This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Planning for a change

That title has several interpretations, depending on punctuation and tone of voice.  Will I finally be discussing planning instead of something else?  Or maybe I am planning to do something new?  Or...

This time it has to do with an article I came across (via Twitter?) that provides Jay Deragon and socialutions' perspective on preparing for implementing social networks.  I hear in these tips echos of almost any change effort.

Doing The Right Things Right:

Many businesses will spend thousands and even millions of dollars rushing into social networks without a full comprehension of the medium or a systemic plan to maximize the value proposition. As a result we’ve developed “7 Steps to Business Planning for Social Networks“.

[excerpted]
Step 1: Current Situation: Organizational Assessment
Step 2: Problem/Opportunity Identification: Leveraging the Vital Few
Step 3: Possible Solutions and Gains: The How and Why
Step 4: Cost/Benefit Analysis
Step 5: Measures of Success
Step 6: Implementation Planning: Organization 1 -5
Step 7: Execution and Adjustment Process: PDCA

I was particularly encouraged in reading the details of these plans.  Any change effort, particularly when it is technology-oriented has to justify itself in terms of how it is going to benefit the organization.  The ROI discussion works only if the technology adds directly to the bottom line.  But what if it doesn't?  How will the technology remove painful aspects of the business?  How will it make doing business easier or more pleasurable?

On top of these questions, which is as far as people often get, you need to consider how people's behavior changes both with the "pain" and with it gone or greatly diminished.  This information can significantly impact the plans and the project for the change.  Forgetting to acknowledge these behavioral changes is likely to kill the project.

How much structure do you carry

Social Bookmarking in the Enterprise at MITRE