Oktane19: Keys to Adoption: Delivering Change to the End User



Jill Porubovic​: Hi everybody. Welcome. Thanks for coming. Discovery, does anybody know what Discovery is? Do you watch our program, one or two? Yeah. Every time I say I work at discovery, people are like, oh, I love Discovery channel and I love Discovery channel too, but it's not just Discovery channel. You know, we have 13 other channels in the US we have about 184 internationally. We have Eurosport, which we purchased about two years ago and Eurosport has the Olympic rights for all European Olympic Games through, I think it's 2026 so we did beyond change last year and that was terrifying and exciting and everything all in one with a very small group. So it's a small group at discovery, we have about 9,500 employees in 220 countries. We have probably about the same amount of contractors because there's a lot of freelance work that goes on.

Jill Porubovic​: So a lot of people that come in and out of the company that we try to manage, I have a team of about 25,300, depending on the day, they are in 22 countries and they're constantly going from location to location to support each other based on what's going on. So when they asked me to talk about this, I wanted to take the scripts merger, which is the most recent thing we've done and talking about like customer adoption and change and what we do and how we've learned to do it over the years. And we do it kind of just without thinking about it at this point because we have a certain ritual we go through as a team. So this is the one I'm going to talk about the most. I'll hit on a couple of other things in there, but seriously, how do you not piss people off when you're going in scripts network, right?

Jill Porubovic​: They are a beloved company. They're 2000 of them in Knoxville. There are 4,700 in Poland. They have their own identity, right, at scriptsnetwork.com. Most people been there 25 years. I'm rolling in there to take away your identity and give you that discovery.com. So there's a lot of psychology around the change and trying to figure out what kind of a change you're implementing. Is it beneficial for the user or is it just IT stuff that you're getting done? And mostly it's IT stuff we're getting done. So how do you roll out those IT changes and not have them hate you. Everybody needs to get on the bus basically. That's what needs to happen to launch change successfully. So perception is reality with our users. It's really trying to understand that piece first to build kind of your process on how you're going to roll your change out.

Jill Porubovic​: So I say there's four things that we look at when we do change. So you can check your iPads and everything else during one, two and four. But three is the money step. So pay attention when we get to number three. All right. So I always classify change is do nothing or do something and we're doing HR changes right now and they hate it when I say that. Like, this is a do nothing change that you're doing. And they're like, what are you talking about? I'm like, the users aren't really gonna get anything from it. And you have to think about that when you're rolling change out. Like don't get excited about your IT stuff you are rolling out because generally users just want to come in and do their work. They don't care about whatever it is that we have from an IT perspective to push out.

Jill Porubovic​: So some examples of do nothing changes software patching, right? Everybody's machine's got to reboot. Nobody likes that. They're in the middle of presentation. Nobody likes that. Virtual phone, when we switched over to virtual phone, people hate that. Again, there's a lot of psychology behind that, right? Even millennials, most of them had home phones. So there's a phone is a phone, right? You don't have to think about it. You know, it's there. You pick it up, you dial it, I go to your desk, I take your phone away. Now you're going to have to use your computer. So when your phone rings, you're like, right, okay, the headset and I got to go find it on my screen and click it. People hated it. They got used to it. And it gets easier. But that's a do nothing changed cause I'm not really doing anything for the user. I'm just inflicting IT change on them.

Jill Porubovic​: So do something changes. If we enhance the ad sale system so that they get better commissions, we offer them more opportunities to get more commissions. That's a good one. Rolling out a good conferencing platform. So we had a conferencing platform called Ikano, which was bought by Cisco and it had amazing quality, 10 ADP, 60 frames a second. Exactly what you need for media company, especially when we're showing sports clips. Right. Cause that's, I can't have pixelation. But it was impossible to use. Like the user interface was junk. It was very hard to set up. It was on prem, so it was very heavy set up and we ended up moving to zoom in March of last year. And that was transformational for the users, right. That was a do something change for them because they got something out of it.

Jill Porubovic​: It's easy to use. They love it. So that was a good change. They were all on board with that. We didn't have to spend a lot of time trying to sell them on that. So the AD email migration is in the desert. It is a do nothing change. So when you're putting together your plan for us and we've done many mergers and acquisitions, we just finished doing AD email migration with motor trend this past week weekend. And that was only 400 people, but that was the hardest one we've done because they didn't have IT standards. So literally every person had to be touched independently, right, because there's no standardization of IT yet at this point. We're coming for them, they're going to love us. So we had to figure out how to get this migration change to be successful.

Jill Porubovic​: You've got the psychology of the change. They're not really getting anything out of it, and yet I've got to have happy users at the end of the day. So first starts with program management. And that took a lot of time for us to kind of figure out how to do it right. And so the knowns with any kind of migration that you're doing, any kind of a merger and acquisition, right, you have two of everything. You've got all the ancillary impacts. So it's not like you're just doing AD and email, you're doing their badge has to work, their printing has to work, their zoom has to work there. All those things have to work. So you start out with this small plan and by the time you're done, we ended up with 150 people on the project, nobody full time just pitching into to have their little piece of it.

Jill Porubovic​: We had 150 work streams. So it was a big effort, but everybody knew their place and their piece. We had way too many meetings. We've tried to scale back on the cadence of meetings and how we get things done by using JIRA and Smartsheet and really tasking to keep track of everything. And the importance of picking your task tracking tool. I think we spent the first 30 days trying this, trying that, trying this, Smartsheet was the answer for us. So we call it our playbook, developed our playbook, and then it's a wash, rinse and repeat for us. Right? We develop the playbook. No two migrations are the same, so everything's different each time we go through this and we just keep updating our playbook as we go. But the importance of keeping that historical information is critical. So even when we did the scripts migration in July of last year, when we came time to do the TDN migration in February and we started going through the bag and the have it all again, one of my developers came to me and he's like, I'm so glad we put information in the playbook because I totally forgot how to do the Skype federation and what that was going to look like, etc.

Jill Porubovic​: So having that referenceable sheet is great. And then we just take that list and we copy it over to our new Smartsheet and we start all over again. Is this, does this apply? Is this something that we need? So it's super important that you keep like track and add everything into it. And I have an example of that. I will get a little further along here. So if you only solve for the technology change, you're going to fail, right? As IT we're so busy worrying about making sure the IT bits get solved. But I always say if the end user doesn't understand the change and we've not embraced them, then you failed all day long. I don't care how good it was with an IT, you failed if they don't get it.

Jill Porubovic​: So, pay attention. Build your Trojan horses, is what I call it and this is, you know, we're not marketing people. That's not, that's not who we are in IT, but you have to have a marketing and promotional strategy to saddle up next year. IT change, especially your big ones to have it be successful. So this is the biggest point in this lead. Make the commitment and have guts. So if any guys are leaders in here of IT, it can be terrifying. So I went to my boss's office with this AD email migration for scripts and he's like, you're the one throat to choke and I'm going to go work on something else. So you need to handle infrastructure stuff too. Okay. So I went back to my office and I sat there and I thought, shit, I mean, I know how to spell AD, but AD isn't really my thing. So I called two of my directors in my office and I'm like, it's go time.

Jill Porubovic​: Like I'm not into failure and we're going to make this work. So we have to figure out how to be successful with this. So part of it is like having that stance, like literally with the cap on and you're the go to person. So it's in part protecting the team behind you so that they can get their work done. Every day. I would have one of the gentleman on the team come into my office and he had a very specific knock that he'd do on my door and I'd say, Allister, what's going on? Well, I've got two things Jill and so he'd say, you know, here's our options, I'd say that one, here's our options, I'd say that one, that's it, right? Was I making the right decision? I was making the decision that I thought needed to be made and we didn't have time to screw around.

Jill Porubovic​: Somebody's got to make the decision. Then so you have the line level down here, you're taking care of, and then there's your C level, right? And they're picking at you cause their stakeholders. So you have to have those stakeholder meetings to make sure they know enough. They don't need to know all the sauce just enough. And you have to be strong enough to defend your team and really just kind of lay it out there. So this was a point for me that I really thought, look, this is it. Either I'm going to totally screw this up and I'm out of here or I'm not, and I'm not, I'm not gonna let that happen. But I had to be willing to say, if my career fails because of this, I'm okay with that because I'm going to do what's right. I'm going to sit on the fence for the users, for the IT team, for the seat, for the company in general, and do what's right.

Jill Porubovic​: So there was always this momentum behind what we're doing, to do what's right. They would come to me and said, what if we, is that feel like it's the right thing to do? Yeah. All right, well go along. Go do it. That's the right thing to do. Be unapologetic about doing what's right and there are going to be naysayers. So you plan in IT, right? And people are like, when is the migration happening, when's it happening? And finally when you say it's happening, July 23rd, oh, you can't do that date. You can't do that date because it's financial close, because I'm getting married. So and so is going to be on vacation. It's just not a good time for me. I'm not ready, everything. Right? He's just got to hug it out with people. Right? Your job becomes like, HR. Gotta love HR, right

Jill Porubovic​: Oh, we can't possibly get like, we can't do this. There's no, I'm going to sit with you every day in meetings so that you feel good about what we're going to do. I will throw people at you to help you and pat your back and make you feel like in with process and procedure. Whatever we got to do, we're going to do it, and then as you get closer to the day, you've got the C levels. Oh, we can't do this. We've got to push this out a week. We're not pushing this out. This is, I've got people in Poland, I've got people, flew people in from London and Singapore. This is the day. This is when it's happening, right? So you have to have enough information to stand your ground. Of course, we don't always win. When we did the email migration for scripts and the finance users, it was the first time they were doing financial close jointly and they were like, finance said, there's no way.

Jill Porubovic​: Like you're just, can you guarantee that you're not going to screw anything up? I mean, I'm IT, no, I hope not, but I can't say that out loud. I said it inside, but I wasn't going to say it out loud. So what we did is we ring fenced those users, there were 15 of them and we sort of purposely made it difficult on them. Don't tell him. And we're like, okay, well you can't have zoom, you can't, you can't, you can't, you can't book rooms, all these kinds of things because you've chosen to stay behind. So they stayed behind. We did the migration three days later they're like, can you go ahead and move it? Nope. No, you're going to have to wait until the date we set three weeks from now because we're too busy doing all of her other stuff.

Jill Porubovic​: So you're going to have to wait. And that's the last time that we've had to do that when we did the 4,500 TV and people, same thing. And we're finally like, yeah, nope, we're confident. We're not gonna screw you up. I mean, and that was a little different cause they're a news division so they have to have 24 by seven. Right. So getting in there with that group and doing it was even more complex than any other thing that we've probably done and when we did that migration, I think we had about six people from the US over in Poland. I had all my team come in from other locations. Then I'll show you some pictures of what those are. But they were so confident with themselves and our IT team, you cannot find a better IT team. They are amazing.

Jill Porubovic​: And to come together across the companies and help each other. That was probably one of the most amazing things to have happen. We said out of the gate, we're going to be org agnostic. I don't know you, you don't know me, but we're going to come together and I don't want to hear any, well we did it and say, I don't want to hear it. We just gotta we got a deadline where marching to them, we're going to get it done. So what did we do? How do you get the users on board with the change when you're ripping away their identity and giving them nothing and they're happy about it? So one of the things we started in 2017 we call it a technovators and these are people we've got to volunteer to sort of be subject matter experts and test out our new technology.

Jill Porubovic​: So anything we have going on, we'll pull them in. Food, of course, is the answer to everything. So we draw them in for lunch, we feed them, we swag them, we tell them that they have homework, right? Skype, phone. When we rolled that out, we brought them in, we talked to them about it, we got them Skype phone, they gave us all the feedback. They give us feedback on our marketing campaign on everything. And the great thing about this group is it's not just a couple IT people, it's tax people, it's legal people like people we don't really interface with regularly. So you're getting this great group together and becomes a great networking thing, but they also become your subject matter experts when your role in this change out, right? They've gone through it. They know how it works. They're there to support you, they are kind of your additional arm.

Jill Porubovic​: And in Poland, we very much needed that because we don't speak the language. So they were awesome. They were definitely monumental in helping us there. Build your marketing approach. Of course, we're lucky because we're a creative company, so we can leverage our creative teams to help us build campaigns. So what we do is we go out early, this was about a month and a half before migration, and so we started the posters, the migrations coming because people don't read emails, right? They're not going to do that. So you have to be a little loud, proud and other ways, we use workplace to do a broadcast. I'll show you some things in here about how we use workplace, but we start the migration that starts people talking when you can't see on here is there's a website for people to go to that we're migrating so that they could go get early adopter information and ask questions if they wanted to.

Jill Porubovic​: Then we just kept that campaign going and we'd have different posters that we'd post up each week so that it was more and more momentum. We did put emails out, we put things in people's mail slots. We had everything you could imagine nor to try to draw people in with this same kind of, you'll see there's a watermark up in the corner because the techs all had shirts with the watermark on it, so it's sort of like those costs, the tshirts, the swag that, whatever you've got to do in order to get the customer changed on, it just becomes a non issue. At the end of the day. I mentioned we use workplace, so you've got to make sure that you have like the training in place, all of your knowledge articles up to date, your landing pages, like all of this was so complex. Getting it right requires just so much concentration and all these little areas and everybody was just amazing.

Jill Porubovic​: We always do sweepstakes. So we've got the technovators right? The early adopters that we've got early on. And then we want to have earlier pilot users just come on in and help us make sure we've got our process down so we sweepstake them. Hey, if you come and be an early adopter, you'll get your name put into the pool and you can, you know, I think we gave away switches at the, because we're switching, right? I mean, we're clever, but we give away, you know, TVs, whatever. We'll give away whatever we have to give away in order to get people because they don't realize they're going through a change. They're just going for the TV and the swag. So when we did the migration in Knoxville, we had about 40 people come in. There are moms there with their kids. You know, we were asking, well what can we bring our kids in?

Jill Porubovic​: Bring your kids in absolutely. You should bring your kids in, right? So we've got this picture at the techno bar with everybody hovered around with their Kit lady with the new baby strapped on. I'm like, that is awesome. So getting them engaged that way. Be the megaphone if you're the leader for your team. This was one of the broadcasts I did just before we rolled out. And that's me saying go kill it to my team at the end of it. But kind of letting everybody know in the company what's changing because you're going to have better collaboration. I mean there are some minor wins but no huge wins when you're talking about this kind of a change.

Jill Porubovic​: All right? Building your brand. So techno bar is what we established back in 2015. We initially had a walk up for people that needed mobile support cause about 50% of our company has mobile devices. And those were hard for people to set up. So we had this horrible looking table that had like a cardboard box underneath it with supplies, that people could come up to. And that was an ideal. So another thing we try to do is pilot new ideas. Cause I always say if you pilot something and fail, it's just a pilot. So it's cool. So we piloted this techno bar idea. We had them bring in just a nice surface and equipment. And then we just started having people come there. We didn't announce it, we didn't do it cause we didn't know what we're doing.

Jill Porubovic​: Right. We need to develop SOP before we can announce it. So we spent about a month sort of sending people to this location to get support versus putting in tickets and all that kind of stuff. Go to the techno bar, third floor, you'll see it, walks through the doors, you're good. And then you almost don't have to like people then go, oh, you should just go with the techno bar. They'll help you there. They're great. They'll go help you. And so about a month later we officially launched it. So because it's a bar we launched with fake drinks and cotton candy and popcorn and everything else. Right. And that became kind of our landing space and our brand, for lack of a better term, techno bar that they associate with IT. So anything IT related, we have on workplace a techno page. So if they had issues they can type in there, hey, I was doing such and such.

Jill Porubovic​: Somebody from the team will answer. It also allows us to establish, anytime we do a new pilot, we can stick a pilot group out there and get people to give us feedback on it. So it's a good way for us to sort of test and that everything so that when we officially launch, we're good. We feel pretty good about it. Not that we're always not still learning. So each time we go with an M&A, one of the first things we do is establish a techno bar. And every time we do that, especially in Europe, it won't work for them. It's not going to work. They're different. All their users are unicorns and they all need white glove service and I'm like, no, I promise you they don't. They would prefer to come to you. It's going to happen. It will work. Oh, that's not good.

Jill Porubovic​: I don't have my glasses on. Hold on. We're good. We're back. Almost got shut down. Okay, so establish whatever your brand is. What is your brand and that transition from people answering the phones were a company of, I just showed you now you 200 employees, probably about 15, 16,000 in the end I have four people that answered the phones. That's it. Because we suck at it on purpose. We made the decision like I'm going to be bad at that because that's not, I don't want that to be the thing. We want them to come to the bar and then the next extension of this is we are more agile offices now. We have more people working from home, so now it's techno mobile. Right. How do we get them to be able to use a mobile device to put in tickets to us as well as have us do a little bit more screen sharing, e.t.c remotely.

Jill Porubovic​: There's the next thing you can never settle on. Great. The bar works. That's not good enough. No, it's never good enough. You've got to keep pushing and pushing. So you have to have something that's a brand that people can know and resonate with you. I also on purpose have like the little like feedback box, the one you have to hand write on, on purpose. So when I go collect the little slips, it's amazing the feedback we get. Like they've got nothing on you at the genius Bar, Best IT team ever. Right? And to get those handwritten slips and I'll snap a picture of it and put it on workplace like five or six of them together. Right? So that the team can see that feedback that they're getting. It's great. So I recommend that personal interaction and establishing your brand, because that just helps you when you start going to the next phase of change. The other thing, it's not clicking forward. Come on Brian, help me out. It's the green arrow button I'm pushing.

Brian Jerome: We need an IT here, you should be figuring this ...

Jill Porubovic​: I can just do it here, without my glasses. Okay? So we've got all this stuff we know we're going to do and that we have to do, right? You have to do all these things and then you want that element of creativity that you allow your team to go do on their own, right? So we had two instances of service now and ours was horrible. scripts did a great job. There's was amazing. So how do you take those two things? You have to merge them together in some way on day one, because we've got to share tickets, you know, facilities, all that kind of stuff. So I told my boss, who is very, very particular about how things look on the aesthetics and he's a brilliant technologist and he's like, what are you doing for service now?

Jill Porubovic​: I'm like lipstick on a pig. We're just going to go out there with a landing page. It's going to direct people to the other pages, like, okay, all right. So we didn't tell them that we had this little sidebar project that was like three or four people that worked creative, gave us the design, and then they worked on building this landing page that was beautiful and it changes. And it was our way of establishing a sense of community because I don't just want it to be about service, I want it to be our networks. So when we launched, it happened to be shark week launch. So Shark Week was our big campaign when we launched. So we had shark week, like the best picture out there. It was beautiful. And so we're gone released weekend and my boss was like, how's it gone?

Jill Porubovic​: It's gone. It's okay. It's going okay. How's the service now thing coming? Pretty good. You want to go take a look? It's, you can go look now. So he sends me a note, he's like, Holy Shit, this is unbelievable. He's like, even the click down, It's not just beautiful on the front end. It actually is purposeful underneath because they got all the knowledge articles moved over. Like it was just this extra effort that the team put in because they wanted to and the impact of this on them and getting all those accolades. I had people from the sourcing and purchasing team, like VPs calling going, wow, it is so beautiful. I'm like, you didn't even know it was IT change, right? You didn't even know because it looks so beautiful.

Jill Porubovic​: All right, so you're in the moment, right? You've built your brand, you've got your campaign and that the da Tada, Tada. Tada. Tada. You're ready. And then there's go time, right? Implementation weekend when you're all in and you've got to get this thing done. So this is from TV and actually, so we had 4,700 people to migrate. We migrated all of them in three days. Most of the people you see here are in from London, India, Singapore. Like I said, there were about eight people that came from the US and then the rest of them are all the people that were there in Poland that helped us, which they were amazing IT people there. So we had the plan, right? You've got, I've got this set of people that are focused on the process of the procedure. The what if it goes wrong, all those kinds of things.

Jill Porubovic​: And you get to a certain point when you're going through planning, and then I say, stop. It's organic from here. Right? You can't plan yourself into what's going to happen afterwards. You don't know. You know, you've got your plan, you know what's going to happen but you can't over plan because then you're just screwing yourself out of the gate. Cause you've got all these processes, they're not going to work because you don't know what's going to happen. So I think that was one of the harder things for one of the PM's to swallow when I said that, and he was trying to play a plant, I'm like, we're done planning. It's organic, it's organic. Now we're just, we're smart. We're going to take it all in and we're going to make the changes as we have to make the changes. When we did this migration, I got to call it 2:00 AM and it was a panic call.

Jill Porubovic​: Major problem, Jill. We've got major problems. So in two seconds I'm like, Oh crap. Like, okay, well we can't do it with like, I'm going through all of the big things that could happen. He's like, we sent out 800 emails in air. I'm like, okay. He's like, and so we reject those back. We make sure we turn it off and blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, that's nothing. You're good. Carry on 800 email. Fine, keep going. I'll be on the next checkpoint. So I got on the checkpoint and we didn't talk about that. They talked about the fact that they had accidentally implemented the rules for remediation where they were wiping away people's emails after 90 days. And that's not something we generally do out of the gate when we do M&A. We tried to wait on that. We have enough change. We'll get to the whole legal battle later. But they had forgotten to turn that off and they were petrified to tell me. So they're like, well, we forgot to flip that off. So we have users that are impacted, but when we're recovering, blah, blah, blah, everything in it is always fixable, always fixable. So I'm like, okay, like, well, what happened? Like in silence?

Jill Porubovic​: And I'm like, okay, you guys, like what was supposed to happen that didn't happen. Well, we're worried about pointing fingers. I said, I don't care who did it or what. I just want to make sure it's in the playbook so we don't do this again. That's all. It doesn't matter who did it. That's not, that's not what this is about. This is about getting through. You're recovering it, aren't you? All right. That's all that matters. Put in the playbook so that we don't do this again because it's no fun. Right? We don't want to do this again. So then the calls get easier from there. Right. There are two or three other minor things that happen, but honestly, both the script's migration. And this one damn near perfect. And it's great when you get to the other side of it. And our TV and counterparts who, I mean, I had to go through the TV and board of directors, I don't know how many times about every little thing.

Jill Porubovic​: And they're like, no, we need to, we can't do this. And I'm like, okay, we're doing this. So we were on this call with a lot of people and he said, I just want to say out loud that we were wrong. We didn't trust you and we had no idea how this would go. He's like, it was amazing and Kudos to you to the teams that came together. Like it was just a beautiful thing to have everybody working together.

Jill Porubovic​: And then this is the scripts migration that we did in Knoxville, New York, like, and it's not like just one location. This is the whole Enchilada, right? You're going here, you're going there, you're going here, you're going there. How many people do you need? Set it up, spend the travel money, get the people there, think ahead and celebrate when you're done. Right? So you saw they looked all fresh and lovely well I was on that one post. And I look ridiculous. On this one, because it's exhausting, you go through the whole weekend, you don't sleep, you know, you get to the other side. And our COO is like, Hey, let's do a conference call first thing in the morning on the webcast so that everybody can- I'm like God really? Okay. All right. He goes, you know, I'm going to ask you a couple of things. He didn't ask me any of those things, right? So it was totally winging it. And it was hilarious actually. It was, it was hilarious to watch. But we also make sure we track everything. So as a leader, I spent a lot of time, I'm feeling like I love being under the radar. I don't like the limelight.

Jill Porubovic​: I don't, these are my people, right? So I didn't want that visibility from above. But what I recognized is that this team deserves the visibility. It's my responsibility to be loud and proud for them on behalf of them and their accomplishments. So we're very good about taking pictures, videos, whatever. Every single time we do something so that I can post it to workplace and everybody can see it and we keep stats about how far along we are in the process so we can show that. Because that just feels good, cupcake them and hug it out. That's what I always tell my team when it gets hard, right? Like, oh my God Jill, we got, I've got this group of users over here. I'm like, yeah, just go buy them cupcakes, go buy them lunch. I mean, seriously. Motor trend Dan calls me and he's like, this is horrible.

Jill Porubovic​: I'm like buying lunch every day. I'm buying breakfast every day. I don't care what you have. Like whatever. Cupcake them, hug them, go figure it out. And each time, you know those kinds of things, go take like the guy that's having a bad day, that's a surfer dude. Take them out for lunch, talk to him a little bit more about it, get them on our side so that they realize that they're not alone. Because generally IT isn't that way. So this food wins all day long.

Jill Porubovic​: And if you really screw it up, cause you're gonna, you're gonna have things that you do wrong. So in this case, this poor girl had walked back and forth 20 times trying to get support, didn't work. Finally, one of the guys is like, Jill, it's just, I feel so bad. I'm like, go get her an Amazon gift card, like for 100 bucks or whatever and go give it to her because, and then I post it like out loud and workplace like we screwed up and we're making it right because it's transparency, right? We're not going to do everything right and you have to be transparent about that.

Jill Porubovic​: You have to thank everybody at the end. You have to make sure the teams that worked on it, the ancillary teams that worked on it are all thanked. Your users are thanked, everybody needs to be thanked because it's such a, it's been just this great effort of pulling everything together. And that's kind of the Trojan horse. That's the number three, the most important things. Number four is the horrible stuff, right? Because the executives are always like, well thank God we're done. Right? You did the, we're done. We're all migrated. I'm like, no, there's like two years of effort to get the desktop image and the servers and the all the other licensing and software agreements like merged together. You know, they're like, well what do you mean there's more work to do? So you have to be mindful of the fact that it felt so good and you did this amazing thing.

Jill Porubovic​: The users don't hate you, you feel awesome and now you've got this like two year heft of crap to get through before you're totally done merging. So it's the same thing, right? You got to have somebody responsible for keeping that playbook up today, going through making sure that it's being tracked and being worked because it's very easy to lose sight of all those little things, right? Like look at the tenants are together, everything's good, but there's a million of the little things that you have to keep pounding on until you get through it. So you have to track, track, track until you can get it done. And is the most important slide because if you're not doing that, then you're doing it wrong. So you have to find a way to have fun with your teams. Right. We try to be very lighthearted about it all, even though it's very serious because if you are just too serious about it, the team's not going to engage.

Jill Porubovic​: You know, we came together with people that we'd not known months before and in four months we did magic. And the thing is when we initially did this merger in March, my boss had set a really unreasonable date, like October for the AD mail migration. Okay. So then we had this big meeting with Microsoft and Octa was there talking through things and they're like, when do you guys think you want to do this. And I was like, how about July, July, does anybody say no to July? You don't like July? I'm born July, I feel like July is the perfect month to do something. And so I was like, yeah, okay, we can probably do July. So when we came out of that meeting and I was talking to my boss and he's like, well, how'd it go? And I'm like, pretty good.

Jill Porubovic​: I think we're going to shoot pretty aggressively go. So about the October timeframe, I'm like, no, we're going to go from July. He's like, do you think that's achievable? I'm like Ronnie July, we're going to do it. We're gonna meet July. And we met July with each of these migrations. The date didn't slip once, not once. We got a lot of pressure, a lot of push back. We did that one ring fence group, that's it. We kept our date. But you need somebody strong that's going to be there to defend that date and the rationale and the reasons why at the same time you're supporting that group underneath.

Jill Porubovic​: And so I know I'm very lucky to have my leadership chain up above me, willing to just kind of let me do my thing and us do our thing. And not questioned too much, but I also push back if they question like, do you really need to send somebody over there for travels. Yeah I do. I already booked their ticket. Okay. All right. Cause if she didn't, you know, ask for forgiveness that's the thing you should do that.

Jill Porubovic​: It's a thing, right? I mean cause it's blonde, right? So I get to use the "HAWAZ!" I'm blonde, So key takeaways and I'm not going to read through all of these. It's the four things and I think this will be available. It's the four things kind of rolled up and summarized into just a single slide for each one. The things to be mindful of, the things to do. The most important one, right? Your users have to understand this change you have to embrace and we have to find a way to make them feel like they are part of this mission. And then when you leave they are like what just happened to me? What just happened to me? You just changed my email address and I don't even care because it that felt pretty good and there's still the ongoing effort, right? You don't get walk away from it. You have to have those followups and make sure that, you know, you don't screw anything up as things continue to change and number four with finish the job. So that's it. Friends, that's it.

Brian Jerome: That was amazing thank you.

Jill Porubovic​: Seven minutes for Q and A

Brian Jerome: Crushing it. Q and A. I think some of my main takeaways were partner with marketing, right? Get the word out, get communication out, have a strong leadership. Make sure everyone knows why we're doing this change and I think it will be overwhelming success. So thanks. Thank you again, Jill. Any questions from the audience?

Jill Porubovic​: Look at that silence. Right in the middle.

Brian Jerome: Is there a mic back here?

Speaker 3: So there's always pushback, right? That's just like name of the game.

Jill Porubovic​: Absolutely.

Speaker 3: You see stripes on the middle of the road?

Jill Porubovic​: Yes.

Speaker 3: Best practices like, you can control, you can combat it with data. You can combat it with heart, like, Based on your experience, what has worked the poorest for you as well as the best for you when it comes to fighting the pushback? Because that's rampant.

Jill Porubovic​: I think for me it's, I mentioned, like I literally said to myself out loud, this is career make or break, right? It's up to me to be the voice of this team and this project and discovery and what's right. And if I can't be that push back, then my boss will help me enough. But in order to do that, you have to, you cannot let them see you sweat. I mean like I said, I barely knew how to spell AD when he's like, you're responsible for this. I'm like, great. But and I don't need to be, that's the key, right? That's why you have brilliant people that work for you. And I think that's a misunderstanding some leaders in IT have, is you don't have to know it all.

Jill Porubovic​: You just have to have the people that know it all. You have to understand enough, you have to have enough information. So arming yourself with enough information. We met twice a week for me to get like the updates on where we are. I understand the direction. I understand why we chose that direction. So when I'm questioned about something, straight face, nope, we're doing this way because of that. Well, do you think? No, I don't think. I think that what we did is, is the right thing. So just, and even though I would go back to my office and I'm like, oh my God Christ, I don't know if that was the right thing or not, but I sold it. It like it was the right thing.

Jill Porubovic​: So part of it is having that leadership that supports you and part of it is just being legit. Like you know what you're doing, like the Cap, the whole nine, like be bold. And I was not a bold person growing up, so this is a learned, you know, don't think that I was just, I was shy and quiet. So it's a learned thing that you have to put yourself through.

Speaker 4: So I work for a company that does a lot of mergers and acquisitions too ...

Jill Porubovic​: So lucky.

Speaker 4: And, yeah, well, fortunately I'm not in that part. But how do you, I assume that you're not maybe incorrectly that you're not doing mergers and acquisitions 100% of the time ...

Jill Porubovic​: Right now. My life, actually I said to my team the other day, I'm like, I don't know how we turn from a service organization into a delivery organization, but we are constantly buying stuff. In fact, I was out for a couple of weeks and I came back and there's like this new thing and I'm like, what is this? Oh they bought such and such. And I'm like ooh. All right. So I mean thankfully they've been smaller. It's constant, especially with media right now cause it's so crazy. So my life is about M&A right now. It is all about M&A at the same time, it's about avi, it's about laptops, it's about everything. Agile workspaces. It's about everything. So there's this balance of balancing people's time cause I don't have like delivery specialists, with these projects while they're still trying to do their day to day work and keeping them energized like 22 countries and close to 300 people and trying to keep them all in the groove. It's not that hard to do if you're, you know, you have the energy for it. So like M&A wise.

Speaker 4: the primary question I had is how do you manage the staffing to make sure that you have an enough staff? Cause it seemed like a lot of your solutions to things were make sure that you have the people to put on the problem.

Jill Porubovic​: So we're cheap company and ...

Speaker 4: So, small.

Jill Porubovic​: Yes. We're just expected to do with what we have, right? The only time I've ever really allowed to bring on support, we just closed our corporate office in Silver Spring. We opened up three new offices in 10 days. So my team had all the IT heft associated with that. I was allowed to bring on three people to help. We also did a motor trend migration that same 10 day time frame. So the key is having enough people to do the day to day work and then engaging them. And that's where this program management piece comes in. Like having little legit list of stuff to get through, not spending a bunch of time. Everybody knows their mission. You're the work stream leader for this, you're the work stream and leader for that. So I'm the overall throat to choke. You're the one for this, this, this, this, go make it happen, right?

Jill Porubovic​: We come back together, we talk about what's wrong. The key for me is that they get answers quickly. I cannot wait for somebody to make a decision. I've got to make a decision, right, wrong or indifferent and then stand behind whatever it is we did. And if it's wrong, it's fine. I'll say it's wrong out loud. So it's the, we don't staff up, we might get a little bit of professional services and to help us with the technical pieces depending on the heft. But really it's all just the team that's in place and in borrowing their time in order to execute on it. But it builds this great team vibe that can't really be explained that everybody's just, it's, we've got each other's back.

Speaker 5: Hi Jill. I have a question here. How do you keep the, What is your organizational, your team structure and how, I assume it's quite static. How do you balance the static structure with a very dynamic work?

Jill Porubovic​: Well, it's not static because I don't like to sit still, so I've probably laid off more people in Discovery than anybody. Because that's, we have to change. Right? You go through a merger and acquisition, you've got duplicate, you've gotta change, you gotta change, you gotta change. So we just, I've probably had four big org changes the past year I'm working on, sorry guys, I'm working on the next one, you know, that's pretty significant. Re-imagining your team because you can't keep it the same. Yes. Support, support. Then you saw the techno bar. Now I have five agile IIF offices to support. That's a different model. People aren't necessarily coming to my bar for everything because they've got the human scale. That might be an issue. I've got people working from home, so I have to constantly rethink my model and change it always, change my leadership structure and part of being successful there is giving people in the team an opportunity, whether it's on my team or that we promote them to go work in other groups with discovery because our culture is crazy and you can't really find people that want to be part of the crazy.

Jill Porubovic​: You're better to take one of the crazies that's with you and give them the opportunity to grow. So that's very helpful because we started out, when I took over the services, we're out of time, can I just answer the rest of this one? Okay. The services, we had three roles, service desk people to answer the phone, hardware people, and we had a GSA people knock people that take all the outage calls. That was it. And there had to be an opening to move, right? We have eight roles now. You start out as like a tech one. So you're the guy, I don't care what your experience is. You're in the empty lab, you're imaging machines or figuring out how it all works. You're doing new hires, you graduate, and it's up to you. If you graduate you, you work hard. I'm going to give you a promotion to the next thing.

Jill Porubovic​: The next thing is this. You answer phones, you do the techno bar. The next thing is this and this and this. Until you get to the top of the scale, and at some point in this job growth, what you have is the split between the tech guys and leadership guys, because there's some people that just want to be the guys behind the scenes. So there's the split that comes when you get to stage three that allows you to go this way and be just technical, less customer facing or this way more customer facing, more leadership. So it gives you the opportunity to grow. That's it.

Brian Jerome: That's it. Thank you, Jill.

Jill Porubovic​: Thanks everybody.

“If you build it, they will come” works for some things. But when you deploy a new identity system you need a plan to ensure your users adopt it. Discovery Communications has cracked the code on how to ensure a successful rollout. Join this session to get actionable advice on how to do this right.