People are at the Center of Change

By Christian Buckley posted 07-30-2015 01:53


Why is change so difficult? From an administrative perspective, it can mean giving up control, and letting go (at least that's the perception). It may also be a recognition of the gap between the philosophical idea of allowing people to manage their own sites and content, and the reality that, in general, these unmanaged environments are messy (especially when you later upgrade or migrate). Collaboration itself can be a difficult concept for people to embrace. It takes time to incorporate new tools and processes into your corporate culture, and many of the exciting new features that convinced your management team to adopt a technology may be counter-intuitive to the way your business is run.

It's something you need to stop and think about as you deploy a solution like SharePoint to help your organization centralize its collaboration activities. SharePoint is a platform -- it can be shaped and molded. There is no such thing as a homogeneous SharePoint deployment. But while there are many benefits that the new features and services can provide to your organization, such as increased innovation and improved process efficiency, it is important to understand and prepare for the cultural impacts:

  1. How do these new features fit into our business focus?
  2. How it they affect productivity?
  3. What does this change about our security policies?
  4. How much visibility / transparency will I have, or will my manager have?
  5. How will these features be supported?


I don't know your organization, and what degree of change they are ready to accept, but I can advise you to work closely with your stakeholders to identify the overall vision and business priorities for your environment. In a recent CMSWire tweetjam discussing the factors that go into successful deployments of SharePoint, the consensus was that culture and user experience trumps technology every time. That means you need to avoid focusing on the technology behind the change, and make it a discussion with your leadership, your stakeholders, and your end users.

As you begin to map out your business objectives and prioritize the workloads that will be the focus of your deployment, plan to involve your end users in these discussions. Capture their feedback, let them help shape (or define the limits of) your new system. Provide visibility and regular communication around your plans, and you will be successful in your new deployment.  

1 comment


08-01-2015 10:39

Well put, Christian. I'd add that you points apply regardless of technology.