In addition to smooth technical project implementation, successful projects painstakingly deliver against the pertinent elements of deep discovery including infrastructure health checks, project requirements and user needs; effective and meaningful communication on the promise of the ‘change’; user acceptance testing; and tailored, ongoing training.
All these elements fundamentally focus on the end user experience – in my opinion, this is the keystone of a successful project. It’s true that projects must be on time, within budget, delivered with minimal disruption to the business and indeed meet the desired technical outcomes. But, if a year down the line the technology is gathering dust, then regardless of the successful implementation metrics, for all intents and purposes, the project has failed. It’s that simple. Why? Because the tangible value change delivers to the business depends on how well users adopt the technology. And without a superior end user experience, technology adoption is likely to be a far cry from reality.
So, to ensure project success, the end user experience must be at the heart of the initiative. Any major technology project unleashes change that is aimed at making things better – but at the same time also creates uncertainty which often leads to resistance. A superior end user experience breaks such barriers as the users begin to see the tangible value of the change to them as individuals, and not only for the organisation at large. That’s when technology adoption happens, and the ‘change’ begins to take hold in the business. For example, a fee earner in a firm may resist a move from SharePoint to an advanced document management system, but when the individual finds that document searches take a fraction of the time or that confidential documents can be safely and securely accessed from a smartphone five minutes before a crucial client meeting, the business ‘value’ of the new way of working comes to the fore. The desire for that change becomes intuitive.
It is therefore vital that the focus is on the value that a technology system provides to the users and business at large, rather than the feature and functionality button options offered by the solution, so that it can be ‘sold’ to users. When there is a wholesale, instinctive and discerning push by end users for a new way of working in an organisation, the team can duly claim project – and ultimately, customer success.
In fact, project teams will do well to leverage this trend to make continuous improvements and evolve the ‘change’ trend in the organisation. Regularly undertaking discovery, communication, testing and training in an aligned manner will help embed change in the organisation – one that continuously and incrementally delivers value to the business and the individuals alike.
We take this approach at Ascertus. We call it the Customer Success Programme. If you are looking for practical guidance in this area, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. We have successfully supported many organisations in their ‘change’ journey.
This is the fifth and final article in the Ascertus Change Management in Digital Transformation Blog Series.