Three lessons to unlocking business value success!
Part 1. When beginning any new project there are many things to consider when focusing on user adoption. Whilst the technical aspects of the project are important, ultimately your success depends on your workforce. Your workforce not only adopting but embracing new technology to streamline your business process. To increase their richness in their work, and apply their discretionary effort to achieve amazing outcomes for their customers.
Has your organisation deployed, or are you planning to deploy tools like Office 365, SharePoint Online, and Skype for Business to support your efforts to improve internal communication, increase employee engagement or simply deliver better outcomes for your customers? This kind of deployment can be filled with major pitfalls, as discussed by Computerworld columnist, J Peter Bruzzese.
So how can your organisation stand-out from the rest? How can you increase the active use of your new technology investment whilst also unlocking significant business value?
Key points to user adoption success
Here are three key points that if executed well will increase your user adoption success efforts
- Understand “Why” and “What’s in it for me”. Then communicate it early, and often, until you are blue in the face!
- Make it relevant. And once you think it is relevant enough – it isn’t, make it more relevant!
- This isn’t a point in time… it is forever. Reinforce, Refine, Reinvent!
Most organisations don’t unlock the latent potential of their productivity and collaboration projects to amplify the success of their people, be it a simple upgrade of core toolsets like Microsoft Office, or a comprehensive technology platform to support the rise of the mobile workforce or Activity Based Working amongst employees.
Hitting all project goals.
Organisations tend to deliver the people aspects of the project. The requirements analysis, the training and the project communication being delivered the same as they always have. But how does this affect the results? Most people in your organisation will just keep on doing things the way they always have. Your project can be a roaring technical success. But you won’t necessarily have delivered on the business goals. Hit all goals expected by your executive sponsor, your CEO or Director-General and your Board.
Organisations are rethinking their approach to technology (on-premises vs cloud). They are helping their people get the most out of their Office 365, SharePoint, Skype for Business or Yammer rollouts. Organisations that are seeing real business results are also rethinking their approach to user adoption, active usage, or ‘consumption’ of cloud-based services (standard vs relevant).
Introducing User Adoption
Over the past six years prior to founding Adopt & Embrace, I was fortunate to have designed, delivered and facilitated user adoption workshops and training sessions in all of Australia’s capital cities, South East Asia, and the United States. Throughout the process, I was able to help tens of thousands of individuals across hundreds of organisations in Financial Services, Public Sector, Utilities, Education, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals and more. Irrespective of the location or industry, I discovered there are three key points. Executing these well will increase the success of user adoption efforts. We define this success by
- creating a positive experience for the workforce where they have learned something new and applying new processes to improve the way they work
- significantly improving the perception of the IT teams service delivery in the business
- saving the organisation money and time through business process improvement, and ultimately
- achieving the ROI stated in the original business case.
There are numerous adoption methodologies or change management frameworks you could leverage to add structure to your program to achieve these results. For example, Microsoft’s FastTrack customer success program for the introduction of cloud workloads like SharePoint Online, Office 365 Group, Delve or Prosci’s ADKAR which can be applied to help individuals navigate multiple types of organisational change (M&A, HR, IT, Operations etc). However, having delivered programs that draw on both the FastTrack, ADKAR, and other change models like Kotter’s 8 Steps for leading change, irrespective of what you have on paper, there are three fundamental lessons that have “punched me in the face” once I have put adoption plans into execution mode. And I would love to share them with you today!
User Adoption Lesson #1
UNDERSTAND “WHY” AND “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME”.
THEN COMMUNICATE IT EARLY, AND OFTEN,
UNTIL YOU ARE BLUE IN THE FACE!
As the change, learning and adoption practitioners focused on Microsoft collaboration and productivity technologies we generally are introduced into projects when they are in “mid-flight”. The weeks or months of technical work is coming to end and now that the closed and open pilots are only weeks away — its time to sort out the “training”. We get asked to deliver a “standard SharePoint end user training workshop” or “what’s new in Office 365” workshop.
Both are fantastic options if you are interested in just “ticking a box” to say that you have delivered training as part of your project. Whilst they will keep some of your people at ease with your project and the impact it will have on their workday, for many in your workforce they will generally leave a sour taste in their mouth (if they even show up).
Usually, that sour taste is already there before they read the email invite or walk into the training room. “Why are they rolling this out?”, “Why do I have to hand my laptop in overnight tonight?”, “I liked the way we have done things — it is so much easier with the paper-based process”. “What is the point of getting this new software when my computer is so old it can’t run properly”. “Why do we need a social network — all people are going to do all day is do status updates”. “I liked my old phone better, I can’t live without a handset” and my favourite of all time “well that is a surprise… I didn’t even know they were doing this”
On their terms.
A lot of those conversations you hear as individuals walk in or walk out of a training session is attributed to them not understanding the value of your project. Not in your terms, but in their terms.
As an executive sponsor, project manager or change manager on a business project that requires people to change the way they work – the only way to ensure you get your business outcome for your internal customers is to understand the value of your project to them. And that value needs to exceed the ‘pain’ or personal cost of the change for them as individuals and a team.
The good news is that most well thought through SharePoint, Yammer, Skype for Business, eForms, Mobility, and Activity Based Working projects have plenty of value ready to share… but we all need to ensure we are communicating the value early, often, and in a way that helps grows both the shared understanding of what the project is trying to achieve and the positive impact, it will have on individuals across your organisation.
Technical teams are busy architecting and delivering technical solutions, so you can focus on building the foundation of “why” within your internal customer base. If customers don’t understand what is in it for them – the ‘how you are going to make their lives easier’ – you will still find yourself on the back foot.
Once you understand the Why and WIIFM of your Yammer, SharePoint, Skype for Business or Surface roll out for your workforce, makes lesson two a whole lot easier…
Readers can enjoy all 3 posts in this series over the next two Mondays.
In part two we will talk about making it relevant, whilst part three focuses on reinforce, refine, reinvent. We look forward to sharing this series with you.
Getting the right message across the first time with change management
Communicating the change well to the organisation is crucial for any change to be effective. Read what the right messages are to use during a change.
Communities and Yammer – how it works
Delve deeper into how to create effective communities using Yammer
Forbes | Driving User Adoption
Read Forbes Magazines’ take of effective ways to drive employee engagment