Increasing the Adoption of ECM in Your Agency


Change can be difficult for any agency-- the actual nature of that change doesn’t actually matter. Some changes, such as digital transformation initiatives are massive. For example, when an agency decides they want to invest in a new information management system, it can represent a fundamental change to the way staff work, a positive change, but a huge one, that requires adjustment nonetheless.


Disruption can be frightening. Getting your team to buy-in to a newer, better way of working is the first step to overcoming disruption. Mismanaging disruption can absolutely harm user adoption if you’re not careful, which will harm your return on investment for the solution, too. If your current goal involves boosting the user adoption of your information management system, there are a few key ways you can do it.


Find Champions


Every organization has a go-to person and we all know who they are. These folks are key in swaying the adaptability of staff to your initiative. Humans need to be swayed and they’ll look to the influencers around then to see if digitization is a solution worth paying attention to. Hence if you really want to boost user adoption, you don’t just need a team of people who are willing to sing its praises. You need a team of people who are willing to champion the effort and evangelize their experience. Try looking for people who won’t shut up about what a good experience this is and how they’re more efficient and effective they are and how easy the transition was.


Eventually, these champions create a snowball effect. Once your champions begin to spread the word, it’ll convince someone who was resistant to change to give your information management system effort a chance. They, too, become advocates for the effort and so on. It sounds like a lot of extra work but think of it as building valuable marketing for your project. Additionally, if you get a quick win, such as improved productivity in the double-digits, be sure to include your champions as an integral part of your success.

Test More than You Think You Have To


Another method to boost adoption is to use your testing stage to train IT and administrators. Keep in mind that during your implementation, staff will have a lot of questions. They’re also going to run into issues and have concerns that will need to be addressed. It’s important for you to create the most seamless experience possible. If users see they have easy access to help, they’ll be more likely to embrace the project. This is true even if problems arise or things get a little frustrating.


Training is a key component to successful adoption. Try to have real-life use cases. The more general your examples are, the more disconnected users will feel because they don’t feel like this information management system has any relevance to THEIR lives.

Instead, you need to create training modules that speak to the work they’re doing on a daily basis. Show staff how this solution will fit into their lives and let them experience how much easier their job will be once it is in place. Demonstrate how communication and collaboration are better than ever.

The more relevant you’re able to make it to their lives, the more likely they are to adopt it completely — and at that point, that’s really all you need to get rolling


Communication Everything


There’s a reason why your agency is using THIS information management system at THIS particular time — and it’s incumbent on management to explain why it’s so important for users to change the way they’re used to working.


Obviously, you have a plan in place. If you want to boost user adoption, you need to make sure that plan is actually communicated to your users early and often. Create a newsletter, tap your vendor for case studies to distribute. Ask your champions to host a launch lunch and learn! There are plenty of ways to communicate a positive experience if you’ve got a quick win and enthusiastic test-users.


If users can understand what this tool is, why it will make a positive impact on their lives and why it’s so important for them to use it, they’ll be much more likely to adopt it.

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