Stephen Abram, MLS
Dec. 4, 2013
THE IMMUTABLE RULE
Choosing and Installing the System is the easy part.
Invest 80% of your time in planning and preparation . . . not 20%
And know that 80% of your success is in the implementation and
adoption (communication, training, support . . .)
Why are you communicating?
Which statement is best?
– “We are training the staff and users to use the
resources of the library, digitally and physically.”
– “We are using technology to improve the research
quality of our products, reports, and decisions.”
– “We are increasing the productivity of all staff
while simultaneously increasing the quality of the
decisions they make and their work.”
– “We’re adding a feature to the intranet to allow
staff to find books, reports and resources from
Who is your audience?
Library or intranet users
Partners or team members e.g.
IT, IS, HR, RM, etc.
Each Audience has their own
needs, concerns, and perspectives.
What tools are at your disposal?
Training sessions (in-person, one-onone, webinars)
Hotlines and support desks
Tchotchkes or Trinkets
Another truism . . .
YOU CAN’T MANAGE CHANGE
WITH A MEMO.
Communication works when it is . . .
Told as a story
Meaningful and targeted
Follow the Rule of 7 times . . .
Training Strategies for Communication
• Choose themes, audiences, and messages (It’s not
just skills training!)
• Determine what vehicles are suited to which goals
• Develop a description of how each vehicle will be
• Plan for remediation
• Plan For Implementation
• Continuously Monitor and Revise
Features and Benefits (FABS)
• Features Tell, But Benefits Sell
• Simply put, a feature is what your product or
service has or does.
• By definition, a benefit is something of value or
• As Theodore Levitt, former Harvard marketing
professor and editor of the Harvard Business
Review, once said, “People don’t want to buy a
quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”
Features: Communicating the
Library Technology Plan
Easy access to your data
Thorough system documentation
Live API consulting
Thriving developer community
Active developer discussions
Benefits: Communicating the
Library Technology Plan
1. Engagement: with transparency and
2. No dead ends – help is at hand
3. Flexibility to sustainably localize and
4. Cost options and budget
predictability and management
5. Building on the shoulders of others
6. Productivity, user workflow
Study your productivity
• Improved productivity happens when you
work smarter with the resources you have or
get the same results in less time.
• Being busy isn’t necessarily being productive.
Isn’t everyone busy? Who isn’t?
• You may feel productive, but you’re only
productive if you’re producing results that
move the company forward.
• Technology divorced from overall
organizational strategic goals is just a costcenter.
• Do your IT systems improve the overall
operational efficiency of your organization?
• Does the technology platform let employees
take the best care of your customers?
One Last Tech Question
• Modernization isn’t enough.
• Catching up is not a future driven strategy.
(e.g. getting ready for mobile, adding distance
access, upgrading coding…)
• Are you justifying your new technology based
on frustrations with the old ways or adoption
of a visionary environment?
• Does the ‘new’ way simplify? Make it more
complicated? Require a steep learning curve?
Ask these Questions
Does it save time?
Does it increase productivity?
Does it reduce complexity?
Your time is a highly valuable asset to your
organization, so use it wisely.
• Does it contribute to bottom-line results?
• Does it improve quality of outputs or decisions?
• Does it support innovation or invention?
• Communicating with your clients
• Making sales calls
• Managing your employees who deliver your
products and services
• Producing your product or service
• Serving your customers
• Writing proposals
Integration and Integrated
What is integrated?
How does this matter to the end user?
Are you integrating the whole solution or just
providing another stop on the way?
The horrible problems that WILL
(Can you say ObamaCare website?)
Dealing with problems
Be honest and complete
Commit to correct
Use reasons not excuses
Set a deadline
• Make sure your leadership is on-side
• Hold an employee meeting or forum to present your strategic
plan; face-to-face communications are always more effective.
• Highlight certain sections of your plan in your company newsletter
to reinforce messages to most employees.
• Make sure you allow for employee feedback on your plan and
encourage discussion and/or clarifying questions.
• Be sure to include important portions of your plan in orientation
material for new employees. i.e., operational objectives.
• Use your strategic plan to help you develop your marketing tools.
• Make sure the look of our plan and printed or web
communications are consistent and reflect your company's image.
• Don’t over-communicate but don’t undercommunicate either
• Stay positive
• Be realistic
• Use visuals and (appropriate) humour
Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLA
Lighthouse Consulting and Dysart & Jones Associates
Stephen’s Lighthouse Blog
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