Asking the Right People the Right Questions

Project Kickoff Meeting

Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to select or upgrade your content management system. Much input has been sought and processed: tech teams will lay out tasks and potential integration issues, finance people will weigh in on costs, executives will address issues of business continuity and timelines. Presumably, you’ve touched everyone with a say in the project and laid out the plans for dealing with all of their concerns.

But have you really spoken to everyone you should? Have you asked all the important questions?

Too often companies haven’t done all the homework they need to. The forgotten piece is sadly the most critical – the end users tasked with keeping the content fresh and relevant. New systems are touted as resolving all the problems with the previous systems and end users are told they’ll love the new features. But have you asked them what they do or how they manage their work? Have you truly understood their daily workflow to understand how the changes will impact them? Executives and technology support have vital roles to play in these projects, but often they don’t live with these systems on a daily basis. They don’t experience the UX struggles or the 14 steps needed to make a piece of content live.

While the upgrades these systems promise do often resolve issues, they can create a host of new ones. The key to success with these projects – after they’re complete – lies in learning the concerns of the front line users and understanding the impact of the changes on those concerns. Go beyond the look and feel of a new tool, and sit down with your content owners to explore what they do and how it works. Find the pain points, and review whether those will be solved with the upgrade.

Drop me a line and let me help you ask the right people the right questions, at the right time.