Blog | November 30, 2016

The Seven Wonders of User Adoption

by Samantha Taylor in Marketing Operations

Whether it’s a lightweight mobile app or a robust ERP implementation, these new technologies are introduced with great expectations that often go unfulfilled. That’s because 75%* of new software implementations fail.

Technology do-overs are expensive, but many of them are easy to prevent. One of the biggest reasons new technology fails is because people simply don’t use it. It withers from neglect, its bountiful benefits never realized.

Two primary reasons technology adoption fizzles: users’ general distaste for change and their failure to get through the initial registration and onboarding. Sometimes the processes are too clunky for busy employees, and sometimes those employees put it off for a quieter day … that never arrives.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. A carefully planned rollout can generate excitement around new software, make it the new norm and help your organization reap its benefits.

Follow these Seven Wonders of User Adoption to learn the best practices we’ve accumulated over a decade’s worth of onboarding experiences, then discover how Juniper Networks successfully implemented Webdam with surveys, trainings and scavenger hunts.


The Seven Wonders of User Adoption

Build the Right Team

During a software implementation, it’s important to have allies and advocates. You’ll need to lean on them to help you vet a new platform and advocate for it during rollout. Consult them to understand the challenges their teams face. You’ll be able to better determine if the solution you’re considering is the right fit.

Make sure to include people with a strong grasp of technology – they’ll serve as credible influencers to the rest of the organization. They’ll also help get users registered and set up by answering questions and sharing hacks that make the transition easier.

Apply the “Five-Year-Old” Rule

This shouldn’t come as a shock: Usability has a major effect on user adoption.

Take care to find solutions that strike a balance between functionality and a user-friendly interface. Solutions that overuse proprietary icons and jargon inhibit users’ ability to understand the platform and slow down adoption.

Your choice should be configurable to your needs. Rolling out a platform where dashboards, menus or displays can be adapted to different user groups makes it easier for people to experience benefits from the start. If there are enhancements or add-ons that make the software easier to use or connect to other software in your organization, don’t hesitate to add them. The extra investment will pay off by creating a stickier platform that keeps users happy.

Communicate Early and Often

We’ve all received an email that introduces a new software system with an invitation to “register today.” You’re either annoyed that you have to learn how to use a new system or you mark it as unread so you can complete registration later.

These are the usual responses to a poorly publicized software implementation that gets sprung on employees without enough notice or preparation. That’s why effective communication is critical for large-scale initiatives.

Creating an open and transparent line of communication will not only help prepare users for the coming change but also make them feel like they’re a part of the process.

So start sharing early – this could be as soon as you identify the need for a new platform or when you begin the purchasing process. Send a memo to your potential users to let them know changes are on the way. Once the solution is purchased, create a communication plan that shares the expected launch date, benefits of the new platform and answers to the more frequently asked questions.

Post-launch, be sure to remain engaged and encourage users to provide feedback. If the platform truly isn’t meeting their needs, it’s best to have this information early when changes can still be made.

To read the rest of the seven wonders and learn how Juniper Networks successfully onboarded 10,000 employees to Webdam, download our free guide.