Adoption trumps functionality

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S = Success Goals
O = On-boarding Process
A = User Adoption
R = Requirements Roadmap

The biggest challenge for organizations migrating from ad hoc IT management to IT asset and service management system is “adoption”. The system is only as good as the information in the system and if your users do not use the system in a systematic way, you will have holes in your “IT performance” program, documentation, audit defense, quality processes, and/or risk management.

User participation and engagement is critical to introducing a new change to the organization. Getting the users comfortable in the usability of the system, the new processes, and how to maximize the personal return on time invested is critical. This is especially true with cross-functional services. How do you roll out a set of services that impact every area of your service delivery? How do you eat an 800 lb. gorilla? One bite at a time. Sequence, rollout, training, and smart adoption are critical.

To that end, the success of implementing a full asset and service management system starts with defining success. How do you measure the successful impact to your IT processes? What are the overall objectives? Intermediate objectives?

A fundamental mistake of system requirements gathering is that the organization captures and defines all of the requirements for the final stage, but does not reverse the process and define how an organization will build to that end state iteratively.

Without good objectives, it is hard to measure how well you are doing. Conversely, it is hard to get started unless you know where you are going. An economics professor once said that the success of a new restaurant was decided in the first month which set the performance expectations for the next year. Good start and the restaurant will thrive and build upon the early customer referrals. Bad experiences and the momentum is killed.

By rigorously defining the onboarding process, expectations, and user support; the economics of the platform value to users is set for the next year. By coupling that with a clearly defined adoption program, the organization can create the “good start” needed to carry forward; usability milestones, additional functionality rollouts, user training programs, and periodic performance checks.

Finally, a key attribute of a successful adoption program is staging functionality rollout based upon the user’s comfort and key performance indicators. Too often, new systems are delivered to users without proper training, have complex user interfaces, and features bloat. Rule of thumb is to provide users with no more than 120% of their current phased requirements. If your users are only using 20% of the available system features, they may have a sense of overwhelming complexity which can contribute to your adoption failure.

Mike Bombard

Mike Bombard

Mike Bombard COO Virima Technologies - Mike joined Virima Technologies (Atlanta, GA) in 2010 and oversees Virima ITAM/ITSM SaaS product sales, marketing and field services organizations. He has been providing solutions to solve complex IT challenges in a variety of industries for over 25 years.

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