Conversational Intelligence in use: Is User Adoption a new buzz word?

100 leaders from international companies and organisations participated in the User Adoption survey conducted by Vrioni Consulting on October -November 2018.

They were asked to rate their inclination towards application of change management in transformation programs. Participants were asked to rate a series of items in transformation programs with a vocabulary oriented towards “change management” as compared to those oriented towards “user adoption”. The results are synthesised in the table below:

Leaders and organisations associate the word “change management” with anxiety, resistance and high risk of failure. Yet, they associate the word “user adoption” with excitement, engagement, and higher success rate. What is behind these findings?

While this survey needs to be conducted on a broader base, it does underline what conversational intelligence is screaming outload: “words create worlds”.

“User adoption” talk in the context of ICT change initiatives seems to put the end user more into the centre of the strategy definition, solution design and solution implementation plans. The effect of ‘being considered’ is known to positively influence attention, action and acceptance.

The effect of using the right words to influence change is certainly not new – and, although the term is overused, a strategic and methodological application of user adoption is only recently gaining wider acceptance as a mechanism of improving transformation success odds.

User adoption of the intended change is ultimately the only factor that creates positive return on investment (ROI). Although organizations shy away or resist measuring or communicating the ROI of change initiatives, measuring user adoption throughout the change process can be a channel of communication that can create convergence and engagement. What is key is not the measurement per se, rather the focus on the user and recognition of his primordial role in value creation (or destruction).

I’ve found very helpful the use of these 4 guiding principles in setting up for measuring user adoption of intended change:

  • Have a clear picture of what success looks like, reflecting the specifics for the different user types
  • Use measurement to inform the next step in the process, to acknowledge what has been achieved so far and to propel positive engagement
  • Make measurements personal, reflecting what is under the user’s control and space of interest(s)
  • Make measurements a way of life, not a one-of event

When there is clarity on the goal and the measurement approach reflects the nature of change, following a simple process to measure user adoption can take the change team a long way to gauging user adoption. The insight gained is the best source for developing “connection intimacy” which eventually leads to instilling successful change.

However, when the concept is void of meaning and the intended change is far from being “user centric”, it creates noise and pollution more than anything else.

Is user adoption a new buzz word?  – My take is that it depends on the meaning that the change leaders attach to it!