another “silo” (“build a wiki, and they will come”)?
  • How can we integrate social software into existing domains, usage arenas and task specific systems?
  • What are the best ways to start with social software in the enterprise?
  • How do we ensure that social software implementations turn out to be “complementary and integrative”? Is it a good idea to marry up SNS functionality with BPM software

Especially the last point triggered a lively discussion, whether the structured processes that go with BPM (and its systems) are preventing collaboration. Granted, this discussion isn’t of interest to everybody, but it has an audience beyond (enterprise) information architects and systems people for sure. Especially, it’s a question that arrives sooner or later in a corporations travels towards Enterprise 2.0, and members of various departments should listen:

  • people (well, hailing from companies and/or departments) that are interested in improving specific business processes (e.g. quality assurance, customer service knowledge, etc.), and IT people who need to integrate legacy systems with Web 2.0
  • communications department – they are interested in improving communications (and being more conversational needs more flexible processes, not more structure and control)
  • Intranet & ECM management teams – interested in enhancing existing activities with Web 2.0 elements, so they need insights into when and where to ease process policies, and when and where to control things more tightly
  • knowledge management and e-learning people – interested in better knowledge sharing, like w.g. leveraging collective intelligence (which needs altered processes as well, probably more flexible ones)/actions
  • business development is fundamentally interested in changing the company (for more innovation, for better/more outcome/output or for cost reduction, for innovative business models, etc.) – all with heavy process implications
  • overall the management board and people dealing with strategic planning …

To cater for these needs we have structured the conference into four main parts that shall

  1. facilitate visionary and forward-looking discussions about collaborative performance of Enterprise 2.0
  2. support the emergence of strategic discussions, like e.g. whether open innovation is an interesting arena for Enterprise 2.0 (we think it is!)
  3. provide “hands-on” best-practice discussions and
  4. provide space for more technology- and tool-oriented implementation discussions.

So connecting Enterprise 2.0 towards BPM will be a part of the conference discussions, especially in the panel “Best-Practices for Process Management 2.0″ and – in a more abstract way – in the panel “New Models for the Enterprise: Being Open, Collaborative & Disruptive”. I guess we will find time and space to discuss how to make our corporations more adaptive and flexible, or as Lee Bryant said it “how can we re-design businesses and organisations around the ideas of flow, aggregation, networks and collaboration?”.

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