Implementation Failure – Your End Users Have a Say

Implementation Failure – Your End Users Have a Say

There are many reasons why implementations go wrong, but they all kind of roll up into one central idea: Someone forgot about the end-users. It’s basically the same mistake that allowed every Rob Schneider movie to be made.

An Exec greenlit the software purchase to streamline some work processes or get a better time to value. And the tool that was purchased can probably still do what it’s intended to do, but there’s one little problem. No one will use the freaking tool. Not even Rob Schneider (ouch – twice in two paragraphs. But seriously – there was a second Deuce Bigalow, really?)

You scratch your head and wonder why. Maybe you conclude that the new software users are all idiots and move on. Or maybe, you do stop and ponder the question:

Why isn’t anybody using the tool?

  1. Did you communicate that this was going to happen? End-Users like to know this kind of stuff.
  2. Did you involve the end-users in your development/configuration of it? End Users like to be involved and asked about their opinion.
  3. Did you clearly explain why this change is necessary? End-Users hate change but providing context can make or break an implementation.
  4. Did you possibly make the tool too complicated to use so that you can obtain specific metrics out of it? End-Users will use the most straightforward route possible. If you go too far in complexity – most users will abandon it.
  5. Was the tool scoped properly? End-Users want a tool that does fill a need that they see. If it doesn’t, and they can’t grasp the concept – you may want to reconsider who you need in the tool for it to work.

Having thought through the above questions, what could you have improved upon? In the book “Crossing the Chasm,” the key to successful adoption is figuring out how to reach 85% of the End Users that are not your early adopters. Spend some time answering the above five questions, and you may find a way to reach them. Or you can throw some DVD copies of “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” at their heads and hope for the best.

References and Resources

Nerds that Care Perspective

How to Treat your end-users

Supporting Music

Burn this Bridge by the Dambuilders

Playground Love by Air

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