Health and nutrition are important to me. As I was raising a family, I naturally assumed that my family members would incorporate that same priority into their lives. Wow, I sure was wrong. It took quite a while until I understood that I needed to educate them, involve them in decisions, and help them to understand why living a healthy lifestyle was important for them. Imagine my surprise when I realized that incorporating a similar framework at work would be useful for encouraging product adoption.
What are the keys to ensuring the successful adoption of a new product throughout an organization?
Having a user-friendly and feature-rich piece of software is important but that, alone, does not guarantee adoption within an organization. In fact, I’ve seen organizations go through a detailed software implementation only to find the solution is being used minimally.
When an organization follows a framework that incorporates education, involvement, and understanding adoption increases significantly. The following recommendations can help you to drive software adoption within your own organization.
Involve others. Gathering input from a wide cross-section of people will always provide additional perspectives and fresh ideas, ultimately improving the output of whatever you do. Consider who may be internal evangelists and help to drive adoption and recruit them to your team. Brainstorm with this team and let them help to take the message to others. Gather input on the benefits and the problems the solution will solve for users. Be sure to identify any historical land mines that need to be avoided and important priorities that the solution aligns to and need to be communicated.
Share and celebrate early wins. People like to partner with success. The sooner that you can get others excited about real results, the more momentum you will build. Consider creating a pilot that can be used to generate a quick win or to tweak the roll-out plan that will ultimately produce the quick win. Find creative and fun ways to incent others to get involved so they will jump on the bandwagon sooner.
Keep it simple. At the heart of everything you do, be sure to keep it simple as you involve others. Keep the message simple. Keep the value simple. Keep the interface simple.
Target you message. Your days may be consumed with understanding the new technology or with tweaking processes; however, this is not what will excite your users. Communicate the outcome and the value. Your users will be excited about how the solution will improve their day-to-day lives, make a part of their job easier, or make them successful. The software and process will simply enable your users to achieve the desired outcome and value. Keep in mind, however, that you will have a diverse audience so make sure to tailor your message and value proposition according to your audience.
Remember the learning curve. Not everyone will learn or adapt at the same pace. Continue to educate and demonstrate, keeping your communication simple and varying it periodically. Provide a variety of training options so you can appeal to different learning styles. Email may reach some people while others would prefer short videos.
These recommendations are not a one-size-fits-all and every product and solution is different. In every case, consider your individual culture and adapt the framework to meet the unique needs of your organization. Doing so will increase your product adoption. Remember, change takes time and ongoing follow-up. I’m happy to report that following these guidelines helped my kids adopt my healthy lifestyle as well.