User Adoption: Strategies for Successful Software Implementation
Bringing in new technology or updating technology platforms can mean higher productivity rates, increased capabilities, and general improvements in just about every company. But before you can see any of these benefits, new technology must be adopted successfully for it to deliver any of the positive outcomes it may have promised. Pinpointing exactly how to define successful user adoption training usually focuses on the desired outcome: increased productivity.
While rolling out new technology may ultimately lead to greater productivity, solid change management, training and support plan should be implemented to ensure that employees are comfortable with the new technology and can utilize it effectively. When user adoption is low or slow, new technologies can create lag times in productivity, low morale and ultimately may impact a company's bottom line. To avoid potential problems when new technologies are introduced, it is vital to create a solid user adoption strategy – let's get started on some top tips!
Business Strategy Alignment
Some of us enjoy upgrades in technology and the amazing new abilities it can bring to our lives. In fact, the urge to swap out hardware based on the brand name is a common occurrence but doing so doesn’t necessarily bring improvement to productivity - how often do you replace your cell phone? Bringing on new technology because it is newer or more advanced doesn’t guarantee successful technology user adoption either. Instead, technology that is closely aligned with the purpose and strategic goals of a company and its employees have a much higher likelihood of being implemented successfully. Technology that fills a defined purpose and meets a specific goal is more likely to be adopted successfully by users who can understand its purpose and how it contributes to their tasks. Ultimately, how it makes their life easier.
A lack of adequate, meaningful training can be a major reason that user adoption is not successful, since employees cannot implement a technology they do not know how to use or do not see as valuable in their role. Two phases of training should be provided in this crucial step in the adoption process. As part of the implementation, staff training should clearly and directly show employees how the new technologies integrate into their jobs, and how to best utilize the technology to meet the company’s stated goals and purposes. Once the technology is introduced, ongoing staff training should be provided to help employees understand how to best optimize its use going forward.
Change Management - Whole Team Buy-in
When stakeholders in the company understand the value of implementing new technology, they are more likely to support it. Change management, communication, and training are key when creating a successful implementation of technology. All employees, whether they will be using the technology themselves, managing the technology or overseeing others who do, must understand the added value the new technology will bring to everyone in the company. Once the benefits are clearly outlined in relation to their role, employees are more likely to adopt the new technology.
Just like some of us need a little longer to pick up a new skill, some employees will benefit from a personalized or more targeted approach to new technology implementation. Once the initial rollout and training have occurred, regular check-ins with users can identify those who may want or need more support. One-on-one instruction with an expert can reaffirm how your new software or technology directly applies to their role and how it can improve their daily work life. Bringing in a contract instructor for this kind of tailored support may be the best way to ensure successful technology user adoption.
Implementation & Evaluation
The last key to successful technology implementation, such as Salesforce, SAP, or Workday is to evaluate the effectiveness of the preparation, training, implementation, and ultimately, user adoption. A few questions to ask in this evaluation are:
Does every employee know how to use the technology well?
Is the technology being used as expected?
Have any unexpected outcomes been observed because of the implementation?
Are there any problems or bugs with the technology that need to be addressed?
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