Closets, Closets, Closets


I’ve been a consultant for a very long time. Been there, done that; seen it all… blah, blah, blah. One of the knowledge nuggets I often pass along to new consultants is my belief that the only thing harder than getting your customer to sign your check is getting them to sign (off on) your design documents. Why? Sign off is final. It’s the official indicator that it’s time to build. But what if we’ve missed something? What if we’ve been thinking about things the wrong way and this will all fall apart quickly after launch? What if we’re wrong? Ouch. What to do…

One of the analogies I have often used when describing an intranet project is to think of me as the person who is going to help you build a new clothes closet. We’ll start by taking all your clothes and accessories and make a huge pile in the middle of the room. We’ll then start to sort and make smaller piles. Along the way I may ask “Do you still wear this?” or “Do you really need 8 blue ties?” until we get a good sense of inventory. Then I’ll sketch my design and I’ll explain where everything goes. When I’m done and I ask if things look good enough to start construction you may panic and wonder “what if I start collecting berets; where will they all go?!” I then observe that you currently only have one beret and it is best placed with the other hats… until you decide you have enough to put them together in a new section. No worries. I built flexibility into the design. Everything has a place; the clothes you need the most are easiest to get to but I have places on the high shelves for the “just in case” attire. Over time, you’ll continue to move things around and adjust the design I’m showing on paper. That’s expected. Because now that you know where everything will be you’ll find it easier to reorganize and optimize…. Without having to build a new closet. Everything will be OK… now sign off on the design so we can build it!

#Intranet #Strategy

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