Are you rolling out a new knowledge management platform, file sharing system, or another piece of internal software? Two words will make all the difference in how successful it is:

User adoption.

You’ve probably spent months (or years) getting to this place—researching and vetting potential options, deciding on the best solution, securing buy-in and funding from all the necessary stakeholders. In a perfect world, you could just flip the switch on launch day and walk away, knowing everything would run smoothly.

But that’s never how it works, is it?

Without a strategic, intentional approach to user adoption, your new initiative can easily end up dead in the water.

In a perfect world, you could just flip the switch on launch day and walk away, knowing everything would run smoothly. But that’s never how it works.

User Adoption Misconceptions

It’s not that government agencies usually don’t consider user adoption, it’s more that they have critical misconceptions and unrealistic expectations around user behavior. Those misconceptions usually fall into one of two categories:

  • “If we build it, they will come.” This belief is strongly ingrained with many agency decision makers. Unfortunately, it’s simply not true. We’re all creatures of habit, and busy ones at that. Most people aren’t going to flock to learn a new system when they’ve got too much on their plate as it is.
  • “We’ll just mandate that everyone uses it.” We’ve seen a lot of agencies assume that mandated use of a new system is the way to go. In our experience, that’s asking for trouble. As the saying goes, if you lead a horse to water and make it drink, that horse isn’t going to be happy about it. That is how the saying goes, right?

What Actually Works

At Tesla Government, instead of advising our clients to mandate use right away, we recommend that they identify early adopters of the system and foster strong relationships with them. A great way to do that is to ask for their feedback on the functionality and design of the system and make an effort to incorporate that feedback into future updates.

These early adopters don’t need to get talked into using the new system, program, or software—they’re already on board. As they see that you value their input, they’ll get more invested in the roll-out and help you get other users on board.

Next, we advise our clients to monitor the launch of this new initiative through user stats. By paying close attention to stats that demonstrate the health of the system, they can make data-driven decisions on any changes that need to be made.

For example, log-in rates can be an excellent barometer of how user adoption and frequency shift over time. With any metric, though, it’s important to be aware of the full context. In this example, a drop-off in log-in rates could mean your system isn’t successful. Or, it could simply mean there is a technical issue you need to address that’s keeping users from logging in successfully.

When It’s Time to Flip the Switch

Launching a new system of any type is never going to be a “set it and forget it” operation. But with the right approach to user adoption (and the right partners/vendors on your side), you can set your team up for success and ensure that this system will be used to its fullest potential.

Need a hand?

Our user engagement team can help drive success and reduce risk in your project.