Here is a slightly edited copy of a blog posting I made internally at work regarding lessons learned (from our Lotus Connections Pilot efforts), originally created on December 18, 2008. The rest of this post is an expansion on two of the points I made in the previous post, which I had password protected for a while but now fail to see the point in that. Sorry.
Anyways, here goes:
- Change Management (user communication in this case). Just this week I had lunch with a number of eager pilot participants who were confused as to whether it was officially launched or not. The most recent communication stated that the pilot would go live the week of 12/15. However, it seems a decision was made to put it off until the first work week of 2009. I think holding off until 2009 is a great idea, launching while so many people are away reduces the ability to create buzz & momentum. The issue here is that there was no message sent to the user base alerting them of the decision to postpone the launch. This functionality and culture change this pilot is supposed to bring about revolves around transparency & communication. If you want to build a community you have to have a foundation of trust, open & honest communication. Better to err on the side of caution (over-communication) than to let uncertaintly & confusion creep into the equation.
- The soft-launch allowing the pre-population of content is a tremendous idea. Not only does it get the uber-motivated involved early to test the waters, but it will allow us to work some of the major bugs out of the system before the major pilot group gets to move in. The fact that there will already be content will boost morale when the larger group arrives. Brilliant.