Avoid the Big Software Fail!

Here are 10 strategies to maximize software user adoption.

According to reports, the two most important factors in realizing the value of software are user adoption and organizational change management.

According to a McKinsey study, ROI of software rollouts was 35% when there was little or no organizational change management included. However, the ROI was 143% when excellent organizational change management was included in the initiative. For successful software user adoption, users must be motivated as well as have any hurdles that stand in their way removed. Below are some common hurdles that I have encountered when it comes to software adoption:

  • Users either do not have access to the data they need or the data as it exists is not in the right format for them
  • Users do not prioritize time to get familiar with the software
  • Users do not see how the software will benefit them
  • Users try to use the software and they get stuck and do not know where to go for help
  • Leadership does not communicate the context and the why behind the software adoption

To help overcome these hurdles and maximize motivation, companies should focus on 10 strategies that fall into four change management and adoption pillars:

Avoid epic fails in #BI software user adoption with these 10 strategies:

Leadership Commitment and Change Readiness

  1. Organizational change management – Explain the benefits to each of the adopters. In order for users to be successful, they typically have to believe the change will help them do their job better.
  2. Understand the barriers and help overcome them – Understand what barriers and obstacles will be in the way for the adopters and why they may not want to change and put an action plan in place to overcome them.
  3. Leverage leadership and sponsors - Ensure your leadership and sponsors are engaged and actively supporting this project with executives and the cross-functional leadership needed to make it successful.
  4. Organizational alignment to change – Ensure that the rollout and change aligns with the organization’s culture, mission, and strategy.

    Role Design
  5. Effective role design – It is important to define each role that will be using the software (i.e. consumers, developers, administrators), and articulate their responsibilities and how they should communicate with each other.
  6. Role-based data and applications – Ensure that the consumers have access to only what they need to have access to. For example, if a regional VP of sales is looking at their sales dashboard, they should only see data specific to their region. If they need to compare their region to another region, the other region should show aggregates and not overwhelm the user with row level data.

  7. Communicate the why – Communicate to the entire team why you are rolling out this software, what will the benefits be, and be sure to include benefits to the adopters themselves and not just organizational benefits.
  8. Communicate the successes and the challenges – After the launch, continue to communicate successes, as well as being open about challenges. Gather feedback and adjust your approaches as needed.

    Training and Enablement
  9. The right training at the right time – Enablement is not a one size fits all approach. As part of user adoption, there are different training needs at different times and for different users.
  10. Include training and performance support – Once the software is deployed, ensure that you are not only providing formal learning options to the users, but identify performance support tools, like the Qlik Continuous Classroom, that can provide just-in-time support whenever a user requires it.

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