Wednesday, February 10, 2010


'Teaching Them How To Use It'

My title of this post comes from an excellent blog post by Rob Novak.

The blog post is awesome as a recap of Lotusphere 2010 for anyone who needs an assurance the platform is still awesome after all these years. One quote in the post really struck me and it's something we all deal with and have dealt with since forever.

If the organization I'm working in has Notes, most of the Battle has been teaching them how to use it and how powerful it is. - Mike Griffes

Wow! Let's break this down a bit.

"If the organization I'm working in has Notes" - Isn't this a bit funny but still true. The organization has Lotus Notes but doesn't know how to use it. From end user training to application awareness to Lotus Notes capabilities, I've been doing this for 11 years and I'm teaching or evangelizing ALL THE TIME. I'll admit it's frustrating and sometimes seems as a threat to my future employment, but fun also that I can provide so many cool solutions to a business problem or improve productivity with minimum cost.

"most of the Battle has been teaching them how to use it" - This statement reminds me of a project I worked on this past Fall. We extended one of our major Lotus Notes applications to a new support area. Now, the Sales group used the application for submitting business and they were easy to implement this solution. The enhancement actually improved their workflow and they were an easy "sell". The back office folks were a bit different. Although the application has been in place for many back office functions, this new group was totally new to a workflow system. They built an MS Access application in the business for recording their work. They were experiencing growth issues with performance and lack of network capability. There was no real workflow. The back office people entered all the requests themselves with no integration with Sales and Sales could not see the requests. As I built and taught this system, people were AMAZED like they were seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time. Dudes, it's in version 6.5. It's circa version 3. Not sexy at all and I wouldn't be invited to Lotusphere to speak about it. Long story short, it's up and running and kicking ass and few of my IT friends understand it. :)

"how powerful it is" - The business folks now "see" the power. They don't care what platform it's on. They don't care about Bill Gates's Microsoft or if it's OOO Java technology. It works and it was fast and cheap to implement.

So, keep on keeping on ... Teach, Teach Teach.... Your business will love you for it.

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