PMI Bangalore Chapter

PM Guest Article July 2021

Leveraging Organizational Network Analytics (ONA)  to unleash the power of your relationships

Togy Jose

Togy Jose is a cofounder and Head – Product and Innovation in OrgLens. He is a Talent Analytics leader with 16 years of experience spanning Talent supply chain, Product development, Process optimization and transformation consulting. As a Lean Six Sigma belt, extensively worked with organizations to drive data-driven decision making and enabling Network effects.

Everyone is familiar with the importance and benefits of Networking in career and personal development, but there is curiosity around how these networks and their analysis can fuel the success of an organization. Togy Jose introduced the audience with a new-age and innovative concept – “Organization Network Analytics – ONA”. Togy’s talk was centred around what is ONA, Sources for ONA, and how it can help the CEO and top leadership.

Organizational Network Analytics is an analytics tool that generates an X-Ray of the organization to “Reveal the Real Networks” that are foundational to Employee Engagement and Operational Excellence. It maps and visualizes the hidden, informal, social network in an organization and generates insight on culture, engagement, inclusion, collaboration, high potential, and influential employees, new hire integration, and many more.

ONA makes it possible to identify key employees and major informal communities, ONA can also be utilized to identify silo behaviour and lack of inclusivity in an organization. There is some tacit information which is limited to team leads or project managers for example details about a subject manger expert or an influential employee, with ONA, CEO and senior management will have access to tacit information and can make the best and timely use of that.

ONA can be bucketed in two categories Active ONA where data sources are Surveys and Passive ONA where data sources can be messaging and email data. ONA is most effective when it leverages multiple data sources like Surveys and Conversational Data to generate Converged ONA.

Some direct benefits that ONA can provide are Change Management, Enhancing Collaboration and Driving Innovation. Togy explained pain points associated with each of these areas and how ONA can help to drive change, overall collaboration and innovation.

Change Management Most organizations are unable to effectively drive change because either the message isn’t effectively reaching employees or on account of active resistance. ONA can help by identifying key influencer and most vocal proponents for change. ONA enables organizations to leverage the influence of positive sentiment of the key employees to drive change and counter the effects of resistors.

Enhancing Collaboration Silo Behaviours is a key phenomenon impacting collaboration across             departments/locations/teams. This problem is acute in large organizations and with new mergers. ONA can help quantify and improve Collaboration within silos using Connectors and using Critical employees who are serving as Silos Bridges between silos. Togy mentioned that Silos are not always bad and Project managers can play a particularly significant role of silos bridges.

Driving Innovation Innovation is the must for any organization to thrive and grow. Innovation can happen only with enhanced collaboration across team with diverse set of skills. The key ingredients of an Innovative team is the diversity and effective cohesive structure to implement ideas. ONA can help quantify the diversity of connections at an Individual and Team level to access the level of innovation that can be expected from the Organization.

Togy provided crisp description of ONA with very interesting analogies and examples, and this ignite lots of questions from the audience, some of the logical questions were “Is that legal to capture messaging and email data”, “can insights for ONA be use to weaponize against employees, “how can the ONA be developed for IT organizations where most of employees works behind client networks” etc. Togy patiently responded to all these inquisitive questions.

ONA is an emerging area with applications in various spheres like HR Analytics, Talent Management, promoting acquisition and mergers. Some tools that are available for ONA are Zephy, NodeXL etc. Orglens also provide a platform for ONA. Companies have start using ONA to understand their social capital and leverage that for business advantage.

~Compiled by Roona Shree