Conference Notes

Share2010 Session: Erica Toelle from InfoShare on "Don't Reinvent the Wheel: An Overview of People Change Management Research as Applied to SharePoint Maturity Model"

Erica Toelle from InfoShare in Seattle WA talked about people change management research as applied to SharePoint maturity. Erica has been working with SharePoint since 2004, with a major emphasis on enterprise content management. She is also heavily involved in a music festival in Seattle, that draws 25,000 attendees each year.

Key points from Erica’s talk:

  • Erica will be sharing a series of frameworks on change management, to help with engaging people in organizations about change.
  • Scope: within a set of project objectives, how do you “Assess” (what is the environment like in your specific organization?, what risks and challenges will you face?), and “Plan” (with an emphasis on user adoption), and “Do” (for project management, scenario generation, etc.)
  • Erica’s research methodology – went to the local Business School library, and read about 2,000 pages of research on organizational change management. There is a lot of information here, and it’s constantly being updated.
  • (Model 1) SharePoint Maturity Model – stage 1 (people fill an immediate need – eg., document management), stage 2 (content management – eg., asset libraries, retention schedules, taxonomy, etc.), stage 3 (out-of-the-box solutions – eg., Office integration, advanced governance), and stage 4 (applications – LOB data integration, custom development, business intelligence). You can use this Maturity Model.
  • (Model 2) Magnitude of Change Assessment – rank/rate 13 factors on a complexity scale, eg., (1) the number of stakeholder groups affected, (2) impact to stakeholders on core competencies, (3) number of individuals affected by the change, and 10 more.
  • (Model 3) Organizational Culture Readiness Assessment – rank/rate 7 factors on a complexity scale, eg., (1) the number of existing change initiatives for end users, (2) degree of cultural transformation required, (3) organization’s history of change, and 4 more.
  • (Model 4) The Change Curve – a model that looks at the transition that end users go through. Eg, uninformed optimism down to despair/skepticism and then up to informed optimism.
  • (Model 5) Adoption and ownership occurs over time and with increasing effort – from awareness, to shared understanding, to shared commitment, to shared ownership.
  • Erica showed some tools for creating a training and communications plan. Creating and building on trust is essential. One of Erica’s final slides was the visual communications plan that brings everything together.


1. What is best practice for moving people off file shares? See Ruven’s presentations and material on this.

2. Have you seen organizations that try to change culture by educating the employees on change – and developing competencies in this change? Have not seen this in practice, but have seen this in some of the studies. Erica didn’t mention them, but The Change Journey talks about this too.