Curt brings up some interesting points in response to David Allen's question in his attempt to understand why end users don't know the power of Lotus Notes. He even offers a few possible explanations:
  • IT folks are not keen on feeding an end user frenzy. They fear the end user application that will grow and need the IT resources to support it. IT resources/costs are watched like no other. We lock down the end users from adding new databases to our servers which limits their ability to collaborate to the magnitude that David envisions.
  • Has an IT executive ever been fired for recommending a Microsoft solution? On the other side of that. People who push alt-Microsoft technologies are taking a risk.
  • The pool of resources available for supporting Lotus Notes is small and getting smaller. Management has little choice but to move to other technologies because they can't find resources for Notes.
I think Curt's explanations are reasonable explanations but if they are indeed correct, I think they are poor excuses for management, including CTOs, CIOs or CLOs tasked with improving the productivity of the organization and ensuring that their people get the most benefit from the tools available to them.

This reminds me of something I once heard Business Expert Zig Ziglar say about companies that made excuses for not training their employees:
"There's only one thing worse than training your people to be productive [with tools, like Lotus Notes] and losing them...

that's not training them and keeping them."

Unfortunately, I think Curt may be right about some companies on the first point. As far as point #3, it doesn't take much to get significantly more from Lotus Notes, often just a paradigm shift in how people think about their work and the tools that they use.

David Allen and I will address some of these topics at our upcoming Lotusphere sessions:
IBM Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes
Getting Things Done with IBM Lotus Notes

Discussion/Comments (1):

Curt Stone ( 12/19/2008 7:47:02 PM
Curt Stone on Why end users don’t know the power of Lotus Notes

The lack of end user training I've experienced is huge. I see poor productivity frequently due to lack of training. Best example of this is in mail archiving. I wish I had a dollar for every frustrated user I've come across because of archiving. I had one user that had a copy of his mail file and was manually copying and pasting mail docs and manually deleting in his main file. If that wasn't bad enough, he was teaching others how to "archive" his way. Oh, brother.

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