I seem to be disappointed more and more lately. Disappointed that dollars invested in, quality technology is being put at risk, and then going to waste.
Believe me, or don’t. I fundamentally want organisations and individuals to achieve great outcomes when they spend any amount of dollars on technology. Especially when it’s either a significant investment (in dollars and time) or of critical importance to that organisation.
We all know there is risk involved in change; be it a change in process or, pertinent to my profession, what you risk when you invest significant money in IT projects. In this blog I want to focus on one element of risk in IT projects: quality user adoption. Not just at ‘go-live’ but afterwards, in one week, next year, in five years. Will users still have quality adoption? Will they still use the technology well, and follow the right business process? If they don’t, the investment is at risk!
Let’s just say we have a great project. Functional requirements met. IT governance delivered. Testing done. Of course on budget and on time. Sounds great! Even this nirvana of a project has major risk. If we don’t ensure there is a framework to ensure users adopt the technology and business process now and in the future, that investment is at risk, despite a ‘great’ project.
When we define business objectives of an IT project, it’s not just to the point of go-live; right? Normally, the objectives are long term. For example, we want to respond to all in-bound customer complaints within 30 minutes. We need to make sure that on day zero, day 360 and year 5, all users know the technology that supports this key objective, and the business process. We need to make sure both the objectives and the processes are learnt the ‘right way’, not merely ‘passed on’. Otherwise that objective won’t be realised.
Good user adoption and on-going performance of users significantly reduces the risk profile of a project.
Despite my focus here on technology change, I’m talking about any change. It doesn’t mean a change in technology, it may be a change in process using existing systems.
How do we achieve effective user adoption?
Firstly, it’s on-going. It can’t just be about the first round of training or documentation provided. It’s about educating the next person, and the next person. It’s about evolving training material as process and software changes. This needs to be quick, easy and sustainable.
And secondly, we now have to educated the ‘modern learner’. Class room training and out-dated documentation won’t educate this audience. Both are expensive and unsustainable longer term. Nor do they provide information at the right time. The modern learner wants specific information; at the exact moment they need it. In a format they choose.
That can all be tricky to achieve right? This is where a clever technology fits in. You need technology that is easy to use, provides education format choice, embeds the information ‘in context’ in the software or place we need it at the ‘how do I do’ moment.
PerformancePlus performance support is a great example of this technology. It provides the above capability in an easy to adopt tool. If used as part of your next project, the risk profile around that investment reduces, successful change is realistic, uses are happier, and personally, my disappointment moves towards satisfaction.
My great hope is my disappointment levels will drop as I can now help with the user adoption challenge with PerformancePlus. It delivers all these capabilities that businesses need.
You can read more about Professional Advantage and PerformancePlus here.
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