Having been in the business of transferring large numbers of users from one technology to another over a fair few years now, it is fair to say that the core focus of many IT Transformation teams has been on getting the technology, device and software right. Whilst I would never dispute this focus, as technology is a key enabler, I have in recent projects, seen a real shift in our customers’ priorities. Whilst the technology element remains paramount, the focus has moved to a far more “user-centric” approach to transformations borne out by these direct client quotes: ‘It’s all about the user’, ‘The user experience is key’, ‘We must ensure the user is aware of the change and that we train and support them correctly’.
As a result of this shift, our Communications, Business Engagement, Learning and Support solutions have become as important to our customer as the new technology being implemented. For a successful and smooth transformation, we know we must manage the ‘user’ expectations from the beginning to the end of the change process. Ensuring they are fully informed and understand the ‘what, when and how’, and that they are ready to embrace change is a fundamental component of success. Through various training and support methods, we ensure they understand and use the new technology to the best advantage, by creating interest, understanding and capability in the user base.
So this brings up the critical adoption questions, our customers are asking;
‘How do I know that my users have adopted to new digital ways of working?’
‘We have put OneDrive out there, but I am not sure if it is really being used correctly and I am not sure we are seeing any benefits.’
‘Skype is in, but we still have problems with meeting rooms availability and we don’t see any changes in our travel costs.’
To answer these questions, and to drive real adoption in the workplace, we work with our customers to look at the real business benefits (per business area) for their new digital tools.
The following video talks more about Digital Transformation and the critical importance of user adoption.
A structured approach to achieving success
Our MACRO© Adoption model is outcome based, so our conversations during early scoping are about understanding business needs. For example, reduce travel costs and overcome meeting room problems, which means the ‘Adoption goal’ is to get users to work in new ways, ensure there is a change in their behaviours and they start using Skype, so we will see reduced travel costs and more productive staff, with more effective and timely meetings.
Another important part of Adoption is not only to ensure we understand the adoption goals and possible targets, but also to discuss with our customers how we are going to measure adoption. We have a number of ways and normally involve system measurement activity with the likes of Power BI and also through surveys and questionnaires to the business. The use of specific tools and when we measure is all discussed in early scoping. The important part of measurement is not only to understand if the change of behaviour is taking place, but if it isn’t, we need to deliver further learning interventions and measure again.
So wrap that up with some good communications to the users, strong engagement with the business to understand the goals of the different business areas and their user personas; some outcome based, targeted training and support and ongoing measurement and we will see the behavioural change and adoption to the new ways of working is really taking place.
A customer story
One of our customers asked me the other day, ‘what are the key things we need to do make their Digital Transformation a success?’, so I thought it valuable to summarise my view on the critical components that drive success:
- A planned Business Engagement model, the on boarding of Business Champions/Digital Mentors, ‘go to’ people in each business area, who understand their business needs and understand their user personas and become the advocates of change.
- A robust, yet engaging communications plan and collateral that provides the ‘what’s in it for me’ information and keeps the users engaged and ready to accept change.
- Targeted and flexible learning, that is right for the user and with additional early life support for ‘How do I’ or ‘Ask the Expert’ that really helps that adoption happen.
- And finally, clearly defined adoption outcomes and goals and an upfront agreement to the ongoing measurement processes to ensure these happen
About QA Group
QA helps individuals and organisations achieve their potential through world-class Learning Strategy and Solutions. This includes: training and certification, innovative Talent Solutions that solve both business critical skills and capability gaps, Business Transformation solutions, enabling change and transformation through engagement and education of workforces, and Managed Learning Services. In addition, QA provide consultancy, apprenticeships and post graduate degrees on a range of technical, business and leadership subjects. With over 22 UK training centres – including Apprenticeships, Consulting and Cyber Academies – and a range of online learning options, QA offer an unparalleled set of learning solutions to both private and public sector organisations.
As Director of Solutions within QA, Tessa designs and develops services that help our customers and their users manage change and adoption when there is an implementation of new systems within an organisation, taking care of the important human element in IT projects. By listening to customers her team brings IT projects to life offering consultancy services in formulating and implementing employee behavioural change and communications strategies, developing and managing channels for engagement and advising senior stakeholders on the best ways to support and communicate change and encourage learning and adoption within their organisation. Tessa began her IT career with Computacenter over 30 years ago, when she moved to QA in 2006 she brought a strong track record of success, developing and delivering IT change programmes, encompassing thousands of users across multiple customers, industries and locations. She now leads the QA Project practice team and continues to develop end to end solutions that support IT change and adoption.