Technology initiatives carry a great deal of risk, and even the best-run project can sink if your users are resistant to adoption. Whether you're implementing enterprise sales tools out-of-the-box or a custom intranet solution, user adoption determines the success of your project. The correct time to begin thinking about adoption isn't after your go-live date – it’s in the initial planning phases of a technology initiative. Check out seven of the most common mistakes organizations make that lead to employee resistance, and learn how you can avoid these at your company.
1. Poor Employee Knowledge
In many cases, employees aren't naturally resistant to a new technology initiative. They may just lack the knowledge necessary to do their jobs effectively on launch day. As Dave Cosgrove writes, "insufficient training...fail[s] to inform and empower the user." Avoid generic training plans or limited real-world simulation, to ensure your knowledge sharing is effective.
2. A Lack of Executive Sponsorship
If your leadership team doesn't champion your new initiative, your end users may wonder why they should care. Gaining the support of your management team to reinforce positive behaviors can be crucial to achieving a lasting organizational impact. At many organizations, converting leadership into super users via a "train the trainer" program can improve support rates.
3. Poor Post-Launch Planning
Your adoption and training efforts can't cease to exist when your new technology is launched. Create a post-launch plan, and implement it! Form a governance team, provide continued user training, and inact an infrastructure maintenance plan. In addition to maintaining your new intranet or other custom technologies, you should plan to perform ongoing training to ensure employees are empowered to use their new tool.
4. It's Just Not the Right Tool
If you have a strong track record of failed technology initiatives, despite excellent training programs, you could be suffering from poor technology selection. 44% of IT leaders believe their projects have failed due to a "need to customize solutions." Though some pre-built solutions, like Intranet, fit the needs of many organizations, custom-build solutions may be more realistic for others.
5. Feature Overload
Trying to implement a new software with all of the bells and whistles can result in overwhelmed users and poor results. Focus on your organization's core needs first, then consider adding additional features that will enhance the user experience. You don't want to distract your users from the main goal of your new technology. Strive to meet your key objectives first, and you will be able to set a more reasonable deployment plan and increase user adoption.
6. Not Sharing the "Why"
Your employees may know the "how to" of your new technology, but do they know how it fits into the greater picture of your strategy? Regardless of whether you're trying to drive productivity or cost savings, educating your employees on the big-picture benefits can be an important aspect of change management.
7. You're Not Measuring
Do your executive team members or your employees know what acceptable use of your new technology even looks like? Without metrics and goals, it can be difficult to define and identify success or failure. Organizations should strive to actively reward their early adopters, promoters, and power users.
Technology initiatives can represent an enormous commitment of resources, from licensing and development costs, to time and effort. When your user adoption rates are disappointing, it can feel like your resources have been wasted. By understanding the most common mistakes that lead to poor user adoption, you can build controls into your project planning process.
If you're struggling with user adoption on your intranet, know you're not alone. Codesigned specializes in creating wonderful user experiences for intranets, extranets, and other solutions within the SharePoint platform. Request a call with one of our SharePoint experts, or view a live demo of our pre-built solution, IntranetPro.