We count TIKI

    Using a specific example, we compare the transaction costs of communication for email and a corporate social network.

    Consider an example. You need to make a decision, but this requires data from four colleagues. So you write an email and send it to the team. The first person answers everyone, as does the second. But the third and fourth answer only to you. In addition, without notifying you, the fourth person sends an email to the fifth, because he believes that he should also take part in the decision. The fifth answers all. You collect everything together and send the result to everyone. You also receive letters from the first and second with the question why the fifth was included in the discussion. You answer that it’s okay, let it turn on. The fifth person redirected the letter to the sixth, which this time answers everyone, but he did not receive the last letter. To turn it on, you send him the last letter and put in a copy of everyone else to let them know that the sixth is also included in the discussion by you. Now you write to everyone with a final decision and ask for their confirmation. The sixth person asks for a small change, which you agree with, and make that change. You again send an email to everyone for confirmation. And everyone sends an email that he agrees. Eventuallyall this leapfrogof this process, 61 emails were sent to make one decision.

    Instead, you can send a message to the corporate social network. When you see your message, everyone answers, reads the answers of other participants and offers to connect the fifth and sixth participants, which you do. Those, in turn, read the entire correspondence, add a couple of their comments, and everyone sees the same picture. You compile the final decision, the sixth participant adds a small change. You correct and everyone agrees. And this is done in just 16 posts.

    Let's introduce a parameter that will be called TEC, short for Transactional Communication Cost. This parameter includes the efforts of the communication participant to support the communication itself - creation, sending, reading, searching, etc. As a result, all these micro-tasks add up to the time spent on supporting communication. The fewer TECs are in the discussion, the less time is spent on it and the more questions you can solve in the absence of time.

    I propose to evaluate ticks for two ways of communication - email and corporate social network. In a first approximation, we assume that TECs linearly depend on the number of messages. In this case, the communication costs for the two methods will look like this:


    It would seem more convenient to communicate in a corporate social network from the very beginning, but the following factors should be taken into account:

    • Connecting a participant in correspondence. If it is in your corporate social network, it’s simple, but if it is not there or it is an external participant, then you must first invite him to the network, and then talk. There is no such problem in email, just know the recipient’s address.

    • Attachment of one or several files / documents to the message. In email, this is elementary. But in order to attach one or several files to correspondence on social networks, most often you first need to upload the file to the network, then attach a link to it.

    • Search for information from past correspondence. In a corporate social network, it’s easier because all correspondence is presented in one tape, the search is carried out not only in your mailbox, but throughout the system, there is also a search by tags. In email, the complexity of the search grows nonlinearly, the longer the correspondence, the more difficult it is to search for the necessary information.

    • Search for the contact you need. Approximately the same, although, probably in the corporate social network, it’s easier due to the search by competency and the information that the user indicated in his profile.

    • Secondary access to content or correspondence. It’s easier in the corporate social network, since all correspondence is in one tape, versioning is monitored.

    • “Garbage” or dead-end discussion threads significantly complicate life in e-mail, and the more participants in the correspondence, the order of magnitude more garbage in the correspondence. In a corporate social network, such difficulties do not arise.

    Therefore, in the general case, TIC charts should look as follows:


    Summary. With short communications involving a small number of people, it’s easier to use e-mail. If the communication is longer and / or involves a wider circle of participants, the corporate social network becomes more profitable. In my personal assessment, the tipping point occurs at the time of 3 people x 3 iterations. And the longer the correspondence lasts, the more profitable it becomes to correspond in a corporate social network. Appreciate your time :).

    Bonus The same video , on the basis of which we conducted a mini-study.

    Vladimir Ivanitsa


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