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A Change Will Do You Good

Late 1999. Management decided to put together a new intranet team that included people outside the IS department. They recruited someone from the business side who would serve as the main spokesperson for nontechnical users, and act as the manager of the team. She was actually crucial to our success, because she didn't get lost in the "hows" of developing—she just wanted to know what was happening and when. She was the main organizer, and was responsible for preparing the majority of the reports and documents sent to management to keep them updated on our progress, which let the rest of the team focus on developing the site.

The Lotus developers who had created the original intranet were to be part of the new team. Also included from IS were two non–Lotus developers who would have small consulting roles. They would eventually be working on the development of our extranet, but that project wasn't in full motion yet.

And then there was me—the only one in the group with any real Web development experience and the only one with a graphic design background. I would also serve as a conduit of information between the business users and the developers and act as a translator of sorts, since they didn't always speak the same language. Unlike many companies, the Webmaster at this company is not in the IS department. I actually report to the VP of corporate communications and marketing, so some consider me more a member of the business community than the technical community.

Keep in mind that this was not a full-time role for most of us. We all had other projects we were working on during this time, we all had different managers, and we all had different ideas about the project. Nonetheless, it was a great team of highly professional and talented individuals, and we were off to a good start.

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