As a Remedyforce Customer Success Manager I’m going to gravitate to my favorite solution, but it’s worth noting that you can apply these helpful adoption principles to other solutions. Whether you implementing Remedyforce as a whole (big bang) or working your way through the phases and are now ready to roll-out out Self Service 3.0 for example, communication to your staff and user base is paramount to successful user adoption. There is nothing worse than investing your dollars and resources into something that doesn’t get adopted. Most reasons why this can happen is that there was limited planning up front as to how the change would be consumed in the organization. So that’s why I want to talk about communication.
Make them believe! Build it and they will come…
The first steps in communication really requires the need to answer the question that most people (logically) ask when organizations suggest a new tool, a new process, a new way of working etc.
Don’t underestimate the importance of answering the “why”. If folks don’t understand the reasons why they are being asked to change, they won’t make it a priority.
So for that reason it is here that you should sell sell, sell! You should continue to articulate, promote and sell the benefits of the new solution during the implementation, during go live and post go live (yes that’s right, go live is not the end, it’s actually the beginning!). A word of caution though around using generic words or fluffy language that tend to make eyes gloss over. A good tip is to make sure you can cite specific examples from your own organization that your “clients” will be able to relate to. And make sure you are selling to your staff and your users – they care about different things remember!
So let’s take an example where knowing your culture, you can fill in the blanks accordingly -
ABC organization has purchased Remedyforce to assist with customer relationship management (or specifically Incident Management, etc.) and the benefits for you in your daily job include, x, y, z. This is important because we didn’t have the ability before for you to first look for other incidents that might be related and you can speed your time to track each incident or note a higher priority allowing you to hit your metrics for first call resolution …or apart from the obvious benefits of Remedyforce, the team will now be able to focus on higher priority items that affects performance management because end users can resolve their own incidents with use of the knowledge articles and common requests in self-service… etc. etc.
If you can personalize the benefits to the different audiences, it will help you drive desired behaviors.
If you actually document the goals you have for the new solution it’s easier to answer the inevitable so what factor when discussing areas like goals and objectives. If you cannot honestly and sensibly answer the question “so what?” – then you are not selling the message in a way that is personal to the listener and gets their “buy-in”.
For example, if you say “we bought this new tool because it supports sound incident management practices”.. can you answer the so what? How can you personalize it and provide the benefit?
- Good tip – tie it compensation by focusing on faster first call resolution just as an example if that’s relevant in your metrics (tell them how it impacts them personally)
Or taking another example, if you say “we procured this IT Asset Management tool (or implementing Asset Management functionality within Remedyforce), because it allows for the accounting of all the IT assets within the organization”…can you answer the so what?
- Good tip – try adding “and we can spend less of our budget which we can instead allot to training for you!”
In a nutshell, try to note any direct impacts to who is being asked to change with using Remedyforce. It’s natural for people to be curious and consider, well why are people looking at this or that or asking us to do this? Or what was wrong with the other way we did things? Explaining perceived “intrusive activities” will reduce the surprise and anxiety (and that will reduce the resistance to co-operate).
Communication / Awareness Campaign
Actually formally document your communication plan as well, and maybe even consider sign off “yes I’ve read this” type of communications with employees.
There is a lot of information out there on User Adoption strategies. Come central advice I kept finding includes defining some guiding principles and often even starting meetings with guiding principles. Create formal guides for communication – create a communication campaign schedule (ask you Remedyforce CSM for an example template!). You should always start with an Initial Communication being all about selling the benefits of the new solution, and ensure the author is someone who is empowered to affect change.
Tip – Ask your CSM / vendor as they should have a lot of canned materials that they most likely used during the selling cycle.
Managing change that new solutions bring and ensuring your overall project success can be greatly facilitated by taking the time to plan and implement an effective communication strategy. It is necessary to gain understanding, trust and cooperation throughout your organization. Good communication practices can help to prevent any gaps from arising between those rolling out the change and other parts of the organization. Communications should be timed well and also be of the appropriate fashion to enhance the chances of a successful outcome (otherwise what’s the point?).
An effective plan should detail how your intended audience, communication content and the communication media are connected in the time-line of your project. So very much like a basic project plan, your comm plan should show all the tasks you’re going to complete (actions, the people responsible, the planned communication method and of course, the time frame).
You can request a sample communication plan from your Remedyforce CSM, but at a high level a good framework plan typically includes:
- The name and objective of your communication campaign (e.g. Consolidated HR Service Desk and Remedyforce Rollout Awareness Campaign)
- State your communication goals and the expected outcome, end goal (e.g. achievement of greater accountability within our HR organization for service delivery)
- Don’t forget to describe the current state before outlining the desired future state (e.g. high communication costs because there is no case management solution)
- Articulate the critical success factors and include benchmarks (don’t forget to state those metrics for communication goals themselves!)
- Note any issues and risks to successful communication
- Provide examples of any activities taken thus far (e.g. formal presentation to IT and HR on the new solution by the owner and BMC CSM on January 7th, 2017 and short video demonstrating Remedyforce Self Service was posted on ABC intranet to introduce “here’s what is coming!”)
- Include your communication schedule within the plan
- Goals around knowledge, attitude and behavior of target groups should be outlined including training requirements! (ask your CSM for sample user guides for an example of what helps users learn the new solution)
- As mentioned earlier, don’t forget to plan for a phased communication strategy, for example:
- Phase I – Pre- Remedyforce Launch
- Phase II – Remedyforce Launch and initial feedback
- Phase III – Ongoing Communication Plan
- Change comes from the top – it’s really imperative that when you embark on organizational change, you demonstrate the commitment from senior and even executive management.
So in a nutshell, your communication plan is basically your roadmap to get your intended message out to your intended audience. And it may even seem obvious. But why take chances (some say the movie Field of Dreams was about just that – lost chances!), Instead, tell them about the changes, about the why, and they are sure to follow!
Don’t forget to reach out to RemedyforceSuccess@bmc.com if you have any questions as well as request additional user adoption materials from the User Adoption Value Enablement kit.