Humans naturally dislike change
Have you ever been challenged by a change in your life, big or small? Think about getting a new car, moving to a new city or having a job! They all have a big - if not huge - impact on our lives.
To face them, we sometimes need to remind ourselves that change happens for a (good) reason. But equally, the one thing we must (will) do is also to actively adapt. This is more or less difficult depending on the nature of the change itself, but fortunately adaptation skills are an integral part of our human nature.
This is fully applicable to how we react to new technologies. In every organization, employees have to deal with technology changes and we, as IT experts, almost always face some form of resistance from people. When employees do not perceive that a technology has a purpose, they are likely to not use it. The result is a waste of money, waste of time, frustration and justifications. Very often, the technology solution is not the issue, the absence of considerations for the “human side” of the change is.
This “human” side is unfortunately often overlooked or neglected, with the net effect that projects not only miss the expectations, in terms of performance and ROI, but also spawn off new problems like “shadow IT” and strain on people.
This blog post will guide you through the key principles that can be applied to ensure your solution is successful – in the eyes of everyone.
Start by considering humans in your projects
Technology solutions generate business outcomes, as long users adopt it! Therefore, the human factor is crucial in any technology adoption strategy. The more users engage with your technology, the more business cases they identify and the bigger the value they produce out of it. To ensure success of a technology, you must, after careful selection and users onboarding, manage the adoption.
A technology deployment has typically 3 main phases:
- Envision: select the technology that will help your business
- Onboard: setup the services and onboard users, define personas per population types
- Realize value: make users adopt it
Realizing value is the reason why your organization has chosen a technology, but in some cases that part is left out of focus during the process, and finally almost forgotten. We sometimes put all our efforts in the “Envision” and “Onboard” phases and wrongly assume that once features are ready-to-be-used, users will adopt them. “Realizing Value” is directly linked to user adoption and this phase, as important as the others, needs a proper strategy to be successful.
To manage adoption, you must build an actionable roadmap to:
1. Consider people
- Why: because users are central to your initiative ! People probably care less about precise features than what tangible benefits a technology can bring them. Moreover, they must be the focal point of the business cases – identifying which pains technology will solve, and provide feedback. A successful adoption will not happen without thoroughly involving users.
- How: mainly by conducting workshops. You need to help them discover step-by-step the new features and usages, while being able to answer any question or reluctance they might have regarding the new technology deployment. You need to identify personas and their work habits to integrate them in your strategy, and help them define business cases that are relevant for their daily operations. The closer you are to the employees, the more you solve their problems, the easier it will be to see the technology solution as a tangible benefit for each individual.
- Why: because technology impacts users. They need to be supported with changes, especially if the tech maturity is not too high. Therefore, you must consider being able to reach all user populations. They need assistance from a community to facilitate the transition to a new system, and don’t make them feel they are left behind. Users will have a hard time adopting a product if they do not feel they are supported by your organization.
- How: by supporting, communicating and gathering feedback. You need to build a community of champions who will drive awareness and education around the new technology, and advocates that are not IT people. They will help other employees with tools and best practices while feeling their pains and speaking their language. Ensure employees are not left on their own by allowing directional communication and feedback as much as possible. It is crucial to manage resistance and engage with users via different channels to expand the scope of your communication as much as possible.
- Why: because your adoption strategy needs agility and optimization. Having a real-time status of the success of your adoption will help you focus on activities that matter and put efforts where and when they are needed. It will also let you adjust and adapt as you go along, learning as you go along.
- How: by using analytics on usage, user impact and success metrics. You will want to gather information, indicators, which are often available through your current tools. For softer measures, like satisfaction, perception, user impact, you will want to gather indicators by conducting surveys and workshops for end users and managers. By analysing metrics that show understanding, progress, positive changes in working habits, overall satisfaction, your solution will deliver on the promised value. The more you measure, the more focused and agile your initiative will be !
To sum it up, when deploying a new technology, the following must be considered:
These drivers enable a successful technology adoption and avoid bad surprises caused by a “product-centric” approach. It is important to realise that a technology change is a transformation. People facing these changes resist if they are not assisted and encouraged to embrace them.
How do we help managing adoption?
We use a methodology based on Prosci– www.prosci.com – complemented by resources and tools that are designed to work with organizations of any size or type and at any stage of their transformation journey.
While each adoption strategy is specific to the organization’s culture and maturity, our methodology is flexible and adaptable. We deliver an assessment to help customers establish the current status of their journey and identify opportunities of improvement. This assessment aims to define key stakeholders and teams, scope the level of engagement and detect risks and challenges. It focuses on three dimensions:
- Human: user personas and business cases
- Technological: services and tools deployed
- Compliance: rules, regulations and security in place
Having a full comprehension of your environment enables us to build a successful adoption strategy for your organization.
Our approach enables your organization to start small and then scale up. We aim to deliver our customers a framework allowing them to become autonomous and implement continuous improvement.
Our methodology is divided in the following phases :
- Assess: assess the technological, human and compliance aspects to define the environment
- Plan: define a roadmap and plan to execute the strategy based on the assessment
- Pilot: meet teams and test use cases implementation to improve the framework
- Execute: onboard new teams and support them with the changes
- Measure: measure the success and refine the strategy where and when it is needed
Finally, we deliver a set of reports to track your progress and adapt your adoption strategy with actionable information. These dashboards give insights on the quality of your adoption strategy by providing feedback on:
- Technology: how it is used, by whom, what are the trends and gaps to fill?
- User impact: are employees satisfied, what outcomes do they generate, are they well trained and is your community successful?
These metrics are necessary to analyse and optimize your strategy. They highlight areas of improvement and success to adapt your approach when needed.
How do you start managing adoption?
With years of expertise in deploying digital solutions for enterprise accounts, Evolusys is the perfect partner to assist you in defining and implementing an adoption strategy. Our adoption practice mixes technology expertise (Smart Workplace and Analytics) and change management methodologies (Prosci) to implement a program that will help your organization realize value with digital transformation for the long term.
Start small, scale up, and don’t leave anyone out!