Don’t sell your employees on the system. Fulfill their needs!


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A common practice – and TRAP – of change management is to attempt to convince (“sell”) end-users that the new IT system is beneficial to them. Change management teams spend several hours trying to “spin” their communications to attain this goal.

The fallacy is spending time “selling” the benefits of the system without first understanding the end-users’ actual needs to properly use the system. This pitfall is grossly overlooked.


Change management teams often defend their approach, stating they apply due diligence by defining technical requirements. The problem is the technical requirements assume alignment to the daily practices of end-users. Often we find the architectural design does not compliment the practical application.

As a different approach, User Adoption strategy consultants capture the most effective means of utilizing the system through interviews and observation of end-user behavior; this is done in concert with requirements definitions. The goal is not to ignore technical requirements, but to ensure the system technical requirements actually meet the end-user needs.

This user adoption approach prevents the temptation to “sell” benefits to end-users, because their needs have already been identified and properly met.


When you are about to develop a new IT system, seek out the actual needs (both business and technical) of your end-users. Then you will spend less time “selling” end-users, and more time satisfying their needs.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jason Whitehead
Jason Whitehead is CEO of Tri Tuns, LLC, an organizational effectiveness consultancy specializing in driving and sustaining effective user adoption of IT systems. He works at the intersection of technology, process, culture and people to help clients actually achieved measurable business benefits from their technology investments.


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