There is NO ROI without User Adoption
This article (Driving Adoption of Visual Collaboration Technology, by David Danto) was recently included in a UC industry newsletter. Though from September 2014, for the most part, this article still stands. It addresses many critical strategies for a successful Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) solution.
A few notes from the 2016 perspective…One missing consideration in the article, particularly in the user adoption category, is the Millennial factor. With Millennials now crossing 50% of the workforce, technology user adoption is faster than ever before. In fact it is pushed/demanded by the Millennial generation, even if the corporation isn’t already considering it. Lesson…embrace your Millennials, include them in the process, give them the leeway and responsibility to make it a success and it will happen. That’s how Millennials work. Just beware, if a better solution comes along a year or two later, they will be on that bandwagon, so choose carefully.
The other comments I would make in support of the article and bit further. Identifying your stakeholders from the get-go is the best policy. Be thorough here. Most organizations will leave out the most important people…think of the person everyone runs to with their hair on fire when something isn’t working and they need it 10 minutes ago before running into a meeting they’re late for…THIS is your most important stakeholder as those are the types of issues you most want to eliminate…work from there.
And finally, if you have an opportunity to let users “do the new process on paper first,” you’ll go miles! Have the highlights of what’s coming printed and users in possession of what this will look like as they go through their daily routine. Do this for about a month to six weeks (less will not hit all the tasks and processes it needs to; longer might cause users to lose interest). This “tests out” the new implementation, makes sure nothing is forgotten (like those quarterly or annual tasks vs. daily), and builds buyin to what’s coming (and excitement if you did it right). Users can imagine an easier, more valuable process before it even gets there, and are looking forward to it rather than dreading it. This simple step will go a very long way in creating buyin and adoption.
Most people are resistant to change, but there are strategies for overcoming them. The article and the hints contained here are a good start. A key consideration, change management is most effective when no one knows it’s happening. Sounds silly, but if you think about it, it makes complete sense. Humans = resistant to change. Humans know change coming = resistance. Follow? Therefore, change is most effective when people don’t know it’s happening. In other words, make it seamless – don’t put up a slide or distribute a “Change Management Plan.” That’s a surefire way to be done before you start. Identifying the stakeholders, engaging them, sitting with the process on paper, empowering your Millennials, and one more–Keep it Simple…beginnings of how to accomplish this.
Remember, there is NO ROI without adoption!