Adoption & Effective Use

Adoption Strategies at Firms Using Central Desktop

In a month I’ll be attending and speaking at Collabosphere 2015, the PGi / Central Desktop user conference in Austin TX. In advance of my two sessions I spoke with some Central Desktop customers about their adoption framework, and it was heartening to hear the strategies employed.

Common approaches across the customers were:

– Executive support. When executives sponsored the use of Central Desktop, and were actively involved themselves in the use of the tool, results were better than when executives were indifferent.

– Making it fit to purpose. After signing up for Central Desktop, a few people at each firm spent a month or two learning the features and capabilities of the tool, and asking what those features would mean / could mean for their work and approach. A careful thought process about the implications of capabilities led to good use.

– Good engagement with teams / groups / individuals. The firms shifted from having no tool in place (aside from Excel spreadsheets and email for tracking collaborative work) to using Central Desktop as a single source of the truth, a single place to check, and the system for everything going on. To lead people to this outcome, key people in the firms worked closely with teams / groups / individuals to understand the opportunities for using the tool, and showing them what could be done.

– Making it mandatory. Setting the social expectation that “once implemented, Central Desktop will be the only place through which we get work done” was much more effective than when a tool was optional. The surrounding context of this strategy is important, too, such as (a) people knowing this is going to happen, (b) appropriate testing and engagement activities carried through, and (c) executive support for this approach.

I’ll be talking about these and other lessons at Collabosphere 2015, but in advance of the conference, it is cool to see some firms taking effective approaches to making new things work well.