How to Inspire End User Adoption
December 21, 2009 7 Comments
If your organization struggles with end user adoption for new processes and technologies then this post will help. The practical insights provided below have been proven to work whether deploying a new CRM system or a new process within existing technology.
The seeds of end user adoption are planted long before implementation. The secret is to create a sense of ownership and positive anticipation leading up to deployment.
Consider the foundational meaning of the word “adoption”. When a parent “adopts” a child, they take one that belonged to another and makes them their own. By this definition, true adoption goes beyond meeting the minimum requirements to a sense of personal responsibility and expected value.
To create a sense of ownership, create a committee (whether formal or informal) that is to actively participate in shaping the process or technology being deployed. This team should have at least one representative from each role being effected. Guide them to provide input at pre-established milestones.
Be sure to listen carefully and value their input. Give them a sense of ownership. Only the true owner of a project can offer a sense of ownership to selected others. If you do this well, they will advocate the new process to their peers well before implementation. You will have actually effected the culture, which will not be easily changed.
Now, what if we still have an issue with adoption; what if 100% of your sales team members are not passionate evangelists of your process (imagine that!)?
This is where the stick comes in. The stick is to be used only when the carrot doesn’t work. Willful adoption is always more effective than forced adoption.
The following guidelines will help you to continuously increase adoption:
1. Establish metrics to measure adoption AND the expected results of adoption.
2. Use the metrics you established.
3. Acknowledge those who are adopting well and highlight their positive results to their peers.
4. Point out those who are not adopting well.
5. Managers, hold your team members accountable. Manage beyond metrics. Interact with each member.
6. Executives, hold your managers accountable to holding their team members accountable.
How do you drive adoption? You don’t. You inspire adoption!