We all know that feeling – a new cloud tool, modern and shiny, that will help solve at least one of your problems. "Will this be adopted by the organization or is this just another grave-yard project from IT?" is another worry we are all too familiar with. In my daily work with customers I collect regular insights and decided to share some of my most vital learnings with you.
The first group of people who drive corporate collaboration traffic are executives and middle managers. If this group does not embrace the tool, the project is doomed in its earliest stages, as it shows to the wider organization that the importance to adopt the tool is not yet accepted. If you see a benefit in adopting a new tool, your first step should be to make others understand why this won't only make your life easier, but everyone else's too. Anyone who will ultimately be impacted should be informed and convinced of the expected improvements to efficiency. Only then can the adoption run smoothly.
The organizations that I see succeeding start strong. Lay it all out on the table and give your colleagues the chance to be involved. Branded "quick start guides", weekly tips and tricks, and communal test runs all get the adoption kick-started. My experience is that the more people actively engage with the collaboration tool from the get-go, the more people will gravitate towards it. No tool is useful when it is void of people, groups, and processes. Give your colleagues the grounds to experience the tool firs-hand and in-full.
This is by far my best way of getting organizations to adopt. Ensure there are people or teams in the organization that are always available to help, give tips and guide anyone using the tool. Think of them as champions in the adoption process. These are not defined roles – rather think of your "champions" as advocates for the tool. These are the people that that can help facilitate the adoption over a wider organization network. It is important that employees learn about new tools from within.
Tools change over time to better suit its users' needs. Hence, we need to make sure that the team stays informed on new features and updates. Imagine you are in the midst of adopting a tool with the wider team; if a new feature comes along that would make things a lot more exciting for many, why not broadcast it? Some updates could be the one thing that tips the scale in your favor. These communications happen regularly, so stay informed and spread the news with exctiment.
Having grown up in the mobile revolution myself, I know that a well-built mobile app is paramount in adoption. People are increasingly on the move, and making the tool accessible from anywhere and with no cumbersome procedures, is crucial. As part of the kick-off, we need to ensure that all users are not just aware of the mobile app, but already have it up and running.
Fix the Problems
My last word of advice is rather self-explanatory, but things don't always go according to plan. Continuously focus on the driving problem. Overcome the challenges and hurdles on the way with a clear goal in mind. If the underlying problem is solved once the tool is fully adopted, the tool will be welcomed and trusted for the entirety of its lifecycle.
Written by Lara Bergmann
Head of Customer Success, Wire