User Adoption: What It Really Is And Why It Matters
Realizing full value from your software investments can be challenging. Successfully changing to new software or new processes requires that you win the hearts and enable the minds of your team members. To do this, you need to use tactics that will engage your team and ensure team proficiency. Organizations should place a high priority on getting to this state of user adoption in order to realize the promised value of the change.
In a Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) survey, Achieving Enterprise Software Success, 72% of those surveyed said effective user adoption was the most important factor for realizing software value. The survey report goes on to state:
“Many software deployments deliver 100% on the business requirements only to fail in the final phase of user adoption.”
What is User Adoption?
User adoption occurs when your team reaches the level of mastery that maximizes their effectiveness with the application to help them successfully perform on the job. Getting to user adoption means winning the hearts and minds of humans.
User Adoption is not software adoption or implementation. Adoption is not the moment you ‘go live’ and everyone starts logging into your new or upgraded application. When we focus on this go-live milestone as the finish line, we miss the real opportunity to successfully prepare for employee proficiency and long-term productivity. Go-live is not the end point, but rather a milestone on the way to ongoing employee adoption of the change.
User Adoption Is A Major Issue
Although there are a variety of user adoption metrics that can be measured to quantify user adoption, the gut feeling of organizations is that user adoption is a major problem. As part of a 2014 survey of 200 organizations, Neochange defined effective usage as “active users, with high levels of user feature consumption producing business results”. Respondents to the survey “believed they are achieving effective usage rates of 47%.” That’s like leaving half of your new software on the shelf.