One of the main reasons I get asked to join a project or speak to a customer is when the value of a technology or the success of its implementation is being measured by User Adoption numbers and the goal is to reach some magical number, in a sustainable way, that will proclaim (and define) the technology’s worth to the business. It’s not often that the discussion starts with a particular business challenge or pain, it’s always about moving users to the new platform, getting the users accustomed to and knowledgeable with using a new technology.
This approach is rarely successful, even when some businesses over a period of time meet their magical number goal. Which generally happens as a direct result of users being targeted and migrated over to the new platform or technology with little to no input or the ability to opt out of the migration process or by happenstance, when the incumbent technology is being retired or its deficient features are impacting the users to such an extent they have no other choice but to begrudgingly move to the new platform or use the new technology. Users see these as forced moves, rather than ones that depict confidence in the new platform or a desire to embrace the change. And this is precisely the experience I work actively with my customers to avoid during a new platform move or technology implementation.
Why is your company looking to move to a new platform? Why does the business need a new technology? Why do you think your organisation will benefit from a change in the way it currently operates and does business?
This is where the Business Architect in me really kicks in and I work to help my customers not only find the root of their true challenges or pain points, but help them articulate these in a way that others can understand and in a way that can help them form a Vision for their workplace of the future. Once the customer has reached this point of awareness, the focus on just User Adoption seems now to be very narrow and limits the impact they are trying to have on their business. The customer now sees the bigger picture.
However, even with that awareness and vision, a customer will still want (and need) some sort of measurement or KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to gauge and demonstrate the impact the platform or technology has had on the business. It is an essential requirement in validating the Vision and justifying the investment made. Hence the original ask (and task) of reaching a magical User Adoption number. Its an easy metric and most platforms, products and technologies have a way to capture usage, activity and even (in some cases) idleness. All of which make the process of measuring success seem very easy. Unfortunately, easy rarely equals success and in most cases results in inconsistent User Adoption spikes during and after the initial deployment of a platform or technology. This in turn leads to a less than realised Vision and less than optimal user experience.
So the question then becomes… How do we show success?
Quickly followed by… How do we measure success?
Over the next couple of weeks I will touch on and share the six essential building blocks, I believe, are needed to answer the questions above as well as tackle the original ask of increasing (or ensuring) User Adoption. As a teaser of the topics to come, I will leave you with the following…