There are many ways to stay in touch with your team at the office: email, text, collaboration tools, and a paper plane to the head. You must be aware of all the options as a project manager.
Ideally, you will find a place where all members of your team can come together and share their knowledge while working together on projects.
While social media can be distracting, it’s not impossible to see the positives of its (at least) ability to connect.
You can borrow the best features of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram from your team to create a social network at work.
This is the concept behind Microsoft’s Yammer.
David Sacks, founder of Yammer, wrote that he was looking for a way to keep his company connected. It would have been great to have an enterprise version, but it didn’t exist. So we created our own.
We’ll be discussing how Yammer was integrated into the Microsoft family and how it gained hundreds of million of users.
What is Yammer?
Despite its name, Yammer means “talking persistently and loudly”–Yammer is a social network and collaboration tool that can bring together teams, even if they are far away.
Yammer: An introduction
Yammer is not like traditional project management software, which includes features such budget management, task management and time tracking. Yammmer is all about collaboration, networking and sharing.
Although some project management tools offer collaboration features such as chat or file sharing, these tools are designed around project management features first. Yammer can be used in conjunction with project management software.
Yammer has a fascinating history. Yammer is now a Microsoft product. It started out as an in-house communication tool to Geni.com. Adam Pisoni, co-founder of Yammer, realized that Yammer was a unique and valuable enough to be a mass-distributed tool. In just four years, the software had attracted approximately 5 million users.
Microsoft was intrigued and purchased Yammer in 2012 for $1.2 billion. Yammer has been integrated with Microsoft’s Office 365 suite. This means that if you use Office 365, Yammer will already be there with Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
According to Microsoft, Yammer is used by 85% of Fortune 500 companies. This is not surprising considering that Office 365 is the most popular enterprise cloud service.
Yammer doesn’t require an Office 365 membership. Anyone can log in with their work email address to find their coworkers. However, an active Office 365 subscription gives you Enterprise access. This basically means that your company has administrative rights.
The Yammer homescreen
If you are familiar with Office 365, then you might be wondering why and if the suite needed another collaboration tool. It already has SharePoint, Delve, and Teams. There are many other non-Microsoft options.
While more choices are great for vacation spots and lunch spots, it can be counterproductive to get your team to adopt a new communication tool.
Imagine trying to navigate a conversation that is happening simultaneously across chat, email, and any other collaboration tools. It can lead to miscommunication.
Gartner analysts Jeffrey Mann, and Mike Gotta wrote that “Help Employees Choose the Right Office 365 Productivity Tool” (full Garner report available to Garner clients).
Gartner suggests that managers of change determine the context in which their teams will use these tools.