Kevin Mitts, Contributor

When implementing 2.0 technologies in an organization, including government organizations, there’s a series of best practices that need to be followed at all organizations. The practices that should be followed include:

Every time you want to make a process or technical change in your organization, you should have change management processes in place. These processes ensure that the implementation is successful from a procedural and technical standpoint. The success of the implementation can also influence user adoption , which is discussed later in the blog. Specifically, the change management staff has to be cross functional. This leads to a better refined strategy which leads to a more successful implementation.

Your change management strategy is going to be as important as the tool you select. Interoperability is important when going through the change management process. You need to ensure the changes are propagated or supported by legacy systems and current systems. If the 2.0 tools only work in a subset of areas, or aren’t tied in with other tools, they can be perceived as a hindrance.

Budgeting is the often implemented, but rarely watched piece of the puzzle when going to 2.0. The budget needs to be set prior to talking with vendors. If you don’t have an idea of what your comfortable spending, then you’ll spend too much. Also, don’t let the vendor absorb too much of the budget. Let vendor and implementation costs run at about 50%, and have the remaining money dedicated to change management, communication, incidentals, and possibly some initial rewards, if your organization chooses to use physical rewards and recognition. Also, related to the budget, explore the free tools that are available to you. There are many open tools or free tools from reputable vendors that can meet some of the needs you’re looking for, and they shouldn’t be discounted just because they’re free. Leveraging the free tools frees up room in the budget for other things.

You have to have a Communication Specialist plugged in to the project from the start. They’ll provide strong ideas when gathering requirements and they are needed to develop a thorough communications strategy for the initiative. Communicating the upcoming changes to the users is important. You need to be very open about the tool is, when the implementation will happen, and what the expectations are. Without this this communication, people may not be excited about the changes, or may not even know they’re happening, which leads to the death of many initiatives. Meeting the needs of your users is one of the most important things in a 2.0 project. If you aren’t providing users with the functionality they want or the functionality they’ve requested, they won’t use the tool and it’ll die a quick, painful death.

Have executive support. This is absolutely essential to the project being a success. Talk to your executive team. Get an executive sponsor… somebody to champion the change from high above. The executive should have minimal input into the implementation and requirements because they won’t be the everyday user. What executive support does is let people know that there is high visibility on the project and that it’s sanctioned by the executives. It’s even better if the executive is part of the organic launch, but not in any kind of pushy way, they just seem excited about the possibilities of the new tool.

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