Adoption & Effective Use

Insights on Adoption: Why an Adoption Approach is Required

Current Practices Don’t Work
– IT departments frequently approach new collaboration and social business initiatives as a technology project. Success is defined as making the system available to the organization.
– When IT departments push out new collaboration tools without any engagement with business users, the new tools are rejected and the investment wasted.
– Many collaboration tools, business intelligence initiatives, and social business strategies have been wrecked on the rocks of poor adoption. The organization would have been better to never start.

What Is Needed Instead
– A way of dealing with the people side of new collaboration and social business initiatives. The technology is important – to a degree – but the human and business factors are much more so.
– An adoption approach translates the vision of improved ways of collaborating into relevant business terms that resonate with business users.
– An adoption approach is a shared statement of approach for how to demonstrate the value of new ways of collaborating.
– An adoption approach provides a timeline for introducing new ways of collaborating to the organization, enabling stakeholders to focus effort on the most compelling changes.
– An adoption mindset creates a way for the organization to learn from its past successes and failures when introducing new tools. It can be used to inform future efforts, making success more repeatable.

Sample Adoption Program
The size of the organization, the nature of the cultural change, and the number of work practice scenarios being revisited are all variables that affect the adoption program. As the dimensions across these variables increase, the scale and scope of the adoption program will increase as well. For non-complex situations, the adoption program may last for 2-3 months. For more complex situations, attention to adoption will be required over an 18-36 month timeframe.

There are a number of common aspects that need to be addressed across all adoption programs. These include:

  1. Reviewing the Organizational Context … including the strategy that drove the acquisition of new collaboration or social business tools, and the feedback from business engagement sessions.
  2. Building the Team for the Adoption Program … identifying internal people who will support and drive the adoption program. Running the User Adoption Strategies in-house workshop to ensure everyone on the team has a common vocabulary.
  3. Identifying Initial Departments, Groups, and Teams … identifying the key departments, groups, and teams that would benefit from a new way of collaborating, and have a willingness to be involved in the first phase of the adoption program.
  4. Holding Exploratory Workshops to Understand Work Practice and Culture … running exploratory workshops with the initial departments, groups, and teams to understand their current ways of working, the opportunity for improvement, and the relevant work practice scenarios to target.
  5. Drafting the Adoption Approach … preparing an initial list of strategies to be used during the initial phase of the adoption program, and preparing the resources to help with these. For example, if Executive Support is identified as a relevant strategy for Stage 1 (Winning Attention), work with selected executives to prepare them to offer action-oriented support during the adoption program.
  6. Implementing the Adoption Approach … work with the various departments, groups, and teams to help them understand what is possible and re-imagine a new way of working. Help them make the transition through relevant strategies.
  7. Monitoring the Adoption Program … observing how the organization is responding to the chosen adoption strategies, and modifying or fine-tuning the selected strategies in order to maximize effectiveness.
  8. Creating Adoption Artifacts … capture good ideas and approaches from business groups that can be used to further encourage adoption and drive the program forward. For example, when a business group achieves great success with a particular change in work practice, document that for sharing with other similar groups (the Exemplar Stories strategy).
  9. Planning, Implementing, Monitoring, Adjusting … drive a sense of the value and benefit the organization can achieve by changing to a new way of working. Implement relevant strategies from the user adoption toolkit. Monitor what works, and adjust the program as required to increase effectiveness.
  10. Broadening the Footprint … expand the adoption program to new departments, groups, and teams. Where appropriate, leverage the core strategies that have worked for the organization during the previous adoption activities.

Getting Started
Please contact Michael immediately to discuss how to bring new collaborative approaches to life in your organization, and to explore how Michael can assist with your adoption program.

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