Don’t Just Build a Solution. Get it Adopted.
IT projects are notorious for their high failure rate. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 70% of technology projects fail to deliver their desired results. In part, that’s due to poor user adoption. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will use it. You need to think carefully about how you will manage change, and consider carefully your user adoption methodology before you launch the solution.
At Rand Group, we’re experts in developing user adoption methodologies that can help you identify an effective strategy for maximizing end-user adoption before you even start your project.
A new software application can help drive your business forward. Used properly, key competitive advantages can be gained. However, without proper user adoption you risk spending time and capital to build something that will actually hinder your operations. All solutions should be developed using best practices in user experience design, but it takes more than that to succeed.
Manage the Change
Human beings are naturally adverse to change, and a technology implementation is no different. You need to manage the change, and planning for this should start before the project is underway. Get users, stakeholders and project advocates on board early, so they can help motivate others.
Rand Group can help your business transition to a new way of doing things by helping to ensure the new way is noticeably better than the old. And we do this by getting your people involved from the beginning.
Involve the User
The most important part of user adoption is the users themselves. Start with building personas to help identify the way main user groups will interact with the system in their daily work; and involve select end-users to participate in this process. Find out how your staff uses their system, and how the new solution can improve the way they work. Consider the new system capabilities, and develop use cases to help define areas of difficulty, and identify methods for managing those areas.
Build the Foundation
Site mapping, wire framing, prototyping and mock-ups can help ensure your system is built for usability. Launching a prototype to a select group will allow you to determine where fixes are needed, and to address any challenges before your general population uses the system. This will enable you to build real case studies to better understand where challenges might arise, so you can develop a proactive plan to help users address these complications.
Create a Communication Plan
Effective strategic communication is the key to successfully implementing large-scale organizational initiatives. It engages all stakeholders involved by facilitating movement along the continuum, as seen below.
A successful communication plan will:
- Identify key stakeholders.
- List what types of information are of most value to our stakeholders. Also identify optimum means of communication and agree on the format for information that is provided.
- Establish the purpose, timing, location and attendees for regular meetings.
- State which communication vehicles will be used and whether any steps are required to put them in place.
- Include specific steps that the project team and Stakeholders Council can take to keep everyone who will be impacted by the project well informed.
Without a robust communication plan, widespread adoption of a new technology will be severely hindered. Need help in developing your User Adoption Communication Plan? Contact us today.
Develop Training Materials
Once the system is out of the pilot stage, you can develop relevant training material. You’ll want to train users not only on how to use the system, but also on why the change is being implemented. Helping them understand the why will help them see the benefits.
Everyone must be trained for their specific job function, and Rand Group can help you identify the best approach for your business. We can help you determine the right training matrix, such as videos, reports, manuals and exercises to accelerate user adoption; and can guide your training schedule.
You must market to the end-user. Developing a marketing plan and promotional strategy for internal staff is not a waste of energy. Rand Group can guide you toward a comprehensive, branded and cohesive marketing plan that will ensure you build momentum for the project internally.
The images below showcase examples of posters and tchotchkes that can be used to reinforce use of the new application.
Distribute news and raise awareness, provide details about training, and incorporate information from the executive sponsor(s) to help demonstrate the importance of the initiative. Content should focus on the benefits of the new solution and how it can improve the jobs of the end-users. Utilizing a combination of mediums, you can drive user awareness and create a buzz to help drive early adoption.
Build and Distribute Content
Your system is only as good as the content shared. Developing templates and standards, training content contributors and keeping your data effective will reduce frustrations and help maintain ongoing user adoption.