I have just completed a small modification to the way some of the information on our Intranet is accessed. To ensure that communication and consultation to all business was maintained during the scoping and decision making process, I assembled a group or representative from each business unit and department across the group. Each time a change was proposed, these representatives went back to the business leaders requesting feedback which they would then bring back to the table to be incorporated.
After three months of back and forth communications and consultation the changes were agreed and implemented.
Oh, I forgot to mention, there were a handful of department heads who never provided comment for feedback during the entire process.
Changes go live and guess who were the first to raise issues about how they were not happy with the outcome? Their information is not visible enough or it is not accessed the way they want and they would like to get some changes made.
Now this is not the first time this has happened and I know it wont be the last. I am sure that many reading this post will have had the same or similar experiences.
I am starting to believe that a better way of doing this kind of work might be to 'Just Do It' using best practices, rules of thumb and good intentions and then wait for the valuable feedback and advise to pour in. The process might be way different but the outcomes will be the same.
Do I sound bitter and cynical? I bet some of you project managers and project methodology experts are shaking your heads disapprovingly. Truth be known, I will never make major changes to any navigational or functionality facets of my site without first trying to gain feedback from all interested parties. But jeez louise its frustrating.