10 Things to Consider in Creating a User Adoption Plan

By Chandler Milne, August 03, 2015
10 Things to Consider in Creating a User Adoption Plan

An end-user adoption plan is a critical piece to the "success puzzle" of any software rollout. By putting together a comprehensive plan, you're just about a zillion times more likely to be successful.

It's been our privilege to work with hundreds of clients to help them create their own user adoption plans or to use ours. These are ten things we encourage you to think about.

1. Identify your audience
Think about your users. Identify what they do for your organization, what software skills/features they need to do their jobs, and what motivates them. This information will take a vanilla training to the next level. People will love you for tailoring your approach to their wants and needs.

2. What does success look like?
If you don't know where you want to go, you'll never get there. Doesn't our favorite Cheshire Cat have something to say on that?

3. Early and frequent communication is important
Don't leave your users in the dark, let them know change is coming. Better yet, let them know why change is coming and its benefits. This will build affinity and awareness for the new software and a desire to use it.

4. True software adoption isn't measured in days or weeks
Let's get real, if you expect users to be productive in your new software after only sitting in a conference room for half a day, listening to an IT guy explain why their computers are different, you are crazy. Good training and true adoption require long-term investment. It pays off, we promise.

5. People learn in all sorts of ways
We all know this, so why don't we do something about it? Make sure you've got all sorts of delivery methods and content types covered, this way you can ensure better uptake.

6. Not everyone learns at the same speed
This falls under the same philosophy, some will need some hand holding and others will surprise you.

7. Humans are social creatures
Leverage this! Don't underestimate social mediums and venues like the lunch room, clubs, groups, intranet sites, and enterprise social solutions (like Yammer). These can be powerful tools for spreading adoption and creating interest.

8. Leverage early adopters
Find ways to capture the enthusiasm, expertise, and influence of the early adopters in your organization. They can do wonders for helping others adopt new software.

9. Training isn't a destination
Don't fool yourself into thinking that your users are going to go looking for that beautiful piece of training content that you created and subsequently buried on some page in SharePoint. You've got to find ways to put learning material where your users are working. Integrate yourself into their workday so that learning something knew isn't a chore.

10. Email is still king
Make sure you have a plan for getting into users' inboxes. You'll be amazed how powerful just one email can be in accelerating your cause.

What are some roadblockers that are keeping you and your organization from adoption success?

What now?

Kickstart your adoption plan by avoiding some of the roadblock to training success. Download our whitepaper, Overcoming Roadblocks to Software Training and Migration, to help you plan for pitfalls in your training and adoption plan.

Chandler Milne

A jack-of-all-trades kind of guy, Chandler has varied interests and skill sets including marketing, athletics, technology, woodworking, and learning. If Chandler's not thinking about BrainStorm or a new way to improve his house (and drive his wife crazy), he's probably not thinking at all.

Follow him on Twitter: @chandlermilne

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