Monday, 23 June 2008

Quick Wins

Just saw a post by Mark Oehlert - Danger of Quick Wins. I had to post because, I think that Mark missed the mark (sorry couldn't resist). Here's the gist of his thinking:

As I become more and more convinced that implementing next-gen/Web 2.0 is soooo much less about technology than about culture (Duh Mark, I know)...

I think the idea of 'quick wins' can be not only distracting but wasteful. I think that often 'quick wins' are used to cover up the lack of an over-arching strategy against which actions can be measured and be found either to support an long-range plan or not to support it or to support it in some measure. That strategy is the long pole in the tent - it is the metric that we can measure our actions against.

So 'quick wins' are fine as long as they take place within the context of a long-range plan and are executed in such a manner as to continue progress toward that vision.

I agree with Mark that there are fairly sizable organizational culture aspects to enterprise adoption of enterprise 2.0 / web 2.0 / eLearning 2.0. And I think it's easy to underestimate that impact. I think Mark missed the bigger barriers of Changing Knowledge Worker Attitudes and the work literacy gap.

But what forced me to write this post is that I couldn't disagree more about whether to do Quick Wins. His suggestion to hold up on implementing quick wins until we can figure out all the big picture strategy, OD, etc. answers is bad advice.

My suggested strategy is almost completely opposite. I think you should go ahead and:

  • implement a small Wiki that has performance support materials that goes along with your eLearning on that new software application
  • at first have it only editable by the authors
  • then open it up to edit the FAQ and Common Issue pages by your help desk
  • and then open up editing to end-users
  • and to more pages.
How does this fit into the grand strategy? You don't know? Who cares? It's the right thing to do! I'd argue that it's a good quick-win.

And, when you look at adoption patterns - a lot of what makes adoption of Web 2.0 tools likely is that they are easy to adopt and have immediate value for the individual and work group. They are designed for quick wins.

Mark - there's a reason that Andrew McAfee talks about these things being emergent (Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration) - quick-wins are going to be how this is adopted.

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