Feb 6, 2013
So I’ve been away for a year and I’ve let this website go a little bit. (I just started back up in September) I mean, if you click on any number of links, you’ll find error pages, pages that don’t load, or just pages that don’t display correctly. Basically, letting go for a year while and applying little to no system maintenance has killed the site. The content mostly works, but there are actually posts that will also no longer appear due to some coding that is old and out of date. I used to be incredibly diligent when I updated the site – there is an enormous amount of custom code in this thing just because I liked playing around. But updating the core engine (WordPress) usually meant updating the various plugins I had and then checking a couple of areas where I had customized some code and CSS. Now, updates are rather haphazard, and I barely do any QA when I apply updates.
Imagine if this happened in HR systems. Indeed you all know that it does. Pretty much every client I have ever talked to has a complete mess when it comes to HR content on their intranets. Everything and anything goes from stale-dated content, to multiple versions, to bad links. How many of us have changed a business process and forgotten to update the documentation for it online and remove the old documentation?
For the most part, we are all really diligent about applying upgrades and patches, but horrible when it comes to the non-technology stuff. I’d say we’re getting more aware that our supporting content sucks, but we also are doing very little about it. Even when we implement cool technology, that does not mitigate the fact that we still need people managing and versioning our stuff in the background.
Let’s also not forget about all of our document management systems and knowledge base applications. Far be it for me to guess, so I won’t – way more than half of my clients have employe intranet sites that have multiple versions of the same documents out there, documents that apply to policies that no longer exist, documents from vendors that are long gone, etc. This isn’t just a systems issue – it’s pervasive in HR anywhere a process exists.
What happens is that people end up being satisfied with the process within the technology, but very dissatisfied with the process overall. It really does not matter how much they loved <insert vendor name here> because their overall impression was that it was frustrating. No matter how easy the technology actually was, they end up hating <insert vendor name here> because of all the stuff we didn’t do around it. We have to be better not only about the technology, but making sure all the wraparounds and loose ends are tied up.