4 Digital Adoption Best Practices to Maximize Your Organization’s Success
Your company is working on the perfect tech stack to improve the lives of your employees through better organization, automation, and collaboration. It’s your job to train and enable your teams on each one to drive digital adoption best practices so your project is a success, but several challenges may be in front of you:
- You have competing priorities. As much as you would like to stagger your projects and initiatives, you don’t have the luxury of slowing down the train. You have to be efficient AND effective!
- Software is constantly pushing new updates, which means you’ve got to become an expert in another tool, yet again, and develop a tactical plan for implementation, retention, and continuous reinforcement while maintaining your existing programs.
- There’s no established process for rolling out new technology. Without a documented path for a successful implementation, confidence is low, and the risk of a sunken investment cost looms over your team. You need a plan!
- Humans are resistant to change. Yet another tool to learn? Count your employees out. They will choose what is most familiar and comfortable over efficiency and don’t want yet another change to interrupt their flow.
- Not everyone likes rolling out a tool. Let’s face it: Some people don’t enjoy launching new technology and consider it a necessary evil. This may be you (and if so, no judgment on our end!)
All too often, companies purchase new tools or software with the greatest of intentions, only to see it wither on the vine. Next thing you know, your CFO is asking why you are spending critical budget on a tool that no one is using. Sound familiar?
At Spekit, we believe adoption should not be your goal. Your goal should be to make your employees successful, and the inevitable outcome of those efforts will be adoption. What we’ve learned now is that, yes, showing someone how to navigate the UX/UI is certainly helpful, but unless they understand and believe in the value that this technology provides, they won’t use it. In fact, many studies back this idea.
To help maximize your success, we’ve outlined four best practices, in order, that will take your new technology from purchased to adopted so your teams can be great at what they do — without the friction and disruption new tools or changes typically bring.
Best practice No. 1: Define your digital adoption strategy
Draft your “A-team” (and by “A,” we mean adoption)
Your company just purchased a new tool or software that promises to drive revenue and efficiency. Now is the time to make sure you have your A-team together to make sure you have the right people driving the success of your project. Your ideal team members will care about and have a stake in the success of this project. It will likely include members from the following groups:
- An executive sponsor authorizes the project, sets the vision, and reinforces the importance of the adoption of your new purchase
- Training and enablement help you create and carry out the rollout of your new tool
- Operations help you. manage the tool and the vendor relationship
- IT and business applications help you perform implementation, security reviews, and troubleshooting that may arise
- Frontline managers coach the teams and set expectations for users, becoming your force multipliers for digital adoption success
- Users are the teams who will use the tools as part of their everyday jobs, finding champions in this group will help to get other users on board
Much like drafting players onto a sports team, you will draft your A-team for adoption success. This may mean looking beyond your typical go-to’s and building your team with players who need this new tool to be successful and who will roll up their sleeves to be an advocate.
For instance, your executive team may not actually use the new tool, but including them as active participants during your project (more than just having their buy-in) is critical for driving adoption.
When enlisting your A-team, help them identify WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). Usually, this means they need the tool to work well to accomplish their personal goals and objectives and fulfill their own why.
Mitigate adoption risk
In a perfect world, every team and user would be aware of the goals of your project and get on board with the value it can provide. But the reality is that new software is typically purchased by one team or sponsor and then all the users are asked to get on board with using it — creating friction and disruption to their day-to-day.
To help your users understand how this new tool can help them to be more successful (and to understand their why), schedule alignment meetings with each team to connect the team’s goals to the goal of your project. This is also the time for you to identify any roadblocks or risks. Be sure to include at least one representative from each team so every voice is represented.
In this meeting, you should:
- Capture the goals of each team, document them, and connect them to the goal of the tool.
- Identify potential roadblocks that come with implementing new technology and how you will overcome these roadblocks. Consider these scenarios:
- Who will have the capacity to manage and maintain the tool?
- If that person were to leave tomorrow, will someone else be prepared to manage it?
- Will there be additional spending requests that you have not planned for (e.g., adding users or capabilities)?
- Is there a place you will track progress for the team to follow updates?
- Identify the resources you will need to secure this technology and call out any roles and responsibilities.
You should use this time to align your key performance indicators (KPIs) and inputs (such as adoption metrics related to the tool you are implementing). Here’s an example:
For every digital adoption initiative, be sure to get clarity on the business objective and how each department or team can contribute to its overall success. Throughout the project, revisit this alignment with each decision.
Best practice No. 2: Design and develop your tool training
Internal awareness, training, and ongoing reinforcement are all important aspects of the success of rolling out your new software. The more prepared you are pre-roll out, the better likelihood that your new tech will be adopted.
Map your training
Before you build out your training, map out each section based on a specific learning objective. You should also identify how you will deliver the training. For example:
|Training Content||Delivery Mode|
Why is it important for the company?
Why is it important for you, the user?
|Tool description and purpose|
How your job is going to be better
Next steps for more details
|Spekit, LMS, DAP, or traditional training (e.g., slides)|
|Spekit, LMS, DAP, or traditional training (e.g., slides)|
Consider how your users learn best. Will they absorb the new information via a long training session? How will they find answers to their questions in the future as they begin to learn the tool?
Example of an embedded Spek in Outreach.
Example of an embedded Spek in Salesforce.
Example of using Spekit’s Chrome Extension sidebar to search for information in the flow of work.
Best practice No. 3: Launch your tool
You’ve made it to step 3! You’ve brought together a stellar team. You’ve developed your training around your users’ experience. Now it’s time to launch your tool — finally! Here are some tips to make your launch a success.
Measurement and support
By now, you have a clear idea of how you will measure the success of your rollout and support your users on an ongoing basis. We recommend that you keep the following in mind as you continue to track the adoption of your new software and its ROI.
Take a rolling approach to your launch
When possible, it’s a good idea to do a “rolling launch,” where specific user groups get access to the new software and training depending on their role:
- Start with your admins, because they need to know the technology like the back of their hands.
- Next up are your super users. They can help troubleshoot and act as champions through the rollout and beyond.
- Then, it’s time to get managers up to speed so they are confident in providing coaching and direction.
- Last, everyone else should be trained and given the guidance they need to succeed.
Before your big launch day, you must plan the actions your A-team will take. It’s a good idea to put together a Launch Day Checklist to prepare for your rollout.
To support your users, create a channel in Slack or Teams for users to ask for help. Encourage all your admins and super users to monitor the channel and provide answers and ongoing support.
Clear your calendar as much as you can, because you can expect there to be some troubleshooting with the team.
Create attention-grabbing communications, call-to-actions, and step-by-step guidance. For new tool onboarding, we recommend a just-in-time learning solution like Spekit to reduce friction and increase the likelihood of digital adoption success.
Best practice No 4. Reinforce digital adoption
After the launch, it’s time to reinforce the adoption of your new technology. You can’t assume all your users understand everything there is to know about the new tool immediately. They will require regular reinforcement to make what has changed in their everyday practices stick.
Spiffs and contests
Target your reinforcement program to incentivize your desired outcomes and behavior. Creating spiffs or contests can help to generate some extra motivation. When considering your incentives, ask yourself the following:
- What is the behavior you are trying to encourage?
- What does “good” look like?
- How might you translate this into a measurable output?
- What would the criteria be for a spiff that creates a fair and level playing field?
- How might you create a different spiff for each role, depending on responsibilities and team KPIs?
- What would be a meaningful spiff or reward? Maybe the team loves gift cards, dinner, swag, or just cold hard cash.
After some time has passed post-launch, you’ll want to keep the momentum going. Schedule and run active learning sessions to share successes with your new software and to reflect on ways to be even more effective. Here are some ideas to help everyone continue to see the value of your new tool in their everyday work life:
- Share successes, challenges, and how to overcome them
- Discuss how your users can continue to improve upon their day-to-day responsibilities
- Set goals for continuous improvement and partner with front-line managers to follow up on these goals in 1:1s with their team
- Share tips and tricks for getting the most out of the tool
- Ask people who have found success to share their processes with the wider team
- Create games or fun activities like easter egg hunts, jeopardy, a hackathon, a role play, or a reverse role play (modeling what bad looks and sounds like)
Regardless of the types of sessions you facilitate, build a space for experience sharing and collaboration. Ensure that your users are doing most of the topics and create a safe space for them to share experiences and learn from one another.
How Spekit can maximize the success of digital adoption
Spekit is uniquely positioned to maximize your digital adoption best practices. We understand that adults want to learn at work by doing. Not by sitting in hours of training they are likely to forget days after.
At Spekit, we envision a world where employees effortlessly learn and efficiently work with minimal friction. We build solutions with the intention to grant every employee the chance to excel at their jobs — irrespective of background, newness in their role, or how much change is being thrown their way.
Spekit reduces friction and wasted time by delivering a learning experience that is simple and spektacular for the individual employee.
By doing so, we create an incredibly knowledgeable and productive workforce that consistently produces fantastic results for organizations and helps them accomplish their mission faster.
If you’d like to know more, reach out for a demo.