We had an interesting discussion on getting user buy-in at the IQPC meeting on Data Management and Knowledge Discovery in Frankfurt Germany. User buy-in, or technology adoption, to give it a more formal name, is usually one of the key success criteria for any multi-user system. Put more bluntly, if the users don’t like the system, if it is difficult to use, or they don’t feel they get any benefit from it, then the project may well be doomed.
In my experience there are three factors that have a distinct influence on the likelihood of success.
- Technology Adoption and Crossing the Chasm. Blatantly obvious, I know, but it is important to understand that all users are different and it’s important to figure out which users sit on either side of the ‘chasm’.
- The Technology Acceptance Model. There are two vital factors that influence user buy-in.
- The Technology Adoption S-Curve and the Assimilation Gap. The roll-out plans need to incorporate tasks to ensure that users are fully aware and understand the project objectives in order to minimise the assimilation gap.
The project team members tend to be enthusiasts and/or volunteers, committed to the success of the project; most problems come from people that don’t volunteer for the team. So it’s always helpful to remember that people are more likely to comply with a request when:
- A reason is provided
- There is give and take
- They see others complying
- The request comes from someone they respect or like
- The request comes from a legitimate source of authority
This gives some clues as to the type of people that should make up the project team.