I’ve noticed that we tend to get better working on projects over time. We run them smarter, with better tools and with a better understanding for work methodology and content. This leads to better results - which is great for the company!
However, I’ve also noticed that we’re not always doing as great when it comes to running internal projects that focus on our co-workers. We often miss then link between the intentions and the user of the result (the employees). The risk is that what we’re missing will cost us the very thing that is important to us: that the employees are able to make a difference and benefit from the project.
Let’s take a look at the groups that should be present for larger projects:
This group often has the final say in a project, and they prioritise, set timelines and demands, and more. They often also distribute resources.
This is the “expert group”. They know HR, IT, or other specific areas in order for the new project to work. They talk about what’s good or bad, what’s needed and in particular provide advice and support. This group could include an end user. The group does not have a final say, they merely assist with their expertise and have no other responsibilities than to offer their opinions about the project.
This is the group that does the actual work. In Spintr, the work group is most often the group that’s supposed to create content from the decisions from the board members and the input from the reference group. The group often consist of colleagues, but sometimes from different divisions.
These are the three most usual groups; however, we would love to see a group consisting of ambassadors, and that such a group would be present in projects more often than not.
This group consists of people who others like. They see the advantages with the platform and are willing (though perhaps with some convincing and chocolate-bribery) to share content, write comments, upload photos and so on (if it’s an intranet). They don’t mind being personal and share quite frequently – at least in the beginning. They have no responsibility for decisions, opinions or work. They’re just supposed to use the platform.
If you do add an ambassador to the platform, make sure they understand the deal, how it works and the vision of those responsible. That way the influence of the ambassador is far greater than if they only use the product.
So – who is an ambassador?
Those who should be ambassadors for your projects are the so called “natural leaders”. They’re the ones others want to hang out with, listen to or be associated with. They could be in a management role, but don’t have to be.
As responsible for the project, your job is to localize these people in your company and get them onboard with your vision. Not necessarily by putting them in a work group, it’s enough to explain the project and its vision, and why you think it’ll be a good thing for the employees. Don’t be fooled to believe it has to be someone in a management role – it actually hardly ever is. If the person sees the same as you, they’ll use the new functions or system or whatever it is.
The way to create enthusiasm and engagement is with ambassadors, not with post-it notes in the lunch room!