Having cut my Salesforce teeth in the dot-com, start-up-y world, I have never been accustomed to much order. That first organization was very much a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants place & our end users were used to that. Since then, I’ve experienced other companies & more ‘traditional’ methods of operating. What I found is that having process & routine, while occasionally time-consuming, can really help to set expectations.
One thing I found that regular communications both within my team & to our end-users helps prevent unnecessary panic attacks. While we as admins tend to be aware of changes coming down the pipe (either that we are doing, or a new release from Salesforce), I have found that end users get so ingrained in their routine, even something minor change can be a disturbance to their world. At the same time, over-communication can be seen as annoying & end up in the spam folder.
I try to communicate changes as best I can, but I know there is always room for improvement. A lot of what works also depends on the personality of your users base & how your company as a while communicates. What communication methods do you find to be the most productive for you? Weekly emails? Emails only for big changes? Have you tried communication only in Chatter?
And for those of your keeping score – 203 days until Dreamforce ’11!