When you’re introducing new technologies or new ways of working (or both) you also need the right strategies, processes and expertise as you set out on your journey to user adoption. Even if you have the best tools on the market and tailor them to fit your organization’s exact needs, getting users on board is often a challenge.
To succeed in user adoption terms, your digital workplace demands thorough, research-based design, expert implementation and migration, change management and ongoing support.
1) User Research & Design
The overall goal in conducting user research is to avoid making assumptions about how people actually use the tools in your digital workplace. Too often, user experience (UX) research is an afterthought when organizations are gearing up for a new technology initiative, but if you rely on faulty assumptions at this stage, those errors are likely to multiply throughout the project. The result is a solution that doesn’t achieve your business objectives — and that few employees are likely to use.
To avoid letting faulty assumptions derail your initiative, start at the beginning with sound UX research. When it’s time to design the user interface (UI), you want to continue using research to identify and validate problems as new issues emerge. To ensure an intuitive, user-friendly system, it’s important to make design decisions that reflect the intent of the project and your research findings.
2) Configuration, Implementation & Migration
Once your team has created a research-based solution to your business problems, it’s time to implement your digital workplace. The hard part about this stage is that you need a consultant that not only understands the UX design process, but also understands the technology’s limitations and how to work with them to create a solution.
In the implementation stage, two key elements are quality assurance (QA) and user acceptance testing (UAT). If you’ve followed a research-based design process, these steps help ensure that you’ve framed the problem effectively and put forward solutions that solve them in a way that drives user adoption.
When you’re ready to migrate content from a file share, content management system (CMS) or previous SharePoint intranet to your new platform, make sure you’re not packing up your existing mess and bringing it with you. To rethink how you’re structuring information, conduct a ROT analysis, which stands for “redundant, outdated and trivial.” By flagging and trimming content that you don’t want to bring into the new solution, you’re able to improve the new system’s performance for your users.
3) Rollout, Communication & Change Management
As you get ready to launch the digital workplace, you need a rollout and communications plan and support model that provides adequate user support during the critical initial launch period. It’s also important to implement a support model that includes both subject matter as well as technical resources and incorporates change management best practices.
Change management is a complex subject, but the basic principles remain the same, whether you’re rolling out a corporate intranet or the digital workplace.
From the beginning of project brainstorming to completion, it’s important to figure out how to engage users, and keep representative users involved going forward. User involvement, feedback mechanisms, piloting, testing and learning before you roll out to the whole organization are all good ways to help companies achieve their goals.
4) Ongoing Support
Finally, you need to support your new implementation with training and governance. Training is essential to successfully meeting your business objectives, and should always be taught and delivered in context of the business issues and processes being addressed. Governance, meanwhile, ensures that your team is able to maintain the solution at a high level and make adjustments as your organization’s needs grow.
Training material should help users connect the dots and understand the business problems you’re trying to solve and how to use the digital workplace to solve them. Governance focuses on managing information, developing rules for how you’ll grow your solution and ensuring your system remains easy to use in the future. These kinds of governance decisions are valuable ways to give users ownership and accountability in the implementation.
While it’s essential to develop a roadmap for your digital workplace, the ultimate success of the initiative depends on user adoption.
Learn more about achieving success with today’s digital workplace capabilities by downloading our free e-book, Your Roadmap To The Digital Workplace: A Step-By-Step Guide For Professional Services Firms.