The art of change

As I told you last week, at my new job I’ve been completely consumed with the roll out of a new document management system that occurred at the same time that I started. Folks are still getting used to the new system, and still have tons of questions, which definitely keeps all of us in IS running all day long. One observation I’m having confirmed in a big way for me through this is how much people get used to doing things one way, and changing the way they do it is very, very difficult. From what I understand, the old document management system allowed you to create a document, profile it with a client and “matter” (Similar to “case”) number and it would automatically be filed in the folder for that client/matter. The new system requires you to navigate to the proper folder, and then the client and matter numbers are automatically set in the document profile based on what folder you create it in.

Now, as someone coming from a small office, very used to navigating folder trees in Windows Explorer as the only way to organize documents, I know which one I think is easier. But, many of our users have been doing it the other way for up to 9 years. Something that I see as simple, navigating folder trees to file documents, is a completely new concept to these folks. They are having some trouble making the adjustment, and it just goes to show, it’s the small changes that we take for granted that wind up creating the most problems for users. Something that they simply got used to doing almost mindlessly now requires them to stop and think about what they’re doing, and I can see why they get frustrated with that. Hopefully, sometime soon, we’ll all be so used to using the new system that we’ll look back at this and laugh.

Of course, right about that time, someone will probably want to change something else on them and give them a bunch of more reasons to get frustrated. We’re IT people, it’s what we do. 😉

Tags: ChangeManagement

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