Building Hype

by David Samoranski on November 14th, 2010

Adoption of new processes and tools does not just happen. Adoption planning should be an integral part of any process improvement or technology deployment effort. This is critical to realizing the desired future state, improving productivity, and delivering a return on investment. Let’s take a look at several strategies that can be leveraged to proactively mitigate adoption risks for a technology solution such as SharePoint or Project Server.

Executive support is very important. An executive sponsor needs to believe in the value of the solution and have the political capital to influence change in the organization. A solid governance plan defines the people, process, and technology facets of a solution. This plan identifies roles, responsibilities, policies, and procedures in addition to the technology infrastructure required. The team members, project managers, and stakeholders associated with the solution should clearly understand the objectives, vision, and mission.

It is also very important to consider the user experience. Site design, navigation, and ease of use play a large part in the perception of success. Incorporating self-help resources directly into the tools promotes discovery and new learning. A training plan that focuses on providing role specific instruction will help build confidence in users, owners, and administrators. All of these elements are substantial, but an often overlooked and equally valuable adoption strategy is hype.

Hype is used to stimulate and excite people. Communicating the project roadmap, enlisting enthusiasts, and providing demonstrations focused on business value can be effective means to energize a solution deployment. Motivating and rewarding evangelists can result in a groundswell effect within the organization. Advertising internally with HTML email campaigns, webcasts, and print materials are great ways to develop a surge of support. Announce new features and benefits in the newsletter or other corporate communication mechanism. Encourage users to provide feedback and make sure it is acted upon when they do. Offer tips and tricks to help users accomplish tasks more efficiently and continue to realize value from the solution after the initial rollout.

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