09/30/2010 Leave a comment
The recent proliferation of the term ‘2.0’ across almost every domain leaves me with a few questions as my research approaches completion. What is the big deal with ‘2.0’? Why has it suddenly become so important to re-invent so many processes that have been around for ages? Have we gone too far with extending this trend?
Following this, I want to see just how far the term has changed the way we look at traditional processes. As it turns out Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Health 2.0, Government 2.0, Marketing 2.0, Bank 2.0, Classroom 2.0, Travel 2.0, Identity 2.0, Library 2.0, and Human 2.0 are just some of the trends in this ubiquitous paradigm-shift that has seen us question some of the most fundamental assumptions that have persisted for as long as we have experienced these domains. If you’re wondering what the big deal is, let me try to put this into context.
This decade has witnessed a phenomenal adoption of Agile Software Development processes; certainly Scrum, XP and even basic iterative practices have been around for longer, but the fact remains that this decade has certainly witnessed a tremendous adoption of Agile SD. What makes this relevant to the ‘2.0 movement’ is the basic fact that they have both required significant changes in the way we evaluate processes, with a much higher comfort level towards change. This is perhaps why so many 2.0 initiatives are best run iteratively, in small incremental steps which are more comfortable with an experiment-first-evaluate-later model.
However, it is easy to get carried away with the apparent ease of deploying open source web 2.0 platforms to fit perceived business objectives. In a lot of cases, 2.0 initiatives appear to present the classic situation of a ‘solution looking for a problem’. Research shows that the best approach to experimenting with 2.0 initiatives is to focus on the correct sequence of priorities.
1. Start at the people. Whether it’s your employees or your customers, they are at the core of your business. Every quantifiable benefit of a 2.0 initiative can be traced back to the actual people it affects.
2. Then look at the information. Once you figure out the ‘who’, then focus on the ‘what’. What information/data/knowledge is best suited for collaborative consumption?
3. Finally, work with the technologies. Now you’re ready to get into the whole debate of open-source vs. premium platforms and how you are going to inject these platforms into your existing Enterprise Architecture.
I’d like to propose what I feel is the best approach to experimentation with 2.0 initiatives. From a famous talk by Sir Ken Robinson, ‘School Kill Creativity’:
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.”
..Robinson, K. 2006. Do Schools Kill Creativity? Retrieved September 29, 2010 from http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html