Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Change Management

My organization is currently in the process of implementing at least five new databases for various things. Each project is at a slightly different stage in the process, but for each of them the constant is change. It's amazing to me that the biggest issues that the staff are having relate not to the software itself, but to the process of doing something new, even if the new way is infinitely better than the old.

A lot of what is happening in these projects is simply managing the change. Getting people to realize that these new tools will make life better. Getting them to accept that we can't keep working in the haphazard and fragmented way that we used to. In the past decade the organization has grown to four times its original size, and what worked for a staff of fifty simply doesn't work for a staff of two hundred. The challenge for knowledge managers is to get people to think beyond their immediate needs and see how their work affects the organization, both current and future.

I heard a great line recently that was something like, "responsibilities as stewards of information," and I think that the real task, more than developing new tools, is to get people to acknowledge those responsibilities and take them seriously.

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