Poor User Adoption

How to fix it and how to avoid it in the first place

Along with project delays and scope creep, one of the main reasons software development projects fail is poor user adoption. If a business doesn’t take into consideration the people who are going to use a new system, it’s heading for trouble.

It may sound obvious, but including users in the implementation process is essential to get their buy-in. This isn’t always easy. Sometimes people confuse efficiency and increased productivity with pressure and too much work. They become resistant and question why their tried-and-tested way of working needs to change.

By making users part of the process from the very beginning, you increase the chances of success. Consultation needs to happen right at the start of a project. By doing so you’re less likely to have problems with user adoption later when it’s a much more difficult problem to remedy.

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Pre-Implementation User Involvement

From day one, get your users involved! Ask them what they would like to change in their existing systems or processes and what they would like to see in a new system. Make sure you consider these things when drawing up system requirements. Encourage users to attend workshops. Appoint representatives for each area of the business and involve them in playbacks and demo sessions.

Learning a new system can be challenging, so incorporate familiar names and labels to help speed up adoption. Ease of use should be tested at ‘user testing level’ and be evaluated after a bedding in period and not before.

Managerial Influence on Implementation

System changes are usually driven from the top down, so it’s vital that senior managers set a good example and use the new system themselves. They should make it clear that adoption is not an option and establish ways to make it as easy as possible for people to use the new system. Assigning superusers to help other members of the team is a good way to get everyone up to speed in the new environment.

System User Training

The benefits of a new system can only be assessed and appreciated once it is being used properly. Training users en masse rather than letting them learn for themselves will help to eliminate errors and misconceptions. A good software partner should offer training for your staff at all levels including users, administrators and IT. This could be on-site, in-person visits, or online resources such as eBooks and video tutorials.

Post-Implementation Support

Something as major as a transition to a new CRM or other system will always bring its fair share of teething problems. So, when deciding on a software partner it’s important to choose one who will provide ongoing support, not just implement the project and then abandon you to deal with any problems which might arise. A good partner should offer instant troubleshooting, so you can keep any disruption to an absolute minimum.

Find out more about how to save a failing D365 project.

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