Building Bridges

Ride the Wave of Change – and Navigate Successfully

Change is hard and causes unease, anxiety, and at times, frustration. Every parent who has dropped a child off at kindergarten (or college) knows this!

While change can be overwhelming or even scary, it is often necessary. Professional change brings its own set of challenges. How can you best navigate change at work?

EnVision needed to adapt when we were required to move our SharePoint site over to a new hosting company. We were notified by the “old” hosting company via e-mail and given less than a month to move over our files, as our original service would then be discontinued.

I was a bit taken aback after learning of the tight timetable. After taking a few deep breaths, I notified Tom, our IT guy, and Danielle, our technical/administrative whiz. I couldn’t do this without them.

Tom managed the functionality of the server – back-up and hosting. Danielle’s responsibilities, which required about 8-10 hours of work, included revising the new site’s look to mimic the old SharePoint; setting up appropriate user access for each team member; creating usernames and passwords; and providing crackerjack technical support.

Danielle met some challenges initially. “I went in thinking it’s going to be exactly like the old SharePoint….It is a little bit different,” explained Danielle. “It wasn’t as intuitive.”

The new service provider didn’t offer a support document or user guide. Plus, Danielle discovered that when she added folders, there was no way to return her to the main SharePoint page, so she got creative and built a workaround by adding a “home” link.

The end users (EnVision team members) encountered obstacles, too. Some of the functionality worked best with a particular browser; one team member had difficulty logging in; another had trouble opening and saving documents. Thanks to Danielle and her support, these issues resolved pretty quickly.

Lessons learned from this SharePoint experience can be applied to any change. While initially I felt a bit overwhelmed, I dug into the new software and eventually figured it out.

Three things that helped me were:

1. Planning extra time into my schedule to adjust to the new software and minimize impact to our own clients.

2. Asking for help when needed. I was fortunate to have Danielle and Tom to turn to, and relied on them. Having Danielle as my capable “point person” to train my team was a huge benefit. I will remember to choose my “point person” carefully for all future changes; it can make the difference between implementation success and failure.

3. Keeping a positive attitude. Knowing that my team and I would eventually figure out the new SharePoint helped me through the change.

I’m happy to say we successfully moved our files and team over to the new SharePoint. Weeks later, it seems like we’ve always used this service provider…and we like the new site even better than the old. Time to embrace the next change!