Web Professionals as Change Management Specialists

In an interview with Randall Snare from the CS Forum in London, content strategist Karen McGrane compares her work on the web to change management—a concept that hits home for academia. Generally, colleges are slow to adopt web strategy. As higher ed web professionals, we’re not just content, design, development and marketing experts—we’re also change management specialists. We help web stakeholders adapt and better utilize the web and online communications. Recognizing and embracing this responsibility is needed to do our jobs effectively. What do you think?

And I think so much of user experience work in general, whether it’s interaction design or content strategy or information architecture, a lot of it is really change management. It’s really helping organizations adjust to the fact that, like, “Oh, hey guess what? This Internet thing, it’s not going away.”

Source: Karen McGrane: CS Forum podcast episode 4 by Randall Snare, CS Forum, April 5, 2011

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About Rick Allen

Rick Allen has worked in higher education for over twelve years, helping to shape web communications and content strategy. As principal of ePublish Media, Inc, a web publishing and content strategy consultancy in Boston, Mass., Rick works with knowledge-centric organizations to create and sustain effective web content. Keep going »


  1. I think you are spot-on, but the difficulty comes in being a change agent too far down in the structure of the organization to affect larger change. Many higher education web professionals I have met have good a track record in communicating to lateral units and units under their control, but less success with those in the structure above them.

    • Hey, Jeff. Thanks for the feedback. Good point. You’re right, that’s a huge challenge in higher ed. Practitioners don’t have the same influence as senior-level decision makers or HiPPO’s (highest paid person’s opinion). However, what has the potential to level the playing field is proven results. If web professionals can demonstrate why quality content is valuable they are better able to influence change. This won’t always prevent unnecessary blogs or spammy tweets, but it helps.

What do you think?