The other day, I talked to a cloud solution provider about their deployment and change management methodologies. From my side, I was curious to see what experiences we can exchange with them, as since 3 years I am strongly involved to drive user adoption for our knowledge sharing platform.
I would like to briefly introduce two methods they have presented. You will see, these are very generic and can be applied in environments of any solutions provider. The first method is looking at how to tackle change and address new user behaviours:
- Readiness: analyse the current status (culture, governance, target audiences); obtain management commitment; establish a communication plan
- Communication: create excitement; market the benefits; deliver the elevator pitch
- Training: self-service training, dedicated workshops, ad-hoc support
The second method I would like to mention is how could the roll-out be phased:
- Core IT users: test the solution and processes; train the support staff
- Early Adopters: validate the solution; engage the enthusiasts and super users
- Global Go-live: finally distribute the tool to everybody; apply the new behaviours
Taking a step back… When we talk about Change Management then we should also mention Kotter and and his eight step change process:
- Establishing a Sense of Urgency
- Creating the Guiding Coalition
- Developing a Change Vision
- Communicating the Vision for Buy-in
- Empowering Broad-based Action
- Generating Short-term Wins
- Never Letting Up
- Incorporating Changes into the Culture
With this background I would like to compare the above mentioned approach with the proven, academic method. Here are the links I have identified:
- urgency / vision / short-term win: these three aspects are covered by defining clear business goals and formulate them in a crisp elevator speech; further, the readiness analysis builds the basis that the project is steered in the desired direction
- coalition / empowerment: with the involvement and the help of enthusiast we are easily covering both aspects
- communication: this point has a very dominant position in the change methodology with documentation and communication planning
- persistence / embedding in culture: these two aspects are tricky and vital at the same time; they are covered with the on-going support and by measuring success
The methods the solution provider is applying to drive user adoption for cloud collaboration tools don’t show big surprises, build on common sense, and relate to a proven approach. Though what I like about it is that the steps are summarised in a very simple formula. And as such these might support to establish new behaviours with the end users and that they are using the tools you are presenting to them in a desired way.
How do you drive user adoption?
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