The last week or so, I have been thinking a lot about the new strategies to help manage the adoption of perpetually developed tools such as Google Apps.
This morning in the shower, I had a thought that what is needed is not so much new strategies but instead, we need to alter the timeline of current system management and inject a public communication stream to share the knowledge we gain from monitoring the product’s development.
But all the same it seems that supporting these two styles of systems is completely different. I am not sure why (and would dig some input if you are so inclined).
- Google Apps style products have feature releases almost monthly so systemic changes of product and usage happen gradually, organically and outside the ‘control’ of central IT.
- ERP style products with clearly defined release timelines tend to release new features and interfaces all at once which makes it easy to manage as a project but could result in a flurry of work flow changes and a far amount of user unrest.
- There is the perception of control for the systems that use major release dates but besides setting of the start of our adoption what is the real level of control?
- There is a lot more art than science in the support of a perpetually released product with potential for IT to be caught not knowing about a change before a user does.
- Actually, to this point, that has been not my experience as it is clear that IT folk are more likely be following the system’s newfeeds than a typical user.
- Power Users might be as well informed but that is the current case.
- Users are more likely to have a creative twist for use than IT folk but that is also the current case.