3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 19, 2010 12:43 PM by Steve Seide

    Who has the secret sauce?  Adoption Discussion

    Beverly Dunn Master

      What are several of your organization's greatest challenges with Adoption and Usage?  Let's discuss this and share ideas on what is working and what needs more attention.

        • Re: Who has the secret sauce?  Adoption Discussion
          Chris Ohl Journeyman



          I know there are a number of things that go into driving adoption (culture, training, etc).  One of the things that I hear over and over is that you need executive buy in and usage.  To go one step further, having an executive or even a high level manager use that software in a meeting sends a strong message.    See what I found below in an online blog:


          1.  First of all, using the software in a meeting that occurs regularly, preferably weekly, indicates (proof) that you (management) are regularly using the “new program.”  A majority of users always wait to see if the people who bought or mandate using the software are really serious about it.  i.e. will it be a passing fad and die out in a month.  Using it regularly in a meeting cuts through all of that right up front.


          2. Using it in a meeting immediately exposes who is keeping up with updates and data entry (two primary indicators of adoption).  You want the public visibility (transparency) to work for you.  It is a powerful double motivator of recognition and embarrassment, when a user’s updates are either present and well written or missing.  People respond to this motivator really quickly.


          3.  Using the software in meetings give you the opportunity to redefine attendance rights based upon software adoption.  Most people do not want to be excluded from meetings.  When you make attendance conditional on having their inputs into the software you are referencing in the meeting, it becomes an additional powerful shaper of behavior.


          Good advice.  I know it would work for me.

            • Re: Who has the secret sauce?  Adoption Discussion
              Steve Seide Journeyman

              Failed Internet-based, software integrations and implementations aren't new; incompatibilities between people, change resistance, new processes and technologies have always been a concern. But as the research reveals - even after a decade of industry advice about helping employees to help themselves, gaining insight into customers, better performance from employees, and smoother business operations... we still see the paradox and "road block" of end-user, buy-in rejection.


              So, how do we resolve that? There's the old adage, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make 'em drink. When you are spending so much money on implementation and customization - is this response ok? What do you do? Do you "force" it on them? Do you make the system mandatory and require them to log in everyday or their fired?


              Let's take a closer look at 3 principles that when used correctly will "guarantee" a successful software system implementation and user adoption... every single time.




              There are 2 types of training:

              1. System training

              2. Positioning training or psychological training


              System training is pretty self-explanatory. But what else? A more sophisticated method of training that can take the place of manuals and help documents is video tutorials or e-learning management training. Today, you can actually create interactive tutorial videos (pretty easily and cost-effectively), that literally take the user "by-the-hand" and walk them through a series of steps that they need to understand before the use the system.


              This type of training can be very effective in "showing" a user how to effectively leverage the system to their advantage... the right way vs. the wrong way to do things and how to be organized and efficient.


              The problem with training is the most companies do not do it correctly (through the proper blending of repetition, frequency and reinforcement), which leads to poor use of the systems.


              The second type of training that is as important to 'system training' (if not more important) is "positioning training". By "positioning training", put together a structured training plan that helps to ensure end user buy-in, right from the start. Incorporating PowerPoint slides or a video presentation that speaks specifically about the "whys" the system will make their lives easier is where you start. When information is carefully put at their fingertips, information that they would never have had readily available without your new technology is a huge benefit. Make sure you have some information to share about just that. An organized and orchestrated workflow process is another benefit that you want to purposely "push" to the front of their training. The key to all of this is proper positioning or "framing, if you will. When you position the benefits (not the features) properly and create some training around the "psychology" of why and how the new system will literally change their lives and the companies overall effectiveness and competitive edge - you go a long way to gain the proper mindshare and buy-in.


              Having an e-learning management solution working for you can be a very cost-effective method to generating fantastic employee buy-in.


              Management Buy-In


              Another key factor and the second principle is having your managers become advocates of your new technology. They really need to set the example for the rest of the group. The way you do this is to set up specific training for management that includes reporting, advanced tools, and methods to monitor and evaluate the use of your new system. Managers lead. When you can show the managers how many of their "administrative", time-consuming managerial "duties" are removed and their lives change as a result of using the system, e.g., better monitoring of their employees, quick information at their fingertips, increased productivity... they end up caring more about the system, and when they care and use it daily - the rest of the organization usually follows.


              The Isolation of Champions


              The highest recommendation in rolling out a new system, no matter how big is to start small. Elect a small group, a test pilot group to work through your system and provide feedback. By getting feedback from a small group of heavy users. You are able to work out all the "kinks" before pushing the system out to the entire company. Pilot projects are also great in helping to establish realistic expectations, benchmarks and business goals of your new system.


              You'll need to make sure you have "key" people representing all functional areas of the departments that will be using your new system... this way no group is left out, no stone left unturned and no room for excuses or complaints later on. When all employees get the sense that their opinions are important and more importantly, have been considered during the development and implementation process... their buy-in becomes more natural.

              When you do this and you do this right - you actually develop "champions" of your new system, who will help bridge the gap between implementation and usability. Your champions will rally the troops around your new system and will help make your "launch" as successful as it can be.

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            • Re: Who has the secret sauce?  Adoption Discussion
              Rachel McDowell Novice

              Hi All - this is a great topic, and I wanted to chime in on the topic of training.  I was a member of Ariba's Education team for two years and have spent the last two years as a Customer Success Manager.  Training is certainly a key to successful customers.  One of my favorite analogies is that if you buy a smart phone - you can probably figure out how to make a call on your own- but you will probably miss the majority of the other functionality/apps without reading the manual.


              Training takes away a great deal of the intimidation that users may have with the roll out of a new solution - it can also generates a lot of excitement.  Once users see how much they can do and how this could improve their efficiency/make their jobs easier, they return to their desks with a lot of enthusiasm for implementation.  One of my favorite parts of being an instructor was to see how the attitudes of students would shift during a class.


              There are different levels or trainings offered.  Ariba can come to you and teach your users onsite, you can send people to attend our open sessions, we can conduct a 4 hour WebEx for your users.  You can see the current training offerings on www.aribauniversity.com - or reach out to your Customer Success Manager.


              In my current role, when I see companies cut costs by skipping training, they often have a slower rate of adoption and/or they have issues during deployment because they are not fully aware of the capabilities of the tool.  The costs of time of efficiency are much higher in the long run than those who properly train their users.


              Also, the Customer Success Team hosts a series of Lunch n' Learn sessions that walk users through different aspects of our tools (i.e. Reporting, Running Auctions, Building a Clause Library).


              Contracts will be the focus of the Lunch n'Learns through the end of the year.  The first in the series will be on Tuesday, November 23 covering how to set up a document.

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