"The longest journey begins
with a single step" (Ancient Chinese Proverb)
Be serious about sponsorship.
As I mentioned in the introduction to Dig for Victory, an intranet portal project may well be the first and last project
in your organisation that truly touches everyone.
Such a change is not to be toyed with, and getting your sponsorship right is very important. Two mistakes are often made:
Do not lead from middle management
We can lead this as an information or
knowledge-based initiative, out of middle management, right? Wrong!
You are embarking on a significant investment, both financially and culturally. You will need board level sponsors to support your case.
Don't start small and hope it will 'catch on'. You'll never make it work!
Do not look for a single sponsor
A single sponsorship – say from our IS
Director – is all we need to get this going.
Wrong! A portal s a truly cross-functional investment, with benefits in several areas. You need multiple sponsorships or risk falling foul of the "not-invented-here" syndrome.
Furthermore, if your IS department makes all the running, you risk positioning the project as a technical piece, rather than as the truly transformational business and
process change initiative that it is.
Alternatively, if seen as a knowledge based initiative, it may be perceived to lack a hard edge in terms of benefits.
Although you may not realise it yet, there are many
natural allies out there, just waiting to be pressed to your cause.
Needs to improve service quality and/or reduce
service costs. Attracted by self service people processes.
Wants the business
to manage for shareholder value creation. Attracted by real-time business intelligence to decision makers.
Cheaper transaction costs, supply chain management
efficiencies and collaboration are all of interest.