Build it and they will come

By Bob Larrivee posted 10-07-2010 10:43


If you have seen the movie Field of Dreams, the title of this post will be familiar. Unfortunately, this is a saying that is not restricted to the movie but is often used in business, or at least a variation of it. Many times I have heard stories of how an organization will introduce technology and expect it will be used. Portals for example, when they first hit the scene, were the buzz and everyone wanted to use portals. The problem was the portals had no purpose. Businesses were introducing portals and no one understood the reason or benefit so they faded away for a while. Now they are being brought back into play with the purpose of being a single point of access that is configurable to meet the users’ requirements and preferences.

This same Field of Dreams mentality if often the case today with wikis, blogs and SharePoint where organizations introduce them and no one uses them or the use is not what was intended or expected. Why? The reason is simple, because there is no purpose or reason given as to why or how, let alone governance over appropriate use. “We are going to implement SharePoint and begin using it departmentally.” Wonderful! Why? What is it being used for? How do we use it in relation to our jobs and what is the impact it will have on job performance? What is the purpose of the wiki? When you say to collaborate, collaborate on what?

In my view, these things appear to be simple in nature and are often taken for granted. We think that the introduction of new technology will motivate an organization to use it yet we find reluctance or avoidance. If technology is to be accepted and used successfully, there must be a clear purpose and guidance lest we create a different form of digital landfill or less than expected results. Users need to know what it is, why it will be used, how to use it and the impact to them. Technology introduces to business for the sake of being the latest technology delivers poor results. Technology used with a purpose and communicated the target audience, yields strong results. If you are not sure how or where to begin, seek professional advise and/or training. Whatever you do, identify a reason for what you are doing and communicate it.

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM

Email me:   

Follow me on Twitter – BobLarrivee

#ECM #Technologies #SharePoint #sharepoint #socialcontentgovernance #technologymanagement