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Curtis Hughes 's Articles

10 Tips to Build a Better Intranet

Get 10 practical tips that will help you build a rock-solid intranet. Some of these you may have heard, and some may new ideas, but all are time-tested and have been proven effective.

Building an Award-Winning Intranet is All About Luck


 

In this post, which is part of a new Building a Better Intranet series that I’m writing, I want to share 4 strategies with you. Four overarching themes, that you can and should be using, whether you’re designing and building a new intranet, or trying to breathe new life into a struggling one. Don’t worry, I promise to show you what luck has to do with it, so just stay with me.

4 Reasons Why Your Intranet Is No Longer Effective

This post will the first of a 4-part series on how you and your organization can begin to build a better intranet. In this first post, we will ask the question of "Why do we need a better intranet?", and give you 4 areas that have changed dramatically, and why acknowledging and addressing them is one of the keys to a successful intranet.

 

Ask why

How to Tell if Your Users Hate Your Intranet

Are you considering an intranet project? Or do you have an intranet that no one wants to use? Creating an intranet that your team loves to use doesn't require a PhD, but it does take some time and patience. This article include 3 simple secrets for intranet success.

I’ll Be Online Next Week At Collab365 Delivering The Deadly Sins of SharePoint

Failure is a great teacher, isn’t it? And with 63% of all SharePoint projects stalled, struggling or failing to meet expectations (AIIM), you’d think everyone would be learning a lot, right? Well, the collaboration struggle is real, and it’s still going strong today. Are you struggling with SharePoint?

How Do You Measure Collaboration Success?

What is collaboration? No, don’t Google it. I don’t want Webster’s definition; I want your definition. Hard question, isn’t it? Now imagine trying to actually measure whether or not you are actually doing a good job of collaborating. How do you measure something you can’t clearly define? Impossible, pointless, meaningless? Trust me, I get it – it might seem that way – but we think measuring collaboration is possible, but it’ll take some work. In fact, this isn’t the first time we’ve touched on this subject, but it’s still something we hear often, and I believe is critical if an organization is going to maximize their investment in collaborative technologies.

Has Your Governance Gone Too Far?

No, that doesn't say Government gone too far (though that would certainly make for a very debated article). In our daily work, we see a lot of governance plans, and oftentimes an organization will come to us to help them “untangle” their governance plan, or with a challenge such as user adoption, that ultimately leads back to a governance issue. What I want to discuss in the article is something I have been seeing for the past few years, and talk about often. Governance that goes too far.

10 Tips For a More Successful Digital Workplace

Eat an elephant. Put down the hammer. Be lazy for a day. Yes, we're seriously writing about these topics, and how they can help your organization achieve a successful digital transformation. Read on for 10 impactful tips that you can start using today.

Why Digital Transformation Is The Next Great Struggle

The Digital Transformation is coming - is your organization ready? According to recent studies, there are 5 key areas to prioritize for a successful digital workplace. But - spoiler alert - digital is not all about technology. Read on to learn about how better understanding people - and failure - will truly lead to digital success.

A Little LUCK May Be The Secret Ingredient For Collaboration Success

imageYears ago we discovered something very special – some might even say a “secret ingredient” – to creating and building lasting and productive relationships. It's a new and unique approach to ultimately creating purpose, happiness, and engagement, and when applied within an organization, new ideas and innovation (which ultimately affects revenue and profit as well). We realized that this “ingredient” was actually composed of four very distinct components, that had to be applied in a specific way in order to create the final product of LUCK. Read on to learn how to bring LUCK to your business.

C5 Insight Will Be At CRMUG Summit Next Week Talking About CRM and Collaboration Failure


Next week, both of C5 Insight’s Managing Partners will be at CRMUG Summit in Reno, NV discussing both CRM and Collaboration failure. The truth is, over the last 5 years or so, we have become somewhat obsessed with failure, not necessarily by choice, but because nearly 60% of all new client work for us is what we call CPR work - in other words, project rescue. 

I’ll Be Online Next Week At Collab365 Delivering The Deadly Sins of SharePoint


3 out of every 5 companies using SharePoint struggle
.  If this sounds familiar, then I encourage you to attend Collab365, the free, 24-hour, online conference on Oct 7-8. There will be hundreds of great sessions with some pretty amazing content, and I’ll be delivering my Deadly Sins of SharePoint session, which was developed specifically from the things we have learned from helping struggling organizations.

Seminars or Snippets - Are You Training Your End Users Wrong?

imageThe truth is, the “training” methods we have been using for decades are dying. And if your organization is still hoping to train users on SharePoint, CRM, or any other technology by sitting them in a room to watch recorded videos or a live individual, I want to offer some suggestions that I believe will transform the way end users adopt and learn new technology. 

Forget Technology, Focus On People

imageThe latest technology out there today is compelling and can do great things. And it’s true, a few could revolutionize the very way you do business.  But in an effort to do more with less, move faster than competitors, be agile and lean, and choose “best of breed” technology, we often see organizations forget about the very ones who will make the investment successful and worthwhile.

Are you creating value, or just worried about ROI?

imageWarren Buffet once said that “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”  In our daily work, we talk a lot about value. However, the truth is, a lot of organizations spend a lot of time, effort, and money trying to measure ROI – the precise financial impact of an initiative - without first understanding the value to the business. This blog entry breaks down how to generate both organic ROI and real business value.

What is CRM Gamification and Why Do You Need It?

Inc. magazine recently published an article in which it predicts the top 10 hottest industries in 2015 and one among them has caught my attention: Gamification software. You probably have the same first reaction as me: What the heck is it?! 

The following is the definition that I found from Wikipedia: Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users' self contributions.  

Building A SharePoint Leadership Team


I know what you’re thinking: we already have a project team, do we really need another formal team?  After all, that only means more meetings, tasks, documents to write and manage, decisions to make, consensus to get, etc.  My answer is a resounding yes, you most certainly need this team.  But here’s the truth –  while extremely important to the success of the project, this doesn’t have a to be a huge undertaking. This blog entry details 3 practical steps for you to begin building a SharePoint Leadership Team today.

A Better Approach – Understanding the 40/20/40 Principle

Diagram 2 When we stepped back and looked at our current projects and proposals going out, we began to see that we were often being brought-in as a 2nd or 3rd vendor, to assist with a 2nd or 3rd implementation, or to help a project “get back on track” after it was underway. The reality is that 59% of all new projects for C5 Insight are rescue projects, or what we now call “CPR” projects. So, where do we go from here and how do we fix it?

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 7

imageMeasure twice, cut once. You’ve heard the saying, right?  For this final habit, I wanted to take that saying and use it to illustrate a phenomenon that we often see in technology projects – lack of testing.  I call it a phenomenon, because it often defies logic. 

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 6

image

Most organizations today believe that if you simply implement “the new technology”, that everyone will immediately and automatically (and of course without any prompting) begin to use the new system(s).  On the contrary, our experience has shown us that once a new solution has been implemented, there is still much to do to ensure it is truly successful. I would like to directly address a few areas where we see most organizations struggle to cross the finish line, and practical ways to correct these issues.

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 5

imageLet’s face it - no one ever tells you to focus on the past.  In fact, we’re all told, from very early on, to stay focused on the “here and now” and to look ahead to our future. While it may be a bit of a stretch, I would like to encourage those who are currently working on a project or getting ready to start a project, to take some time to reflect on the past.  Let me to explain...

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 4

Technology is wonderful thing, but never forget that it’s not the only thing.  What I mean is this - while technology can provide us with new ways of doing things, automation of tasks, and analysis we could only dream of doing on our own, technology should never be a substitute for your people and your process.

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 3

Trips (or projects) do not complete themselves.  It takes “unseen” things to make it all happen, and that is where this habit will focus.

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 2

There are many opportunities for projects to veer off of course, not due to the unexpected, but due to completely avoidable items such as forgetting the definition of success, lack of focus, an individual personality, or a new technology coming to market.  Think you’re immune and that “This will never happen to my organization!”?  Unfortunately, in our experience we’ve seen it happen to the very best organizations, which is where this habit comes into play.  No one has the intention of taking a cross-country road trip to Santa Monica, only to end-up in Fargo (no offense), or worse yet, to simply stop driving somewhere in Arkansas (again, no offense), and say, “Let’s do something else now.”  At the end of the day, technology projects are no different.  My guess is, you started the project in order to actually finish the project (and on time and under budget would great too!).

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 1

Habit 1: Chart Your Journey

Before you begin your project, define what a successful project will look like, and you have set yourself up for success from the start. 

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Blog Topics

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CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.

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SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.

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CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.

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SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.