People Are Part of the Process*

HoopCareful consideration at the end user level should be given any process, technology or application upgrade.

Beyond the cost of the servers, equipment, software, licenses, integration and downtime, is going through it all only to have very few adopt the upgrade; or, just as bad, use the upgrade as little as possible.

Now, it’s only human nature – everyone resists change (even you).  This is why it is imperative that you consider your end users early in the selection of any technology.

A few things to mull over include:

  • Use familiar tools where possible.  Lots of things can be done with just a phone these days!
  • Try not to add another physical thing to be cared for, charged or carried around.  Web based solutions such as unified messaging do not require anything other than an email address or internet connection.
  • If you do add another piece of equipment, try to have it perform double duty.  A Treo is the equivalent of a BlackBerry + cell phone (+PDA + mp3 player, etc.)
  • If you can improve upon a known process – all the better!  Definitely upgrade rather than introduce new.
  • End user training is vital.  Factor in the cost for one on one, group or on line training for each type of user.
  • Along with training, add end user manuals, reference materials and on line access to support for improved adoption.

Lack of training is often heard as the reason new technology fails.  However, not all users are accomplished software manipulators or even typists for that matter!  If a software or technology requires that all users become so, it may not be your best option.

In the end, tailor the upgrade to the end user and not the other way around for the best possible return on your technology dollar investment.

**First published in the March 2007 TLCxn Ezine