To Whom It May Concern — Let’s talk about your WIIFM

Dear CIO, IT Manager, Project Manager, Business Decision Maker, Program Lead,

I get increasingly frustrated with the way you try and sell or communicate your change to your people. Too often I see projects where the awareness communication or training for staff uses broad sweeping statements and descriptions that are your way of trying to get people on board. It’s your WIIFM. The ‘What’s In It For Me’ that is supposed to connect users to the value you bring with the technology. But your WIIFM is often meaningless to them.

Why are you doing this project?

Why are you implementing this technology?

Surely it’s not just for budget or upgrade purposes. At times I understand things need to change and improve from a hardware or software perspective, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to communicate this to people to help them understand the need and be with you on the journey.

Why are so many organisations moving to a modern workplace or modern way of working?

I want you to be straight without the fluffy statements. Those statements don’t trigger the curiosity and enthusiasm that you need to get the adoption you are looking for. For project benefits to be truly realised you are relying on people to change behaviour, which won’t be triggered by vague words.

Think about the broad statements used and what they say to the people you are impacting. Here are a few that I see often with some alternatives that are more tailored and with detail that I feel would enable stronger connection to the change or new technology.

Work from anywhere

What about:

  • Check the project issues log while waiting for the bell at school pickup
  • Review a PowerPoint while sitting on the train
  • Check client details in OneNote from a café before heading into a sales pitch

Improve productivity


  • Use Apps to track all those things in my mind I am trying to remember to do
  • Don’t risk writing something down at your desk or at home and then you’ve left it there and cannot recall that really important detail. Have it in the App on your mobile
  • Use a shared Team to have information, communication and documents in one place so you can easily find what you need

Enhance collaboration

  • Work on the same document, at the same time, while discussing in a meeting, or while on a plane, in a café, wherever you have to be in your life, but not have work stop

Be more agile

What does this mean to people?

Does it mean adapting quickly, being more able to respond to things and be flexible?

What about:

  • Receive queries or notifications on your mobile while out and about
  • Stay part of the project discussion while at home or on the road
  • Quickly update a proposal in a café so work doesn’t halt because you are not there in person
  • Open documents on any device to edit responding to customer feedback regardless of your location

Future workplace

When does this future start? What’s next after we get there?

What is a “future” workplace to one organisation is old news to another, or to people that worked elsewhere.

Perhaps it could be Modern Workplace and the value could be in:

  • We are giving you access to use the best tools for your job to make your day easier and remove some key obstacles
  • Having access to using the best modern tools not only helps us do our jobs well, it actually also develops us, and that in itself is good for you beyond your current role.

Don’t oversell it. Just be honest.

Focus on statements and detail that are meaningful, and make people take notice.

An employee doesn’t want to try new features because the company think it will make them more productive. But if they are pitched in a way that gets them thinking, that targets the things that frustrate them or bleeds time, then they may just consider changing their behaviour.

Many projects produce personas and then don’t know what happens next. This time you spend understanding your people is like ammunition to use to increase adoption. It’s the detail you can use across the implementation and beyond to speak to your people which in the end drives change and thus heads towards your benefits realisation.

Use it well and drive your own success.


Concerned Change Manager

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