I’m excited to be doing my first book, “Managing Chaos,” with Rosenfeld Media. In my over 15 years of working on web governance issues with organizations, I’ve seen plenty of UX practitioners spit into the organizational wind when it comes to improving their organization’s web presence. In most instances, the changes UX folks recommend are ignored, rejected or unimplemented, simply because they don’t have the authority to insist that a change be applied. They fight against those in the organization who may or may not have UX expertise. It’s a sad sight. But I think that “Managing Chaos” will help, by giving those with the talent to create a good web experience a way to make the organizational space to do their jobs.
Some say that we live in the Web Age– an age of “inclusion” and “freedom.” So, why govern? Because all this inclusion and freedom really is just chaos if we’re not aiming for a goal–if we don’t have intention. Serendipity is great. Where would we be if we didn’t invent spontaneously? For those of us who work with the Web, the answer to that question is simple: We’d be out of a job. But for digital workers who have been hacking away at organizational websites for years, it’s getting harder every day to be spontaneous. Sites are big (some would say bloated), applications are disconnecting or disintegrating, and social software is sometimes being implemented without purpose. In short, websites are beginning to make organizations look bad.
Once a system gets to be a certain size, it’s hard to make it operate effectively if it you don’t have some basic rules in place. This especially holds true for web environments. Does that dictum take some of the fun out of creating? If you’re a spontaneous inventor who doesn’t want to work by any rules, it might. But a smart organization will harness the power of its true innovators and enable them to do their best, while at the same time maturely managing the aspects of digital that need to be functioning effectively to get work done. It’s an “and,” not an “or.” With real web governance in place, we don’t have to choose between innovation and effectiveness.
My hope is that “Managing Chaos” will provide the vision and guidance that sparks a positive change within your organization. As I work through chapters, I’m sure I will have additional insights and surprises. (As many colleagues have told me, you think that you know something until you write a book!) My intention is to post many of those unexpected insights here. In turn, I hope these will start new conversations about web governance–and how it can work as a transformative agent to enable creativity, real collaboration, and web quality within the enterprise.
I’m looking forward to this journey with you.