Engagement, Engagement, Engagement

June 18th, 2010

From my friend Murph Krajewski (original post here), discussing how to reduce resistance to change (moving a call center to the cloud) within an IT team:

Then you come to the IT guys one day and they say, “You’re planning to do WHAT!? Move the call center into the CLOUD, are you crazy?  What about encryption, what about local control, who owns the database, we don’t know the people running their data center, we can’t walk over to their desk and ask them if they saw LOST last night, what if they don’t run as tight a ship as we do, what about disaster recovery,” and on, and on….  You see, in some respects, moving to the cloud is a direct contradiction to the very personas we’ve all molded our IT guys into.  Of course there’s going to be resistance.  There are absolutely some scary things to face and address.  Change isn’t easy, but it is necessary, and this is one that should be handled delicately but confidently.  Which brings me to my second thought.

Include your IT staff early.  There’s a certain comfort level that is reached gradually through the process of making this decision.  If you have taken time to ruminate on the idea of heading to the cloud, then it’s likely you’ve answered your own set of tough questions and found good enough answers to feel comfortable with the idea.  If you include your IT staff early, that list of tough questions will grow… in a good way.  Remember, these are the guys who’ve been holding the lines for years now.  They have experience.  They’ve seen troubles come up, and have defended against them.  That’s valuable!  You WANT to include that perspective when making the early decisions because, frankly, holding the line hasn’t become any less important.  If anything, it becomes increasingly more important year over year.  These are the questions that you need to ask your cloud vendors, and those vendors should have answers ready.

I love it.  Murph understands the value of engagement, early and often.  Engagement drives better change (higher quality changes because you engaged the experts) and changing better (smoother change because of higher commitment and reduced drama).

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