Conference Notes

Share2011 – Playing Piggy in the Middle – Having an Interpreter to Convert "Geek-Speak" Into User Friendly Lingo (Donna French, Disability Services Commission)

Donna French from the Disability Services Commission is talking about the power of having someone who can translate between what the users want and what IT needs to deliver. Key points:
– When users say “Why did you give me this?,” IT would say, “But it’s what you asked for.”
– SharePoint rocks. Users love what it gives, but IT can ruin it – by making it too complex.
– Find out the leader of the resistance – they are either the one who grumbles the most, or not at all (they’ll hide).
– … Find out why they are resisting. Perhaps – they are scared of progress, they hate change. Are their fears legitimate?
– … How do you get them back on side? Work with one of the teams, and make them successful.
– Get cosy with the IT guys – find their leader, and then listen and learn.
– … Make friendly early. For guys – bring food.
– … Listen to the subject matter experts, acknowledge their expertise, and give them credit.
– … Learn the common terms that people use. See the TechTerms web site.
– Being in the middle:
– … Paraphrase what you hear.
– … You have to love what you are selling.
– … Take a “yes we can” attitude.
– … Offer quick fixes and immediate answers to your users.

– Failure is success … if you learn from it.
– SharePoint has changed the way we work – it rocks big time. People can see the benefits in particular areas.