Workplace of the future
17/10/2018

User adoption, ROI, and the benefits in playing the long game

Great news: your company has finally decided to pave the way to a digital workplace and implement a platform that will boost collaboration and efficiency. As a CIO, you couldn’t be happier. Some of your colleagues, however, are less enthusiastic: “Another tool to learn?”, “What’s wrong with the old way of working?” Change is never easy, but with the right approach and a long-term mindset, you can boost user adoption and safeguard ROI.

Technology in the workplace is never just about technology. It’s about people and the impact of tools on their daily lives. And while the advantages of a new solution may be obvious to someone with a background in IT, others might be reluctant to change the way they work. That’s why any major implementation requires a well-considered change management process that follows a proven methodology.

1. Environmental analysis

A crucial first step is defining and aligning the business goals, as well as developing an idea of how to reach them. Often, the idea of what constitutes an ideal working environment can differ greatly depending on the employee’s background. The goal of this step is to get everyone on the same page.

This initial step is high level for a good reason. The goal is to gain insight into the workings of the company culture. Some organizations are very top-down and simply eliminate the old way of working. Others give individual business units more agency. Most fall somewhere in between. While the bottom-up approach often takes longer, eventual buy-in is often much stronger.

2. Stakeholder analysis

The second step is an analysis that considers those who are impacted by the imminent change and how. These parties are mapped out on an ‘interest vs impact’ matrix. The goal is to get a clear picture of how heavily certain stakeholders can weigh in on the advancement of the change based on how it impacts their day-to-day activities.

Often, stakeholders are clustered together. Senior managers, for example, will view the digital workplace from a strategic point of view. Middle management will be wedged between the senior management’s strategic expectations and the worries of the end users. This requires a different approach.

3. Change roadmap and rollout

Based on the input of various stakeholder clusters, a change roadmap is drafted. A crucial piece in this is the ‘message house’: an overview of the messages that are needed and how they will be communicated to the various target audiences. The goal is to eliminate mixed messages that can undermine trust. It also serves as a guideline for creating concrete assets like mailings, newsletters, posters, and (training) videos.

The roll-out itself should be flexible. In multinationals, for example, migration – and thus communication – can happen in various ‘waves’, depending on location, business unit, or other combinations. The pace at which this happens depends heavily on company culture. In any case: change takes time: it’s not just a technological switch, it’s a mental switch.

User adoption is crucial for the success of your new solution. Find out how our change management approach can help.