A guide to maximising User Adoption for your Collaboration and Unified Communication Solutions


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Maximise User Adoption

Image Credit: Gan Khoon Lay licenced to CoolHarbour

Evidence shows that user adoption is the biggest inhibitor of project success when delivering Unified Communications or Collaboration Solutions. In some cases user adoption, can be as low as 20%, where this is the case it is due to companies not specifically planning for user adoption. If you are a company that has spent a significant amount of money on licences and migration, you want to have maximised the solution’s adoption by your users. If your adoption is not going to plan it’s going to impact your realised benefits when the Business Case is reviewed post implementation. Therefore, every Programme sponsor must ensure that their Programmes are planning for migration, user training and adoption of the functional capabilities (workloads) to ensure that they are maximising user adoption and the resulting associated benefits.

We looked at some research of the leading Unified Communication vendor’s customer base of companies adopting their collaboration solution successfully and it shows that those that plan for User Adoption at the outset and invest in user adoption of workloads as an integral part of their Programme’s change work stream achieve the promised benefits within the planned timeframes. This will be the case for any technology!

Regardless of whether you are implementing a U.C or Collaboration solution end-user readiness is a key component of any successful rollout. Users who have a clear understanding of how they should use collaboration and communication technology as well as why they should use it, will be more confident in integrating it into their daily activities. One way to instil end-user confidence is by making available a selection of training resources.

Everyone learns in different ways and you should be looking at tailoring your training material by using a variety of learning resources: in-person training, virtual training, recorded training, short videos, quick reference cards, posters with tips & tricks, newsletters with tips & tricks, champions efforts – brown bags, alias, etc.

Three key ingredients to a good Adoption plan

There are many facets to a good adoption plan that will help you in maximising User Adoption. However, success hinges on you having the right training plan. If any of the following are not included, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Step One:  Know Your Audience.

Training is not one-size-fits-all. Some may absorb information by watching a video, while others like to interact with an instructor, and still others prefer to learn on their own from a downloadable guide. To create the right plan for your organisation,  you will need to consider your audience. For each type of Audience understand their needs through how they work and for each role type identify the best type of training e.g. 1:1 targeted, class room, online etcetera. Then for each Audience identify the best type of resources for them to complete successful training.

Consider which resources are best suited to each of your audience. Resources to consider for maximising user adoption should include:

  • Instructor led training
  • Self-guided videos
  • Quick reference guides
  • On-demand courses
  • Online help and how-to

Step Two: Identify Your Resources / Roles.

Once you have defined your audiences and associated resources you will leverage, understand which features and scenarios for each technology’s functional capability area (workloads) apply to your organization (e.g., which workloads you have deployed), to identify the specific resources for your organization. Ensure you understand what value user adoption can achieve for each role for workloads in scope, as the adage goes if you don’t plan for benefits they won’t get realised. So its only logical that if you don’t plan for maximising user adoption you won’t realise maximum user adoption.

Step Three: Implement Your Training Plan.

Now it’s time to pull it all together. As you map your training strategy, be sure to consider the following and add associated tasks to your overall project plan:

  • What customization (if any) is required to existing materials and who is accountable for updating?
  • Where will you host your training resources (e.g. SharePoint or intranet site)?
  • What is your plan to ensure all training remains current as updates and new features are released?
  • How will you offer targeted training to users (e.g. Executive Administrators)?
  • Who will deliver any in-person training?
  • Add training delivery schedule to your project plan and timeline

Now you should be in a starting position to maximising user adoption in your organisation.

If you have challenges applying these to your Adoption strategy and want to discuss these further please leave a comment or contact me and I would be happy to respond with my thoughts on your challenges.

Republished with author’s permission from original post.


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