Engage your team

“Our organization has decided to start using this *insert any app/system/platform* in order to make our processes more transparent, efficient, and support our everyday work. The aim is to make everyday operations and information sharing easier for each and every one of us”.

Sound familiar? We’ve all been there, one way or another.

More often than not, the same things that were meant to make your live easier actually slow you down. In addition, lack of training, complex instructions, too detailed processes and procedures built to the new start to feel overwhelming and the first reaction is of course, resistance. Resistance to voluntarily start to learn, adapt, and get other members of your team to learn how to use the app or system. I stumbled across a great article on the issue in written by Ben Kepes in Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/benkepes/2013/12/17/avons-failed-sap-implementation-a-perfect-example-of-enterprise-it-revolution/#3dc6aa545b9c)

While building our customer’s networks and training their users, we realized that the key was not to fine tune every process, activity, or parameter in the network. Instead, the focus was getting the users of your system involved. With Hailer, this meant taking the “fun” approach to the “boring” things. For instance, using the Wall within Hailer as an internal communication channel with likes, comments, and photos meant people wanted to login daily to see if something new had been posted. People working with different projects/tasks downloaded the Hailer messenger app, joined the project/activities/tasks messenger feeds they were a part of, and got instantly involved and playing around in the network. The communication quickly found the right context, and tasks got done efficiently with all essential parties in the know. In addition, one-on-one training sessions ensured that every user had a basic level knowledge of Hailer, both from a business and technical point-of-view.

These days the importance of the social aspect within systems cannot be downplayed, people want to see and be a part of what’s happening in the big picture. The first thing everyone always asks “How will this make my life easier?” or “What’s in it for me?”. But no one will get activated if their peers are not also involved and active in the same environment. No one likes their own photos or starts discussions with themselves (at least publicly).

So the moral of the story? Get everyone involved. It doesn’t matter how perfectly you build your processes and systems if you can’t get your users to actually use and develop it. The first step is to get everyone involved without forcing it. After that, everything starts shaping up and provide the transparency, efficiency and support that it was supposed to do. The system should support the user, not the other way around.