IT for People, Not People for IT

by Nora Jacques, Brand Journalist at Intact Technology

Imagine a project in which everyone understands their role, they know what success looks like, and they’re working synchronously to achieve results. A project that is fully supported by the executive level and where the business actually understands and embraces the value the project will provide.

adoption - it for peopleWe have seen great advancements and innovation when it comes to technology; however, there has been a missing piece of the puzzle. This missing piece serves as the difference between good results and outstanding results. It makes the technology, or better yet, the solution that we’ve designed – come alive. We’re talking about the people factor and investing in user adoption.

User adoption is like the fuel that empowers a car to move and take you to your destination. It’s the activator in a chemical equation that turns a simple formula into an explosive substance. With this in mind, we are beginning the “Breakthrough Blog Series” to walk you through the steps you can take to improve engagement in your organization in order to maximize your IT solutions.

So what are the key components that influence whether users decide to adopt or not? Here are three major elements that set the foundation for improved user adoption.

1. The decision to adopt a new tool or not is emotional

As human beings, we don’t make decisions in the rational parts of our brains. The biology of how we make decisions is a huge factor that affects whether users decide to adopt a new solution or not.

Most decisions are made in the emotional area of the brain. When you make the decision to buy a new car, you make that decision based on how that new car makes you feel. You may rationalize the decision to purchase the car with price and features, but studies have shown that the rationalization process is really only to validate our decisions to others.

The primary bases of our decisions are made with our emotions. If you want to convince users to adopt new solutions, there is something powerful about taking the biology of decision making into account and appealing to the end user’s emotions.

When communicating a new solution or tool ask yourself:

– How is it going to help your users? What’s the value for them?

– What pain points will be resolved?

– How will your user feel with the new solution?

– What benefit will excite users more?

2. IT for people is about Empathy

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

So once you understand the emotional aspects of people’s decisions, it’s important to create an environment that is prone to user adoption through empathy.

IT FOR PEOPLEDealing with Negative Predispositions requires you to listen

Now, most people already have pre-existing ideas that will influence whether they decide to adopt or not. If an employee has a negative response to change, it will take more empathy, compassion and understanding to reverse that negative association. On the contrary, if they’ve had positive experiences or even little to no experience, these employees may be more open to change.

In any case, it’s up to you to create a dialogue among users that will improve engagement and user adoption. Listen, listen, and keep listening. the information users provide when resisting is valuable, and is the answer to what to address in order to get them on board.

3. Strategy

Now that we’ve addressed why users decide to adopt a new solution, let’s determine the best way to motivate people and improve user adoption.

When new implementations are introduced into an organization, people need to be motivated in order to adopt the change that is set before them. Yes, you could enforce the change; however, if you consider a speed limit sign, there is a significant amount of effort, time and revenue that will be used to enforce the new speed limit.

The better solution is to motivate people to change on their own.

Show Users a Brighter Future

Counteract their fears with a clear picture of the benefits they can experience through this new solution. Create a metaphor between the new solution and a positive experience the end user has in their mind.

Show them that this new solution will make their job easier, more efficient, faster and reduce cost over time. It’s vital to paint a clear picture of how people will benefit from the progress and change that is going to happen.

Involve Early Adopters & Influentials

Throughout planning and development of new systems and implementations, it may be helpful to involve early adopters, those influential people who crave change. You may also want to involve key influentials whose buy-in could make or break the mission. Explore their pain points, challenges and headaches and build their feedback into the new solution.

Find Out What People Are Saying

Conduct surveys and polls to determine what people are thinking. Learn the words that people are using when they think about the new solution you’ll be introducing. Research their hopes, fears and dreams and build a way to address those interests however possible. Systems should always be built with the context of the user in mind.

A new system can only be as effective as its operator. Gain an understanding of how the users relate to the product and develop a strategy to influence their emotions, decisions and convince them to adopt. When organizations place greater emphasis on the users, they will begin to truly experience the maximum value of new IT solutions.


This post was written by Nora Jacques, Brand Journalist at Intact Technology, & originally appeared on the Intact blog

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