With only 6 months before a complete deprecation and loss of access to Confluence, the current internal knowledge (wiki) solution, and minimal support from leadership with the only guidance that each team determine their own documentation solution:
Each Directorate should be determining where their documents and workflows will be stored in the future now while there is time.
Within that time we needed to identify a single replacement, suitable for the needs of the various departments, procure that service, train and implement it across the business.
objectives & constraints
- approx. 6 months until Confluence deprecation
- less ephemeral source of internal knowledge than Slack
- effective search, intuitive authoring, concerns over information duplication
- the decision process for a replacement needs to be less dictatorial (handed down from exec. team)
discovery & research
Before solutions were tested and prototyped, we needed to understand the needs of our co-workers. This manifested as an internal survey, which to date, still maintains the highest response rate of any internal survey conducted within SimSpace.
The survey concluded that most people were not satisfied with the organization, discovery, and transparency of information.
It also surfaced that the primary expected location to find information was Slack, rather than the intended location of Confluence.
This is a problem given the ephemeral nature of Slack, lack of information architecture, and relatively unsatisfactory search experience.
Thank you for putting this together and sharing this out
democratizing the decision making process
the decision process for a replacement needs to be less dictatorial
During discovery and follow-up user interviews, it became evident that prior decisions had been made at the executive level, without IC-consultation, handed down, and not received well.
Many felt that not having a voice, and an opportunity to weigh in on a decision that directly affects their day to day working life was having a very negative affect on their daily work satisfaction.
the company needs folks to reset the culture, with a fresh set of eyes, new ideas, etc.
There was significant concern that this decision, to replace Confluence, would be yet another opportunity to be disappointed and not invited to participate.
As such, I established a group of IC-level employees responsible for championing the evaluation period. Their role was to communicate with their respective parts of the organization, address concerns while in the test period, and act as a voting delegate when it was time to decide to GO or NO-GO on Notion.
- initial discovery & survey established goals for replacement; decision based on survey results of employees; survey had highest response rate of any internal survey to date
- IC-level committee established to make final GO / NO-GO decision
- 2-month trial leading up to decision; ambassadors received private training & acted as servant leaders to their respective parts of the organization
- mid-point evaluation during trial period revealed small issues quickly resolved
- long-term support in the form of async recorded training videos as well as slack channel
lessons to share
- committee decision making may take longer but the return on the investment is significantly higher than expected; sentiment analysis shows far greater satisfaction in this decision, compared to other decisions made at SimSpace
- Notion is a great tool; it may not always be a great choice for very subdivided companies that operate their divisions independently as autonomous fiefdoms
- Notion can force transparency in documentation but it cannot alone change a lack of cultural transparency
- Quantifying qualitative research can be extremely easy if you let it; unsophisticated tools like Google Forms can get you a baseline just as easily as more complex instruments