This week, we witnessed the greatest comeback in the history of football. And no, we’re not talking about Cameroon’s 5th African Cup of Nations Championship as Trevor Noah did on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. No, we’re talking about the New England Patriots’ come-from-behind-first-overtime-in-NFL-history win over the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34-28 in Superbowl LI. Yesterday, the Patriots held their 5th Championship parade, and fans poured into the streets of Boston to celebrate the win.
This got us thinking about comebacks. What makes comebacks so compelling is that they are the embodiment of hope. When we see a great comeback, we know, deep down, that there is still a chance for us to overcome our challenges. A comeback means there’s still a chance that victory can be won, success can be achieved, glory can be experienced.
Okay, so that’s a little motivational-poster-like, but for organizations, a comeback can mean that business outcomes can be turned around dramatically. One of the ways organizations do that is by embracing technology to help them achieve their loftier goals. The challenge, however, is that, while the organization may embrace technology, the user population may not, and that technology purchase, with all of its associated business benefits, languishes with a low-to-no return on investment.
Take, for example, these stats from a recent study from G2 Crowd on the Business Intelligence (BI) landscape. In the study, they identified that low user adoption is a key challenge for BI software. User adoption rates for some BI platforms in the study are as low as 23%. That means, in many ways, three quarters of the business value that BI purchase was supposed to provide to the purchasing organization is lost to them, and that users are really “out of the game” when it comes to using the software.
Never count users out.
If you have enterprise software that’s underutilized (and it’s estimated that 40% of it is…), it’s not too late to mount a comeback! You just have to equip your team properly:
- Provide users access to learning content at the point of need. Don’t make them “go to the sidelines” to search vast content repositories with unfriendly file structures. The best place to deliver learning content is right within the application itself, served up in context, so users can get the help they need when they need it.
- Provide users with learning content they can consume at their own pace. Long classroom training sessions are so “first half”. When minutes count, users prefer to receive their learning content in small bites, which they access when they have time. As an added bonus, make that content consumable on a device of their choice – phones, tablets, or desktops.
- Provide users with learning content in a learning style they prefer. Before the big game, coaches will often go “to the tape”. Studying video is a great way to learn, so interactive simulations of business processes can be the most effective means to gain understanding for some users. Other users will prefer documents, or cue cards, or even assessments so they can test their understanding. Providing options will help you reach all types of users and drive adoption of the application.
- Provide users with relevant and up-to-date content. There’s no point in giving the team last week’s playbook. This is a new game, and fresh, accurate, and relevant learning content shows your users that the system’s administrators and trainers are on top of their game and interested in the highest performance possible for their team. Provide content that’s role specific, and update it frequently to reflect the most current version of the software and business processes in use at your organization.
In many cases, your organization has invested millions in the purchase of enterprise applications. There is an expectation that this investment will provide tangible business outcomes. If the lack of user adoption is threatening those outcomes, there is hope. You can engineer your own comeback of the century by providing users with the right learning content, in the right format, at the right time, helping them to master the software and achieve full user adoption.
Then you can throw your own parade… through the cubicles.