(Intranets2011) "Change Management is Paramount" – Matthew Clarke

In the fourth session of the day, and the final presentation before lunch at Intranets2011, Matthew C. Clarke talked about the importance of change management in intranet projects.

Key points:
– Why do so many intranet projects fail? Matthew asked whether attendees have change management resource on Intranet teams – few said yes.
– … What would failure mean? It was ill-conceived. The design of the project didn’t meet the goal. Or the implementation didn’t meet the design. Or the project was never delivered due to non-technical reasons. Or they fail to deliver benefits / a return. Or poor usage.
– … Matthew says there are two primary reasons – (a) the Intranet is seen as a technical project, and (b) it doesn’t become part of the way the organization works.
– What is change management? There are three domains of change – technical, organizational, and individual.
– What you should do – eight verbs. The eight practicals / principles:
– … (1) reverse your thinking – change management is critical, and the intranet can be a tool for organizational change.
– … (2) seek senior sponsorship – there’s a difference though between a “patron” and a “champion.” For more, see Chrissy Burns on Executive Support (and Peter Richards has a session this afternoon on this). Sell the business value.
– … (3) Maximize employee participation – get them involved during the process. But it has to be authentic engagement.
– … (4) Increase the appetite for change. Engagement (per #3) can do this.
– … (5) Design for change – you need to plan for this, and make it possible. Eg., by not tightly linking information architecture to navigation approaches.
– … (6) Write a Communications Plan.
– … (7) Test user reactions and usefulness. “Usable does not imply useful or used.”
– … (8) Generate a critical mass of users.

And finally – lighten up a bit! Don’t be so serious!

There was a lot of complementary thinking and approaches in Matthew’s presentation with my book, User Adoption Strategies.

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