The Intelligent Workplace

The Intelligent Workplace

Episode 18

Danger! Don’t under estimate user adoption!

Kirsty McGrath
Managing Director, OnPoint Solutions

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
In the fast paced world we live in, change is a constant part of our working lives. Some lap it up and thrive on the unknowns, they find the pace of change exhilarating. For others, it can be a little more daunting.
 
Managing the different personalities within a company during times of change is challenging. My guest on this episode, Kirsty McGrath, knows this only too well! Kirsty is the Managing Director of On-Point Solutions, and is an expert in User Adoption.
 
How can the right strategy reduce friction when rolling out new technologies? Will the right strategy drive lasting user adoption? And what are some of the “watch outs” she has experienced in her career. In this episode of The Intelligent Workplace, Kirsty answers these questions and more. She shares her insights and experiences from over 20 years in the industry.

Chris L.:                               

Kirsty is with me today to discuss how using the right strategy can to help reduce the friction involved with rolling out new technologies and products, which in turn leads to driving lasting user adoption. Welcome to the Intelligent Workplace podcast, Kirsty McGrath.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Hi, how are you Chris?

Chris L.:                               

Thank you so much for inviting me into your home today to have a bit of a chat on the podcast.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Sounds good. You’ll have to apologize. I got a bit of laryngitis so I’m sounding a little different today.

Chris L.:                               

Do you know what? You sound perfect to me. Fantastic. I know no different.

Kirsty McGrath:               

I know, not many would.

Chris L.:                               

We’ll make it work. Now look, the term change management has been discussed on more than a few occasions on this podcast, but we haven’t taken that extra step and spoken in detail about one of the steps, which is the user adoption. So with you, luckily you’re an expert. So that’s why I want to cover off with you today.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Sounds good.

Chris L.:                               

Can you help me illustrate where sort of the two terms kind of cross over and work together?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Okay. I suppose, and I mean I like to talk along the lines of sustainable adoption, because we got adoption and then what is it. We talk consumption, we talk adoption, we talk lots of things around change management. It’s been around for a long time. I suppose, when you look at adoption it’s a bigger overarching banner where change management is focused a lot on those. So the behavioral, the structural and making sure you’ve got all the plans and everything’s right.

Chris L.:                               

Yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Where when we talk adoption we start to talk a little bit more along the lines of some of the things like the strategy, the measurement, the change management, the communications, the training and then coming back around in a reinforcement program. And so that it’s ongoing. So sustainable adoption is not just change management. It’s a sort of a much, much bigger piece than the change management focus.

Chris L.:                               

And just to wrap it all up in a nutshell, without successful user adoption, the longterm success of any new system is pretty much doomed, isn’t it?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah look, we often find there’s less than 10%.

Chris L.:                               

Wow.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So it’s actually quite low.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, that’s amazing.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It is quite low. So we find that user adoption to the cloud, it’s not as … it’s often not as simple as we actually think.

Chris L.:                               

Yep. So let’s think about it from a consumer perspective. Let’s take the idea of setting up a new smartphone. It takes time to get all your apps and features sorted. It can be a little bit frustrating at times, but once it’s all set, you’re cooking with gas. You tend to persevere, because you understand that that end goal is something that you really, really want. Is having that carrot or the light at the end of the tunnel, is that the key to user adoption with an enterprise project?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yes and no. It actually takes both the stick and the carrot.

Chris L.:                               

Okay, yeah, yeah.

Kirsty McGrath:               

A bit of both. I was actually just chatting with a lady the other day and she’s bought a new phone and it sat in her drawer for the last three months, because it’s just too overwhelming-

Chris L.:                               

Oh wow.

Kirsty McGrath:               

… to get herself set up with a new phone.

Chris L.:                               

I’ll take it for my son, because he gets breaking his.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah. Yeah, that’s it exactly. And the other thing is when you look at a phone, we often aren’t using the vast proportion of it. Where we start to pull things down, same thing, you’ve got an awesome phone, you don’t know the features and you don’t go and look them up or what’s new. It may still be in a drawer, it may still be, so then how do we get to the other end? And you’ve got to have a good motivator and usually it’s, people love their phones so they often will go down that road. But that’s not to say then what we’re doing that people love it. They often don’t know what’s at the end of the tunnel and we got to try and help them to vision it. That’s a bit of a difference.

Chris L.:                               

Oh okay. Yeah, yeah, okay. With consumer prices, a lot of advertising that influences the new users as well as information flowing between yourself and your peers. It creates a bit of a groundswell around a product and makes you want to buy into that. How do you create a similar kind of groundswell within a company?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Look, it’s no different really. When we have a look at it, comms is everything. If you don’t actually build some excitement. For example, when we talk about doing something like a seminar, so you’re going to do a seminar or even a podcast, we’re trying to excite people. But when you would get physically hands on with them and we send stuff out, then we incite them to do something. But they’re not going to come along unless you get them excited.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, fair enough.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So like anything we go out with, it’s posters, it’s comms, it’s going into meetings, it’s going where the people are, so wherever it happens to be. And we have a lot of people that don’t have access to technology. It’s maybe even sending a letter out in the mail-

Chris L.:                               

Do they still exist?

Kirsty McGrath:               

… and say, and to come on … Absolutely, it does. Know I’ve dealt with clients and lollipop ladies, for example, how do we get them to get involved into a Yammer community where they can all talk to each other? So we’ve got to start from somewhere. So there’s many ways and comms is a big one. So building those incitement, innovation days and popups and so that marketing spiel is really important, but you’ve also got to be able to phrase it that it’s going to meet their needs. It’s not enough to talk about the company, it’s talking about what’s in it-

Chris L.:                               

What’s in it for me.

Kirsty McGrath:               

… for the user and the what’s it. But it’s not just what’s in it for me, it’s what’s in it for me, what’s in it for us and what’s in it for them, the clients?

Chris L.:                               

Beautiful.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So we got to think about it in all three aspects.

Chris L.:                               

Freeway win, yeah. Does that sort of activity help to create the aha or the epiphany moment for potential users or is it about more than just that initial gotcha?

Kirsty McGrath:               

It’s a combination thing. That aha is what I live for. It seriously is why I got in and became a trainer many years ago in the first place, because that’s what excites me, see. And it’s actually a brain chemical that kicks off to say, “Oh, I got it.” Where you can put one thing with another.

Chris L.:                               

It’s almost like when you first see your children take their first steps.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Absolutely.

Chris L.:                               

It’s just like that, isn’t it.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It is, it is so exciting and everyone’s clapping and, but you know, to get them to the point where they’re having an aha, takes more than just going in. I’ve got many aha moments where I stand there and that best dicer and slicer and you go, “That’s really cool.” And then it’s sat in a drawer. Because ultimately you can have an aha, but if he didn’t have the vision around it. So when we get aha, we have to build a vision around it, that what’s in it for them. Then give them the aha and then we’ve got to reinforce it as well, because behavior will naturally drop off or fall back to what they know best.

Chris L.:                               

Yes.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So we’ve got to keep going to get a sustainable aha moment too.

Chris L.:                               

Ah, so when you’re working on user adoption strategies, do you need to consider who you actually let in on the secret or what’s going on? I mean, do you have a strategy where you might invite the cool kids in first, or the more influential people in the company perhaps, and they get … You let them into the circle of trust a little bit earlier than the others so they can help you to create those aha moments or the hype or the epiphany, that sort of thing.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It’s a combination actually. I’ll often do interviews and that can be sometimes with people that aren’t key influence as such, but they’re really struggling and they’ve got some really good insights. For example, like being in the industry or the company for a really long time, but then we have to have the change champions and those power users-

Chris L.:                               

The champions, yes.

Kirsty McGrath:               

… because without them, you do not get sustainable adoption. If I had to come back in and train every single user repetitively, they’re the trust factor within a business. So we had those senior leaders. So if we don’t have their buy-in, it’s doomed. It’s absolutely doomed right from the beginning. We’ve got to have that senior leadership buy-in. So there’s a combination of people, the EAs. And some departments you’ve got to be careful in who you pick in your pilot. Really important. A really important component is the pilot and who you work with.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, right yeah. In my head I’ll just think it was like high school where you get the popular crowd and everybody else would follow them, but there’s a little bit more sauce than that.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, yeah, like in the key influencers I see a lot of people do you know they delegate, also they nominate who’s going to be the change champion, but they’re not necessarily a key influencer and a tech enthusiast-

Chris L.:                                I’ve seen an annexation, yes.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, yeah. I had one particular lady who wanted to be a change champion and I asked why. She said, “Oh, because all my grandkids and kids, they’re getting way ahead in technology. I have no idea.” And know what, that’s not what is it called, champion? Because ultimately they’re not someone that someone’s going to go up to you and go, “How do you do this?” To be able to support and buddy them up kind of thing with others and new starters and … So but yeah, but a really good, another one is your graduates. Awesome toolset. What they’re doing, they’re going around a business. They’re actually looking at the processes and the things that are broken and they’re a really good one. Because they move from department to department, take the knowledge around the department.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, okay. Spreading the word. Fair enough. So once the pennies drop for a new user and they’ve had their aha moment, what are some of your strategies to keep them engaged, ongoing?

Kirsty McGrath:               

It’s that reinforcement comes, it’s bringing them back together. So for the change champions, we say you need to have a regular program. Someone that’s actually manage them, their knowledge and keep that going so they take it out back into the business. It’s having the right channels for them to communicate and support others. And that sort of helps to keep the groundswell. I say keep going on your program, because there’s so much more technology than the OneDrive program you’ve just rolled out. And you can create a groundswell again and again with some of the really cool technology, which keeps their excitement up. They get a new tool, they get more enthusiastic about delving into it a little bit more, and they build that knowledge. So as they pick up something new, they kind of go, “Oh, there might be something else here.”

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, okay. And where does fun come into it?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Oh look. Personally I think it’s all fun, because … I get excited by-

Chris L.:                               

I can see it in your eyes.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It’s not fun for everyone. Absolutely, it’s not. But look, we’ve made it fun in so many different ways over the years. It can be something as simple as we’ve done innovation days and there’s a popcorn machine.

Chris L.:                               

Nice.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It kind of permeates through an organization and it smells great. Gamification is a really good one. What are the rewards and benefits? And it could be something as simple as spend an hour with me and ask me whatever you like-

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, okay.

Kirsty McGrath:               

… or competitions. We did surveys and we’ll go out and do a day of productivity, if the whole department gets the best response on the survey-

Chris L.:                               

Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Or there’s a lot of reward and recognition and making it fun. And it comes down to choosing the right trainers, because you’re going to be in front of them. And if they’re not excited and passionate and they’re not living the life of it, it’s very hard to get the user in front of you passionate about it. So you’ve got to have the right people.

Chris L.:                               

Often find that the element of fun in business can be forgotten about. You put it on the table when you’re dealing with your clients and say, “You can’t forget about fun.”

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah. Yeah, we talk about it all the time. And you know, something as simple as those rewards and recognition and what it looks like. And we’ve had Yammer communities where, who’s the star and what is it that they get? And then recognizing the champions and actually calling them out and they would receive a personal email from the CEO thanking them for their hard work-

Chris L.:                               

This little things, isn’t it?

Kirsty McGrath:               

… and being a support and getting them to talk inside a team, going to the teams and in their meetings and drumming up that excitement, because if you’re excited you can help them get excited.

Chris L.:                               

I once had a boss who’s an American and he had this thing called atta boys and atta girls like-

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, yeah.

Chris L.:                               

And that was literally a silver, I think it was a silver American dollar that would just be put, for people that used to have desk phones back in the day. You would pick up your desk phone and there would be the silver dollar holding down the hang up button, whatever you call it. And that was just like, “Ah, wow.” It was like a dollar. But it was just such a great way of-

Kirsty McGrath:               

That’s right.

Chris L.:                               

… being rewarded for your efforts, little things like that.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, yeah, we’ve had little stamp cards as you move through, where you get a … It can be, and you’re not necessarily getting anything particularly big at the end of filling all your stamp card. But it can be a lot of fun as people build to it. We’ve got one big program of work at the moment, productivity and sessions. And we’ve got donuts and they’re Krispy Kreme donuts, now probably not so healthy.

Chris L.:                               

No.

Kirsty McGrath:               

But I’ll tell you what, they complain when there’s no donuts left, I can tell you now. They come to have their donuts and they walk away with some for them and their staff back at the office and they love to get a donut.

Chris L.:                               

O, I’ll come and work there.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, yeah. I’ve just literally last night ordered another eight, nine, sorry, nine dozen donuts last night. So you know, it’s going well.

Chris L.:                               

Beautiful. Nice work, nice work. How important is it to communicate a sense of urgency to the new users?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Look, the sense of urgency only comes from the business’ sense of urgency around it.

Chris L.:                               

Right.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Because sometimes they will push something like, “Oh it’s just office. And it’s no different to what we’re doing.” And if they don’t understand what’s coming down the line with 365, because it’s way more than just Office. And if they don’t understand those benefits it’s very hard. So we have to get them just excited about the fact that you can … And you have to think it goes people, and then processes, and then technology. So if we can’t engage the people, it’s very hard then. You’ve got to be focused on it.

Kirsty McGrath:               

You’ve got to focus on what that excitement factor is and the excitement factor is from doing something that we can turn their world around. So it’s got to be real case scenarios. It’s got to be process. It can’t just be features that are great. We’ve got to tie back into something they do every day to make a difference. And that gets them excited. I’ve had fellow come up and give me massive hug. He was a very big burly fellow, he was in … He had this, he was in his yellow vest.

Chris L.:                               

Yes, safety vest, yeah.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, yeah. He would receive hundreds and hundreds of invoice details every single day, and he had to manually enter them all into his own Excel spreadsheet, and he just went, “You mean I don’t have to do that anymore? I can just send them a document, and they put it in themselves?”

Chris L.:                               

Aha.

Kirsty McGrath:               

And it’s like, “Yeah.” He jumped up out of his seat and gave me this huge hug. That’s excited, you know that’s what you want to see.

Chris L.:                               

That’s great, isn’t it? Yeah. Now, we’ve been talking about people or users, you can’t afford to paint them with one broad brushstroke.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Oh, no, no.

Chris L.:                               

And you’re like, “There are multiple paths for different users that they take towards adoption.” It’s an important element of this, isn’t it?

Kirsty McGrath:               

You’ve got to tackle it from many facets.

Chris L.:                               

Yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So we always look at who are the personas in the business, so we start to understand-

Chris L.:                               

Yes, love a good persona.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, we start to look at those personas and who are they to align the good scenarios to them, so that when you’re actually in front of them, even if you are doing a little bit more out of the box in those turns as a scenario. If you understand all the different ways that that could actually meet the needs of the different people in the room.

Kirsty McGrath:               

You can talk about the stories and it’s the stories that make a difference. So it’s all those little stories when you’re in and doing training to be able to help them to put it into, give them a good concept of how they could actually do something. Because if you can align it to the type of work they do, and you won’t do that unless you do a little bit of good upfront change persona strategy and build it out.

Kirsty McGrath:               

And then you know that when you get in front of all those different types of workers, you’re not going to have a missed opportunity and you’re going to waste their time. It’s nothing worse that I say you’ve got mass training rollouts and they feel that their time’s just been wasted for the last hour or two and half the organization can be big dollars if they feel it’s wasted.

Chris L.:                               

I love that you bring up the idea of storytelling for this time. I’m such a believer in storytelling and I believe that we go from children to adults and still a story can invoke an emotional reaction to us-

Kirsty McGrath:               

Oh, absolutely.

Chris L.:                               

… or get us to get fired up or get us to really think about something. I just think the power of a story can once again often be forgotten.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it’s those stories that I take from other organizations and from our user group, because I run the user groups for Australian adoption. Because I do that, a lot of stories come your way. So the great thing is I can be in front of a particular industry and go, “Do you know this particular company?” And I can name them, I wouldn’t name them here-

Chris L.:                               

No.

Kirsty McGrath:               

… but I can name them when I’m training and go, “Do you know what? They’ve just done this with this technology.” And you see the eyes light up in the room. That’s what you want. You can feel the presence of the room. So if you get some good stories going, and that takes time and experience. So the people that are in front of them, and it does, that’s some of the beauty of what I do is I, you had to come with that wealth of experience to be able to help put things in the practice for them.

Chris L.:                               

And what about the other side of implementation? User adoption doesn’t stop once that system’s in place, does it?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Definitely doesn’t, no. And not only that, not does it … And it doesn’t even stop in the fact that the cadence of updates from Microsoft technology is extreme.

Chris L.:                               

Yes.

Kirsty McGrath:               

I mean, I put out a what’s new every single month, that’s part of the user group. It goes into a sway. And I can’t even, and even then I can’t put all of it in. And I can’t keep up with it. So therefore, what do you do for your users? And there’s always something new you could be telling them. And how do you communicate that? How do you keep them excited about something new that they might’ve been waiting for? Get them to go and vote on user voice so they receive an email. For example going, “That’s finally came out, that feature that you want.” And it can be a combination of different ways to keep the knowledge up, but that’s the [inaudible 00:17:09].

Kirsty McGrath:               

And if they didn’t do something like OneDrive or SharePoint well, because they didn’t do a program around it, go back in and reinvigorate it with something like Teams, because then you can reintroduce the likes of OneDrive and SharePoint without feeling like they have to come back to do training again.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, sure, sure.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So there’s ways to reinvigorate it. So it’s a constant thing. And don’t forget in an organization you’ll have approximately a 50% turnover in four to five years.

Chris L.:                               

Yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So you need to keep going and you need to have good orientation programs and buddy systems, use your change champions and your EAs to buddy up with the new ones to learn the new technology.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, nice. Rolls nicely into my next question. You know, often with implementations we’re introducing a new system and while also sunsetting an old one, are there strategies for making sure the adoption of the new one outweighs the desire to cling onto the old one for just that little bit longer?

Kirsty McGrath:               

That’s always the tough one, because often we see the old technology left on and left on for too long. And then they get confused, because what happens is they go, “It’s all too much, we’ve now got multiple places to be.” And because they haven’t sometimes for whatever reason bought in, or it’s very easy to fall back. If you’re going to have something like a shared drive, turn it read-only. So when migrating it is one read-only and you can actually open up the document, but you can’t save it back there, you have to put it to the new place.

Chris L.:                               

The new place, yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So it’s okay to have it open. But what are you going to do to take people on the journey? Give the deadline, make sure that they aren’t falling back to old habits and get that contract going, that that’s where you’re going to be and work together. Otherwise they get pulled over too much technology, gets overwhelming and they definitely will fall back. We see a very big drop back within about three months-

Chris L.:                               

Okay, yeah.

Kirsty McGrath:                .

.. if you haven’t turned off the old technology, guaranteed. Yeah, yeah.

Chris L.:                               

Now I just got distracted there very quickly via the sunlight just beaming off your Microsoft MVP certificate over there. Very, very nice. But you’re also an Office 365 adoption consultant-

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yes.

Chris L.:                               

… as part of your business and that’s a pretty unique situation that you find yourself in on.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah.

Chris L.:                               

On one hand you’ve got that element of familiarity with the products that people may have used previously. Excel and Outlook and whatever, but I guess they’re also getting a face lift and then you have the new element, new products in the 365 suite and the introduction of the cloud. Do the same rules still apply for user adoption in this instance where you’ve got this multifaceted approach?

Kirsty McGrath:               

No, you’ve got to start a little differently from it, because when I taught the cloud, and I mean I’ve trained over 180,000 people.

Chris L.:                               

Oh wow.

Kirsty McGrath:               

In fact, I’ve been saying 180,000 people for four years, so probably well over that now. But when you’re in front of them, and I ask the class, “Do you know what the cloud actually is?” There’s a lot of unnatural inherent fear, they don’t even want to put their photos into the cloud, because they really don’t quite know where they’re going or how to get them back.

Chris L.:                               

You’re talking about my brother right now.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, that’s it. And that’s what I say. And they’ll put their hand up and go, “Do you know?” And they go, “Yes.” They go, “Do you have anyone that’s beside you or know, or in your family world?” That is exactly that. They don’t know. It’s like, “So we got to kind of eliminate some of them is known [inaudible 00:20:14] around the cloud and the security.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It’s like, your organization wouldn’t go to this if they hadn’t already really looked into to make sure-

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, for sure.

Kirsty McGrath:               

… it’s secure, so. But so you got to start from there and break it down. Often I see a lot of the solutions and the change where they’re talking very much about that desktop first.

Chris L.:                               

Yes, yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

And is they still then thinking of it as a PowerPoint, Word, Excel Outlook and Windows piece and they’re not thinking about it from a mobile first or a cloud first.

Chris L.:                               

Oh okay.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So you’ve got to start from a different strategy, because if you want to have an organization that’s moving to a work anywhere, anytime, any device with anyone, you’ve really got to shift your thinking around how you’re going to actually tackle it. Make sure you tell them to bring that mobile phone into the room.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Get them to download and get ready and nothing going right then and there. And show them, connect up your mobile phone, you’ve got also key Xs and go, “And this is how I do it, let me show you how I can do it in my world.”

Chris L.:                               

Is that how you create that aha moment for those people, shifting to the cloud?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah.

Chris L.:                               

Like you can literally work anywhere, any time.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah. So that’s the storytelling that I give them. And I show them. I actually show them my OneNote and how I go into conferences and how I note take from either my surface and then I can do it directly from my mobile phone, dropping to that exact same OneNote, the screenshot and how I capture it and type notes on my mobile, and even designing my rooms or at home or how I do, because I do cake decorating, so I show them. I literally show them, this was me-

Chris L.:                               

Hold on a second, hold on. Just stop for a minute. [crosstalk 00:21:42]. There’s been no cake on offer here today.

Kirsty McGrath:               

I know, I know. Yeah, if you turn around you’ll start to see one on display up the top there.

Chris L.:                               

Oh yes.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So, I got the [inaudible 00:21:47]. But you know, so I show them my world. I show them how I work on the go. So you know, if you’re going to do it, show them how it can change things like, if they’re off sick, what does it actually look like for them? But that’s all very well and good, but you’ve got to have the culture to back it up.

Chris L.:                               

Yes. Absolutely.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Run your management policies. And I see where we talk cloud first and mobile first, and if things are locked down and it’s too hard and the senior leaders go, “Can you just send me that document?” Or you’re not working and doing outcomes-based, you have to be in the office in front of them, then you’ve lost all of that. Yeah.

Chris L.:                               

No, fair enough. So there is a really a real cultural element to this, yeah for you.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It’s that huge culture element to this. It could come down to, I’ve had workforces that are … You’re in front of them and you can say, “You can work from your mobile.” And they’re going, “I’m not using my mobile phone. That’s my personal device.” Or, “Are they going to pay me for that? Or are they …” So you have to look at the people or the culture. You have to pitch it right.

Chris L.:                               

Yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

And you also have to be able to state things like, “We’re not telling you you have to be a mobile first workforce or on the go or work from home. The option is there if you need to, and these are the reasons why we’ve created it for you to be able to work on the go.” And give them the whole not feeling guilty about being sick and bringing it into the office, and …

Chris L.:                               

Yep, yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Yeah, that’s the stuff. So it’s the stories, always.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, very good. On this podcast I’m always here to hear rural stories when I speak to people such as yourself who have a lot of experience in their field. Do you have any user adoption success stories that you can share with us? Obviously anonymously.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Oh, so many.

Chris L.:                               

So many? Just want to [crosstalk 00:23:19].

Kirsty McGrath:               

[inaudible 00:23:19] that they start. Look, we’ve had one in particular where they were moving offices. They were going to an agile work force. So all the technology, it’s part of sort of government. They have to change the way that they are working. The dictate for government is the digital, the new digital transformation workforce.

Chris L.:                               

Yes, yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

And going paper light and all sorts of things. So working with their change team, we built out a program where they were getting their new device. And we need to train them immediately. The moment they received their device, they walked straight into some training, some hands on training.

Chris L.:                               

Yep, yep.

Kirsty McGrath:                T

hey need to have it pitched, they had set up what does it actually look like to work. So they had a whole kitted out area. They received their new device, they walk straight into training. Everyone came into training. They didn’t have to, it wasn’t compulsory, but they did.

Chris L.:                               

Oh, okay, nice.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Because they were excited about having this new device, so then they learnt how to actually, because a lot of people don’t know. We use less than 8% of the technology that we have in front of us like for Office, statistics list 9%. So for them to walk straight in and learn a new way working then and there, we saw some phenomenal statistic change in terms of the way that they are working, taking their devices into meeting. The amount of paper reduction, because we taught them how to use their pen and OneNote. They were so excited about it. And having that surface device and having it all kind of pitched to them right, some awesome comms, and when it came to them doing the move, they were ready.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Now a bit more excited about it. They weren’t as resistant when it came to moving into the new building, because they were kind of prepped and ready to go.

Chris L.:                               

Yeah, okay, yeah.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So this was all a success. But there’s so many others that we see statistically where it can make such a difference, because if it looks like it’s effortless, believe me, there was a lot of work to make it effortless. The more effortless it looks, the harder we work to actually get it that way.

Chris L.:                               

So the duck on top of the water.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Take some really good strategy and really good design, some good change, some good comms and damn brilliant training in the long run to get something that looks like it was smooth to get those really good results of people being happy.

Chris L.:                               

Now, I don’t want to wear your voice out today, so we might need to wrap this one up, because I don’t want to make you lose it.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It’s all good. I’ve had a week of doing that.

Chris L.:                               

So why don’t we brand it all out with an executive summary if you will. What are your top tips for ensuring successful user adoption?

Kirsty McGrath:               

Top tips? Do that workshop at the very beginning with your senior leaders and get them excited. Get them to understand the depth and the breadth of what’s coming down the line.

Chris L.:                               

Nice.

Kirsty McGrath:               

They need to have that first and foremost. Got to have a good vision, because if they can’t articulate the vision, no one else are going to do this.

Chris L.:                               

No-one’s going to buy-in, are they? No.

Kirsty McGrath:               

No, no, not at all. That ongoing change attempt. It’s not enough to do it for the three months. The program does not stop at the end of six months and everyone walks away.

Chris L.:                               

Yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It just doesn’t. A really good orientation program for new starters. Absolutely. Good adoption comes down and I cannot articulate enough comms. And comms comes in many different forms and you have to tackle it from a variety of ways. So you’ve got to focus on it all and really training, because it’s not enough anymore to do a seminar.

Kirsty McGrath:               

If we were just doing still the upgrade from Windows from 2013 in Office to 2016 for example of what’s new. Sure you can do a seminar.

Chris L.:                               

Yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

You can tell them what’s new. They’ve been dealing with Office for many, many, many years, for example. That is not the case when you’re trying to take them to a new way of working. You have to get them hands on, work with them as a team, don’t work with them as a individual stepping into training. Because you’re telling them to go away and collaborate and communicate as a team.

Chris L.:                               

Yep.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So work with them as teams.

Chris L.:                               

Nice.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Don’t work with them individually. The more you work and go in and workshop it rather than train them. So pitch it more like, “We’re going in to workshop, how can we get you to do better meetings, actionable meetings, intelligent meetings,” or whatever it may be. Work with them as a team, because that’s when you get some good cohesion and excitement and then they together will pick up more technology as a group. Yeah.

Chris L.:                               

Nice. Nice. Well I’ve got to say I’ve learned a lot today from you. Sorry that you didn’t make me any cake to have with my coffee. But I really thoroughly enjoyed the chat today. User adoption, it’s a massive element in any initiative.

Kirsty McGrath:               

It’s a beast. It is a really big beast. And for those that are going out into the … Don’t be scared by it, we got to tackle it, it’s … And I’m really passionate. Then my tagline is, no user should be left behind.

Chris L.:                               

Nice, I like it.

Kirsty McGrath:               

So, I really want to close on that. We’ve got to bring everyone along and don’t leave people behind on the journey, because there’s so much value you can get out of it.

Chris L.:                               

Kirsty McGrath, Microsoft MVP and user adoption consultant. Thank you for your time today.

Kirsty McGrath:               

You’re very welcome. Thank you Chris and thank you LiveTiles.

Chris L.:                               

Cheers.

Kirsty McGrath:               

Bye.

Chris L.:                               

Thanks for joining me on the Intelligent Workplace podcast, brought to you by LiveTiles. If you have any feedback, or want to suggest a guest for a future show, email podcast@livetiles.nyc. Thanks for listening. I’ll catch you next time.

More Episodes

The need to humanize technology.

Sean Ferrel is the founder of Managed Solution, a award winning IT Services Consultancy from San Diego. He describes himself as “Subject Matter Expert on opinions”, and backs that claim up with 20 years experience in the Tech World. One of his passions is the science behind humanizing technology.

View Episode

The fight for Workforce Equality, are we winning?

Gemma Lloyd, CEO and co-founder of Work180, has been an advocate for women her entire career. Work180 is a global jobs network, operating at the forefront of a new workplace revolution. With a new office in New York and London, Gemma can now amplify her efforts on a global scale.

View Episode