Q&A – New Technology

June, 2002

A reader asks, “We’re about to launch a new technology in our company and are thinking about promotional ideas to get people to use the new system. Any ideas?”

I’ve found that the only way to get any size organization to embrace a new system is to make sure that it helps people do their jobs better, faster and easier. If you can accomplish that, people don’t need to be “sold” or worse, forced, into using it.

Conversely, if your technology makes people work harder, frustrates their efforts, or does not provide any real benefit to them, no amount of contests or free mousepads will get them to use your new system.

If you want your new system to be quickly embraced, first clarify what specific benefits the users will receive. For example, people don’t really care about how the company will benefit from better management reporting if it takes them twice as long to get their work done, but they will love you to pieces if you show them how the new system can eliminate the day’s worth of monotonous work they now spend to manually create those same reports.

Once you are clear on end-user benefit (and verified there is real benefit), then all that’s left is to “evangelize” the new system. There are a few great ways to evangelize. First, get someone high up in the organization to use the new system 100 percent. If the boss uses it, no one will want to be caught not using it. Second, hold demonstrations of the new system, showing everyone the ease of use while staying focused on benefits they will receive. If your system really delivers, you should have very little else to do. Your final step is to eliminate the “old way” of doing things, forcing the few that are still sitting on the fence to adopt the new way.

By delivering and staying focused on real benefits, your new system will have its best chance of succeeding. Send me your toughest e-business questions and if the topic is of general interest, I’ll happily post your question and the answer.

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Peter Kay