Despite the potential benefits and advancements that come with implementing new systems, the reality is that many system adoptions fail to meet their intended goals. There are several factors that contribute to these failures. First and foremost, inadequate planning and preparation can hinder the successful implementation of a new system. Insufficient training and support for employees lead to resistance and reluctance to embrace the change. Poor communication and lack of clear expectations further impede the adoption process. Additionally, overlooking the importance of user experience and not considering the needs and preferences of end-users can result in frustration and rejection of the new system.
Lastly, a rushed or poorly executed rollout can cause disruptions and errors, undermining confidence and trust in the system. To ensure the successful adoption of new systems, organisations must address these challenges proactively and implement strategies that prioritise effective planning, thorough training, open communication, and user-centred design.
Management’s role in driving systems adoption
Effective management plays a critical role in the successful rollout of a new system within an organisation. Management is responsible for providing strategic direction, aligning the new system with organisational goals, and creating a clear roadmap for implementation. They play a crucial role in communicating the vision and benefits of the new system to employees, building excitement and buy-in. Moreover, management ensures that the necessary resources, such as budget, technology support, and training, are allocated for a smooth transition. They also play a pivotal role in managing change by addressing any resistance or concerns that may arise during the rollout process. By providing leadership, demonstrating commitment, guidance, and support, management sets the tone for a successful implementation, ensuring that the new system is embraced and integrated into the day-to-day operations of the organisation.
Setting up a systematic learning ecosystem
Implementing a new system within a large organisation can be an exciting opportunity for growth and improved efficiency. However, to ensure a successful transition, it is crucial to equip users with the necessary training. Adequate training not only ensures a smooth adoption of the new system but also maximises its value. Here are some methods to consider when training your people on a new system:
- Conduct a thorough needs analysis: Before designing a training program, it is essential to understand the specific needs of the users. This can be done through surveys, interviews, or focus groups. By identifying the knowledge gaps and training preferences, you can tailor the training to meet the unique requirements of your users.
- Develop comprehensive training materials: Create a range of training materials, such as user guides, manuals, and online tutorials, that cover all aspects of the new system. These resources should be easy to understand and navigate, with step-by-step instructions and screenshots to illustrate key concepts. Considering the opportunity to transform training materials into performance support resources (point 5 below) should also be determined for commercial efficiency through reusing or adapting the training materials.
- Offer hands-on training sessions: Organise interactive and system-simulated training sessions that allow users to gain practical experience with the new system. These sessions can be conducted in-person, online self-paced through simulations or virtually, depending on the organisation’s resources, availability of staff and work from home preferences etc.
- Provide ongoing support: Recognise that learning is an ongoing process, especially when it comes to adopting a new system. Establish a support system that users can access after the initial training. This can include a help desk, online forums, self-paced eLearning with system simulations, performance support and/or in-line help learning bites, or dedicated support staff who can assist with any questions or issues that arise during the transition period.
- Utilise eLearning modules: Take advantage of technology to deliver training materials in a convenient and accessible manner. eLearning modules and guided system simulations allow users to learn at their own pace, in a system replicated training environment where learners can learn from doing, and revisit materials as needed. These training modules and simulations can also track user progress and provide assessments to ensure understanding and retention of the learning content, and you could consider to issue a ‘licence to operate’ upon the completion of the training.
- Foster a culture of continuous learning: Encourage users to continue learning and exploring the new system even after the initial training. Provide resources and opportunities for ongoing skill development, such as advanced training sessions, appoint system champions, performance support/in-line help or webinars. By promoting a culture of continuous learning, users will be more likely to embrace and fully utilise the new system.
- Gather feedback and evaluate effectiveness: Regularly seek feedback from users to gauge the effectiveness of the training program based on your findings. Use surveys and focus groups, or one-on-one interviews with individuals to gather empirical insights and review what actions worked well and what can be improved. Continuously evaluate and refine the training program to ensure it meets the evolving needs of the users, taking their role-specific user perspective into account, in addition to refined learning campaign to target common system user issues where relevant.
Learning campaigns as part of a wider communications framework
Integrated learning campaigns play a vital role in driving systems adoption within organisations. These campaigns aim to create a seamless, comprehensive and scaffolded learning experience for employees, enabling them to understand and embrace new systems. By combining various learning initiatives such as training programs, self-paced system simulations, interactive workshops, eLearning modules, and job aids, integrated campaigns ensure that employees receive consistent and targeted information at every stage of the adoption process. This approach not only enhances employee knowledge and skills, but also builds confidence and familiarity with the new systems. Moreover, integrated learning campaigns foster a culture of continuous learning and encourage active engagement, leading to higher levels of systems adoption and improved organisational performance.
How corporate influencers can shape your success
The role of the corporate influencer (your nominated systems campions) is becoming increasingly important in today’s business landscape. A corporate influencer is an individual within an organisation who possesses expertise, credibility, and a strong network within their industry. Together with early adopters, they can shape opinions, inspire others, and drive positive change within the organisation. Corporate influencers can play a crucial role in systems adoption by advocating for and championing the benefits of new technologies, tips, or processes to their colleagues. Through their influence, they can create a ripple effect, encouraging others to embrace and adopt the changes more readily. By leveraging their personal brand and authority, corporate influencers act as catalysts for change, fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement within the organisation.
Here is how we helped two large organisations with their systems adoptions: