Jive-ing with Change at Work

Featuring Chris Dukich, Senior Service Strategy Advisor & Product Lead, Enterprise Service Management

According to his LinkedIn profile, Chris Dukich is a visionary and problem solver that leads people and organizations to achieve their goals. The key is to fully understand business needs and the technologies that make them happen. As a well-rounded business professional and technologist, he identifies and communicates with all parties needed to turn big ideas into a reality.

Chris is another fellow Bentley ’11 alum who I have known since our junior year and have had the pleasure to keep in touch with after all these years. Knowing that he works in IT at a computer data storage company, I reached out to Chris and asked about his experience with ESNs, and he happily spoke to me for almost half an hour about using Jive for work. At MSLOC, Jive is used for educational purposes, providing an online space where students and faculty build a strong and robust learning community, so I was interested in learning how Chris used Jive in the workplace.

Collaborating with Others

As a Product Lead, Chris is often tasked with determining which features should go into the company’s internal software products and services, prioritizing the customization and implementation of these features, and communicating with the business, stakeholders, etc. Using Jive helps Chris and his team collaborate more effectively. For example, challenges he would often face include getting several colleagues to agree on which new features they wanted to showcase to the rest of the company and keeping everyone on his team on the same page. Their private team Jive group is a place for members to post questions and provide status updates; as a result, the platform contributes to fostering organic, real-time discussions both online and offline.

Creating Awareness

In the past, the company had a very formal structure consisting of multiple layers of reviews. By the time the final approval was received, too much time had passed. With Jive, a less formal environment has been created. Chris and his team are empowered to advertise real-time what they are working on, including highlighting all the new features of their internal products and services as soon as their projects go live.

Fortunately, employees at the company were already very active on Jive. The company initially had an intranet separate from its main internal home page, then about a year ago, they migrated everything into Jive. “This was a big step forward,” said Chris, “now anyone can create groups, post content, and become more involved and engaged within the company.” While Chris doesn’t know the numbers off the top of his head, he believes Jive usage increased ~50 to 60% once it became the company’s main internal site.

Chris and his team can easily create awareness of their internal projects simply by posting an update to the all-company feed and marking the update as “Top & Trending”. Their updates typically include a link to the team’s Jive stream, which is accessible to all employees. Their stream allows employees to ask questions and find answers about the internal products and services and receive overall tech support.

Communicating Change 

“Jive is an effective tool to get the word out, engage people in conversation, and encourage employees to vote on things,” explained Chris, “leadership even uses banners on the homepage to communicate key changes throughout the company.” Company-wide and business unit changes that have taken place include several re-organizations due to mergers & acquisitions, benefit plan revisions, and construction updates. Change often brings resisters to change, and some employees are not afraid to voice out their opinions on Jive. This is actually beneficial because designated moderators are able to address concerns almost instantly and manage change more effectively; change agents are also able to more easily identify change champions who can help sustain the changes executed.

 

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