A key component of any new system implementation is developing user adoption strategies that get users into the system and engaged to make the program successful.
But there’s really only one way to know if new software is delivering the value you expect: user adoption metrics.
Anecdotal evidence is reassuring, but only hard numbers tell you if users are regularly on the new system.
Metrics are an essential element of a user adoption strategy, yet they’re often forgotten during the excitement of launch. If you want to find out if a new system is meeting its goals, you must define and track user adoption and engagement metrics.
What a successful user adoption strategy accomplishes
Users see a new system either as something they have to use to do their job or something they want to use because it makes their job easier.
A successful user adoption strategy convinces people you’re providing a system they’ll want to use. The strategy persuades people to eagerly adopt the new system, make it part of their workflow, take full advantage of its functionality, and share their positive experience with others, especially with those who are reluctant.
The essential role of change management
User adoption strategy is essentially change management strategy. When encouraging people to embrace a new system, you’re asking them to change how they work. You’ll only succeed if you understand why they’re resisting change and plan how you’ll overcome that resistance.
The goal is to turn “resisters” into “fans.”
Your strategy must convince them that the benefits of using the new system outweigh any discomfort they feel during the transition. You must persuade users to set aside time to learn the new system, adjust their routines so they can build it into their workflow, and stick with it long enough to experience its value.
Defining and tracking metrics: A key element of user adoption strategy
User adoption metrics let you know if you’re making progress with your onboarding and engagement strategy. Metrics point out areas in need of improvement and, ultimately, validate the ROI of the new system.
Define user adoption metrics
The first step is to define what you are going to actually measure.
Start by choosing user adoption and engagement metrics that illustrate progress toward your onboarding goals and prove the value of the new system, for example:
- Number of user accounts
- Number of active users
- Daily usage rate
- Number of logins per week per user
- Retention rate
The metrics you select depend on the type of system you’re implementing. Decide in advance how often you’ll gather and review this data, and make sure the system’s reports can deliver the data you need.
Metrics should include data on the most used and most overlooked functions so you can tell where additional training is needed. For example some metrics to track may include:
- Reports pulled
- Resources shared
- Number of active discussions
- Number of referrals
- Help desk calls or requests for support
Be sure to get a better sense of adoption patterns and training needs by looking at the metrics in aggregate and by department/division, position, and remote vs. office-based personnel.
Establish a baseline and set benchmarks
Next, make sure to write down where things stand now so you know how much progress you make with your initiatives.
Or put another way—establish your baseline and benchmarks.
This measurement is your baseline for progress and based on agreed upon definitions for the terms you’re using, such as the behavior that defines an active user, you’ll be able to track metrics as you improve.
Monitor metrics and celebrate wins
Start tracking and gathering data at the frequency you determined. Look for wins that validate your team’s work and the system’s success.
What percentage of potential users have adopted and embraced the system? Which departments are using it regularly?
Be sure to share small wins along the way with the executive sponsor and project team so they know their hard work is paying off.
Tweak and improve your user adoption strategy
Plans and situations change. Make adjustments to your onboarding and engagement strategy based on what you learn from user adoption metrics and feedback. Identify the users and teams who aren’t using the system as expected. Talk with them about their hesitancy or frustrations. Perhaps additional training videos, cheat-sheets, one-on-one training sessions, or outreach campaigns are necessary.
Meet with the users and teams who use the system regularly. Elicit success stories and tips you can share with others.
Increase system ROI with Mission Connect: Engage
User adoption metrics are the true gauge of a system’s value. They help you refine your user onboarding strategy and ensure the system delivers the expected value, including increased productivity and collaboration.
At Tesla Government, our Mission Connect: Engage solutions use proven strategies and meaningful metrics to ensure user adoption and build user engagement with new systems.
Contact us to discuss how our approach to change management and user onboarding can deliver the ROI you expect from new software.