One of the leading cereal manufacturers in the U.S. and owner of numerous grocery brands, General Mills, soft launched a SharePoint site, which it branded “Connect” and designed to increase internal collaboration. Connect grew rapidly, but organically, with its users shaping their collective experience and influencing the platform’s roadmap.
In the spring of 2012, the number of Connect users began to plateau. General Mills decided it was time to formally evaluate the effectiveness of the site in achieving its goals, then identify and address any opportunities for improvement and barriers to usage, in order to increase its adoption and the value it was generating by collecting and sharing success stories.
KnowledgeAdvisors partnered with General Mills Learning & Development, Communications, and IT staff to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of Connect, creating both an opt-in survey embedded within the SharePoint site itself along with a second, broadly distributed global survey focused on users’ collaboration patterns. The opt-in survey approach did not disrupt the user experience and allowed a robust range of feedback. The second survey dove deeper into the benefits of the system.
The surveys helped identify numerous technical and user-experience related enhancements, as well as several strategic, governance-related, and external collaboration opportunities. Social Network Analysis data provided General Mills with a previously unavailable picture of the cross-divisional, functional collaboration taking place on the site, while respondents’ success stories and the value and ROI statements helped to establish the business case for the continuation and expansion of Connect.