New technology adoption is the primary source of companies to get best ROI on their investments in new systems. Unless and until employees are actually using it, there is no value realized.
At Upaya we have done over 450 implementations since 2009. During this extensive journey, we have discovered ways to accelerate the adoption of a new technology.
The following are the key areas we focus on for efficient adoption.
- Speak the Same Language
- Words have different meanings to different stakeholders. Words like lead, prospect, implement, capture, and fulfill.
- For example, a “lead” might just be a name and an email address for the marketing team. But from a sales point of view, that same word describes a qualified lead, and there's a big difference. Before we architect a system, we make sure that all stakeholders understand thoroughly that the same words can mean different things to different groups. We drive this behavior by separate training sessions for different departments and then joint sessions to ensure everyone is speaking the same language.
- The Agile Methodology
- The agile mindset is based in two fundamental principles:
- 1:Having a clear goal in mind
- 2: Reaching your goals is an iterative (step-by-step) process.
- Trying to use the same processes that you already but just in a different system stifles innovation. The agile methodology requires that we don’t look initially at placing a form or a field at a particular place. We move towards goals with flexibility, and take it one step at a time.
- “Fail cheaply” is an important part of the agile mindset. You build something or create a mock-up, then test it against a group of users. You can quickly and inexpensively make changes if your initial concept is not what you need. Once you discover you are on the right track, you can direct resources to make more detailed progress.
- With the agile methodology, the people that live with the system begin to wonder, "Could we do... this? Could we bring that together in a report, and we could see that information in one place?" This type of mindset is what leads to creation of efficient and innovative processes leading to achieving your goals. We ensure the usage of the Agile methodology at all stages of an implementation from discovery to full implementation.
- Make peace with the Trade-offs
- The complexity in the technology is the trade off that should be made peace with. As long it is with the business process alignment, or with the user. Each has a cost. We concentrate on process and system, to relieve the complexities for the end user.
- Clicks are complexity. To decrease clicks, the complexity must live within the system. Further workflow automation is the key. Embrace system complexity, when it reduces user complexity and helps business process alignment. Our experienced consultants engage with key stakeholders to ensure that the complexity is not passed on to the end users.
- People, People, People
- People generally follow what they see. If leaders won’t change, why would anyone else?
Time and again we have seen and have validated that when the key business leaders adopt and embrace the change it percolates down. The input of the key stakeholder accelerates the work, and we accomplish more in two hours than we would in two days.
Adoption in the user base can also improve when someone is specifically acknowledged for their input. By recognizing and actively encouraging that individual, everyone within the team is driven to respond - by entering information, providing feedback, and more. Creating everyday heroes will drive a significant level of adoption.
But adoption starts at the top. Transparency means your product owner can’t tell everyone that everything’s fine, when it isn’t. When companies look to minimize — or even ignore — any level of change management, it can have a real impact on the overall adoption of the system.
Leaders must sell the system to end users in the same way that a product company would sell a product to customers. Who are the right people to sponsor and drive your adoption? It might be you. Or your CIO, or your sales/finance director. Or maybe all three. Thinking strategically about your early adopters and how to leverage them for full scale adoption is part and parcel of our implementation methodology.
These key sponsors have the authority to get the right people in the room, and they also frame the workshop. They set a vision of what you're trying to achieve. The adoption conversation starts when leaders share (through their words and actions) what really matters to the organization.
Upaya has developed a successful and widely embraced implementation methodology which has led to successful adoption of new technologies in organizations.
Till next time
l content adoption from Kerry Townsend