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Setting up an organizational portal: What's In It for Me?

1 February 2010
A person typing on a computer

We live in a fast-paced world in which everyone is a consumer that is after their personal benefit; it is also a world flooded with information in which the central message is often hard to identify. Therefore, if we want to convey a certain message we must focus on a specific target audience and send them the message in a relevant and direct manner. In the world of marketing and communication, when targeting a certain audience, the acronym WIIFM: What's In It for Me- is usually brought up.

As project managers, we can use WIFM both as an auxiliary method for evaluating the project's benefits and as a means for recruiting all participants to a project involving change management and implementation processes.

Our monthly tip is therefore utilizing WIIFM for organizational purposes and is targeted at anyone setting up a portal. Setting up an organizational portal is a cross-organizational project that requires investing many resources. Its success depends on the cooperation of all organization worker. This requires segmenting the target audience and presenting each segment with the potential benefit they can reap from setting up the organizational portal.

We will focus on three "major players" in such a project: organization management, organization managers and workers and present a number of examples of organizational application of WIFM.

What's in it for organization management?

  • A tool for communicating between the organization and its workers, creating a shared organizational language and enhancing the workers' sense of belonging to the organization

  • The portal as a supportive tool for attaining business objectives and a competitive edge by presenting broad and updated business information

  • The portal as a tool that allows organizational learning through knowledge retaining, knowledge sharing, knowledge development and innovation

What's in it for the organization's managers?

  • The portal enables efficient time management by making knowledge accessible and saving time (otherwise spent searching for information)

  • The portal allows sharing knowledge and creating professional networks between organization units

  • The portal as a tool for professionally developing workers

What's in it for workers?

  • One-stop Shop: receiving integrative, accessible and updated information

  • Leveraging professional development and exposure to different areas of the organization

  • The portal enables sharing and comfortable communication with colleagues as well as a place for workers to express their opinion

In conclusion, it is important to remember everyone has their own perspective and something else to gain. When recruiting partners to a project, map the "target audience" and segment it. Try to "enter their shoes" and think what each segment can benefit from the project. Phrase your messages in a language that suits the segmented target audience while retaining the central message that reflects the project's vision and objectives throughout the various types of messages. Remember: the organizational portal can benefit us all.

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