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Magical User Adoption Mystery Tour

July 12, 2013

20130712-102308.jpgWhat if your beautiful, elegant, artistic, and (you think) intuitive software looks like a Jackson Pollock painting to your users? Yesterday at lunch during our KronosLive event in San Ramon, CA, I sat with some of our Healthcare customers. To my right, Amy talked about her organizations decision on new HR and payroll software. She said they, with 1,100 employees in over 60 locations, considered Ultimate and Workday, and in the end chose Ultimate. I asked why, and Amy said that while both offerings have many positive attributes, they thought Workday’s user interface (UI) would be “too much” for them to be successful. She went on to describe how many of their users are computer novices, and that Workday’s UI was thought to be just “too much change” for her people. Now that’s not a slam on Workday, nor an endorsement of Ultimate from me. I’ve heard and read mostly good things about both organizations and their products. What really struck me was…

“Too much change”
I’m writing this on my iPad. I’m connected to the Internet via wi-fi from my Android phone. My point is that technology is a very natural part of my life, but it’s not to everyone. In fact, it’s not to most people using enterprise software, yet the software and the user interfaces are developed by tech geeks like me, only smarter. Even customer advisory boards affecting product design are filled with technologically sophisticated customers, not typical end users. So is it any surprise that software designed by engineers and influenced by sophisticated users can be Pollock-like enigmas to novice users? That was a rhetorical question…

Anyway, after a delicious lunch, I attended “Increasing User Adoption and Maximizing ROI,” which more appropriately should be named, “Why aren’t my users using the software?!” It was a great session by David Ross, our newly PROSCI-certified change management dude. He provided the audience the top 10 user adoption challenges, and the steps to resolve user adoption issues:

1. Define the behavior you want from your users
2. Determine if there are barriers to the behavior
3. Categorize the barriers
4. Implement the correct course of action
5. Measure effectiveness

At the end of the session, one customer remarked, “everyone here should see this.” Well, thanks to the magical mystery of the interwebs, everyone can. All the KronosLive presentations are available on our customer portal (login required), and if you’d like to explore our user adoption services (you know you do), here you go…

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