I had an opportunity to talk with a good number of the participants at the recent Marcus Evans website and intranet conference. By the end of the two days, I think that many were pretty overwhelmed.
It didn’t help that a number of the presenters talked about spending literally millions of dollars on intranet, website or CMS projects, and getting very little in return.
The web designers heard a lot about the critical importance of culture, people, and change management. The communications people heard a lot about the need for a content management system. The net result was a lot of people who were asking: what chance do I have to get this right?
I had the priveledge of giving the closing remarks for the conference, and I endeavoured to present the situation in a positive light. This is how I put it:
We are now in an ideal position to finally do intranets and CMS projects right. We have the experience, tools and techniques we need. Lessons have been learnt from our mistakes in the past.
It is not easy to get these projects right, but there are “best practice” approaches that help greatly. Simply by using structured techniques for identifying requirements and designing the solutions, huge strides can be taken. Content management systems have also greatly come down in price, and increased in maturity and ease of use.
In a year, I am hopeful the many in the audience will be themselves presenting at conferences, talking about how they succeeded in their projects…