Anyone who's ever worked on a big project at a big tech company knows that resources multiply faster than rabbits: email distribution lists, SharePoint sites, wiki spaces, Yammer groups, social media channels, code repositories, Jira projects, group mailboxes, online tools, file shares, dashboards and so on.
At worst, links to all these resources exist only in somebody's browser bookmarks or in email. At best, someone tries to corral the links—and partially succeeds—on a web page somewhere labeled "Links" or "Resources." That someone is me, and I've started using a concept I hope will become more widely adopted: (Project Name) Yellow Pages.
The expression "yellow pages" has been in use since 1883, and is now used worldwide, in both English and non-English speaking countries, so I felt confident that the concept would immediately be grasped across a global project team.
I collected project links in a simple three-column layout for a wiki page, organized alphabetically in Panels by types such as "distribution lists," "social channels," "help and support," "tools," and so on. I even used the highly recognizable Yellow Pages brand yellow (#ffd400) for the panel headers. The result is a wiki page that resembles actual pages in a paper Yellow Pages directory, further reinforcing the concept.
At the top, I reiterated two of the project community's values that seemed especially relevant: focus, encouraging people to use existing channels and knowledge repositories whenever possible; and openness, which invited visitors to contribute any independent resources they knew about.
To increase visibility, I added links to the Project Yellow Pages in a few different places:
I wish I could tell you that the Project Yellow Pages has been well-received and well-used; however I don't have metrics on the usage of the page, and only two people have added links to it so far. I've put reminders on my calendar to periodically search for new resources that should be listed on the page, in case others don't take the initiative. But over the span of a multi-year project, I believe that the value of this centralized link hub will be realized.
You can read more about the history of the Yellow Pages on Wikipedia, including surprising commonalities between countries and languages.
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