Intranet change freeze

This weekend we upgrade our Intranet.  But rather than it being the invisible, out of hours operation we had hoped, the sheer volume of data that needs to be moved means the work will take over 48 hours and as a result we are having to put the intranet into “Read only mode” on Thursday night.

Three years ago this wouldn’t have been an issue.  Back then the intranet was read only for all but an elite few publishers and 24hrs without fresh content was common place.

But today, 24 hours of frozen news or forums or blogs, without workflows running, document sharing or versioning and without intranet collaboration – is a big deal.

When we were selling these features to our stakeholders, quantifying the benefits was a real struggle.  Before our business had the ability to post a question on an intranet forum, nobody thought they were missing out. There was so much resistance to the idea that it very nearly didn’t happen.

But now contingency plans are being put place and alternate communication mechanisms are being ‘dusted down’ so that we can survive for this one day.

While we haven’t been able to articulate the benefits financially, the perceived benefit of a ‘social’, two way intranet is huge.

Is this because the perceived cost of losing something is always greater than the perceived benefit you gain from a change?

Or has there been a real culture change that values contribution and conversation more greatly?