Driving adoption to maximise your digital workplace benefits

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In part one of this series, I talked about defining successful digital workplace adoption for your organisation and identifying activities and behaviours to measure success. In this article, I am going to cover the overall approach to adoption.

One possibility I brought up in my last post was to impose adoption by removing access to old services or banning things like travel for group meetings. This approach may be necessary to implement some changes, but organisations should strive to minimize resistance and any negative sentiment.

Ideally, adoption should be driven by end users because they understand the benefits of new services, whether to them as individuals or to the organisation as a whole. Thus, your approach should be aimed at minimising resistance and maximising the pull from users.

The first stage, which is fundamental to successful adoption, is to gain the buy-in of stakeholders across the business and from end users themselves.

To do this, you have to be able to describe how the new services will support business unit leaders in fulfilling their objectives and how they will improve the working lives of individual end users. You therefore need to describe the benefits of adoption in stakeholders’ language.

To do that, you must understand the business units’ perspectives, learn about their current challenges and any barriers to productivity. You need to know, what works well at the moment and what doesn’t work so well? What ideas for improvement do they have? This doesn’t mean you are seeking a wish list; you just want to identify the stakeholders’ definition of success.

It often seems that the best place to start these conversations is with supportive stakeholders and IT-friendly end users, but maybe you should try the most resistant ones too!

The next stage is to create a communications plan to sell the benefits to the wider organisation. Take what you learned from the stakeholder and end-user discussions, tailor the communications to the audience and use a variety of communications mechanisms and platforms to reach and engage with as many people as possible. This may include everything from social media messages to physically showcasing  demos in main offices. The communications plan will provide not just the initial “sell” but also the ongoing communications to keep the users engaged and informed throughout.

Once the end users are ready, make it easy to onboard and subsequently consume the new services. The most popular apps and websites do not require you to first invest time to learn how to use them, nor think too hard to get started. Adoption needs to be intuitive for a broad range of people.

As users are onboarded, measure and report on progress. Make progress visible to stakeholders, specific benefit owners and end users. You can create dashboards to provide visibility into adoption measures discussed in Part 1 of this series. These dashboards will show progress against targets and real-time benefits realisation to the IT sponsor and business leaders. Using analytics, you can gain insight into adoption patterns, thus identifying possible causes and consequently taking action to fix adoption problems.

Measuring and reporting on adoption provides valuable insight, but also consider the use of gamification to drive adoption. Gamification uses intrinsic rewards such as mastery, purpose and autonomy to drive user behaviours. A user may achieve a certain status by earning points for certain behaviours and activities, and that status may unlock additional features or administrative rights, such as becoming a site moderator in Yammer.

Alternatively, gamification may be used to highlight or promote individuals who are considered experts in their field because they produce and /or publish many items of content in a particular subject. Many websites use gamification techniques to encourage users to engage more deeply with the service – it’s not just about badges!


sally-headSally Weston is a Workplace Consultant within the MyWorkStyle Offering group where she helps customers to identify and realise the benefits of workplace transformation. She has over 30 years of IT experience, 25 of which was spent working in public sector and financial services before moving to CSC five years ago. The last 20 years of her career has been focused on workplace technology and maximising the value from that. She enjoys bringing the end-user perspective to technology strategy.

Sally lives with her partner in the south east of England and likes to spend much of her spare time cycling in the surrounding hills as well as bigger hills and mountains further afield!

RELATED LINKS

What matters most to today’s digital workplace? Context

These technologies are transforming the digital workplace

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