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Winning 'Green' Hearts & Minds

Ross O. Storey | March 29, 2010
The holy grail of a 'paperless office' may be just a vision to many, but one Singapore government statutory board has made significant progress by winning over the 'hearts and minds' of its employees.

 Getting the executive green-light was only the start.

 "The project team must ensure a keen focus on change management and communications during the planning and execution stages as the end users will experience changes from their current way of working." he said.

 Overcome emotional attachment

 "Some end users may even have emotional attachments to their devices to the extent that removing them or shifting them away can be a real challenge. Or perhaps, there are good reasons for specialized or dedicated printers to be untouched.

 "To facilitate change management within JTC, we developed a multi-prong engagement plan which included road shows, posters, training booklets, training seminars and department champions."

 Ang said his approach was not to pitch this initiative as a technology or consolidation project, but rather as a process of change with solid opportunities for the organisation.

 "As they say, 'numbers don't lie', so it is useful to identify the low-hanging fruits and get your facts and numbers right," Ang said. "In addition to these early benefits, it is useful to identify the potential opportunities and payback you can reap further along the journey.

 "Even if those opportunities may seem fuzzy now, it is important that both consolidation and managed service are positioned and communicated as a means, and not as an end. For JTC, the numbers from the early benefits were sufficient for the business case, so any intangible and future benefits are bonuses.

 Tug at the heart strings

 "Once we had the storyline for this journey, we went to a suitable management forum to seek executive sponsorship. It is also useful to tug at the heart-strings of senior executives with a project initiative which resonates well with being environmentally responsible by changing print behaviour, reducing paper waste, consumables and power consumption."

 Winning the hearts and minds of JTC employees seems to have worked, because Ang said "the higher print speed and quality were immediately embraced by the users".

 "We now have a Corporate Services Dashboard to track and communicate the detailed print usage by staff with the business heads," said Ang. "This, in turn, allows them to drive usage behaviour within their business divisions.

 "We are now able to advocate the sharing of MFDs across divisions as print usage is tracked back to the sender. More advanced features like forcing two-sided prints, watermarks and secured print, further contribute to better paper use and user experience."

 He said there were on-going additional benefits from integrating various business processes with the MFDs to improve process efficiencies and staff productivity.

 'Green IT' overplayed

 This thoughtful CIO is definitely a conservationist, but he believes that "industry has overplayed 'Green IT' and especially so with technologies deployed in the data centre".


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