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How Will You Know It Works? Ask Those That Use It!

So, you're putting in something new or improved* and you don't know if it's working ... ask someone!

That's it. Get off your butt and ask. Simple? Welllllll, not always.
For those individuals that already look at information, systems or service from the "real persons" point of view this is just plainly obvious and to learn that others don't operate like this will probably a bit of a shock - it was and devastatingly still is to me

In my experience, most "head office" staff members operate with a, "I have something to say, what tool can I use to make sure everyone gets to hear me?" ... that tool is usually email and/or the "news" section of the company Intranet.

How about this, replace "I have something to say ..." with "What question will I be answering by supplying this information?". Simply changing your view will ...
  • Have you supply answers not novels;
  • Prompt you to use language appropriate to those asking the question;
  • Focus on the task in hand;
  • Remove a barrier from you and your readers
Common sense, I know. However, even when some people claim to understand this crazy new paradigm they are stuck ... "But how do I know what questions are being asked?" Oh for the love of all that's face-to-face and immediate ... ASK! Ask those that use the information! Ask those that have the questions! Ask those that you think might have the questions!

A S K !!!

And if you're from the "lazy management school of business operations" and think asking people is too much like hard work then I point you to Google who have just asked me if their search results were good enough for me.

(more about Google's "SearchWiki" ...)

If Google can do this across the globe then surely you can do this between office pods.

And hey, just like Google maybe asking isn't always about annual surveys, workshops and questionnaires - continuous improvement is about asking your readers/uses/customers every time.

More on this website around this:

* Never "new AND improved", you have been warned!