All employees should be considered in the design of a company’s communication architecture.
A networked communication architecture is one that enables employees to easily find and communicate with colleagues because employees are connected and have appropriate channels for various types of communication.
In traditional hierarchical companies, communication mostly flows vertically, less horizontally and rarely diagonally. In order to create a connected and networked company communication, channels must be in place to support both informal and formal conversations that will bring together various groups in an organisation.
For a company to become a dynamic network it is necessary that the communication architecture uses a mix of technology that is fit for different types of information and communication forms. For example:
- A space for exchanging ideas and comments between the whole organisation to create the social texture of daily conversations. This space would work well using either instant messenger, chat or a bulletin board.
- A space for structured conversations around specific projects. The space should facilitate team coordination and provide a searchable archive of project knowledge for future reference. This space is best made through a combination of an intranet and a wiki.
- A space for individuals to document a summary of their actions, progress and accomplishments. Depending on the organisation it might also be useful to provide daily status updates. Either way the space should be searchable, so all employees can stay updated on each other’s progress. Ideally individual summaries should be related through tags and categories, to make it possible to look up the details from a project perspective. This space is best created in a directory on an Enterprise Social Network.