Tagged: adoption

IBM Connections Explained: all about files!

Ok, I admit, this one was a long time in coming but it’s finally here! The next video in my little series on IBM Connections usage questions. This time it’s all about files and especially about the difference between :

  • Attachments vs Files
  • Personal vs Community files

I hope it helps explain a little what the difference is between them and how to use each. Good luck!

 

ICONUK Slidedeck “IBM Connections Adoption Worst Practices”

During ICONUK last week (15-16 September 2016) I did a session on “IBM Connections Adoption Worst Practices“. Slides for this session are available on my slideshare and here:

Regardless if you’ve implemented IBM Connections, are considering it or in the middle of the planning stages – there are wrong (and right) turns to take at every step. Join Femke to learn about misconceptions and tribulations others have faced while striving to become a socially enabled company. Hear about real World examples and often funny anecdotes from the trenches of adoption to show you how NOT to do it and giving you tips on how to do it better along the way.
Walk away with a grasp on what to focus on to make a success out of your IBM Connections environment.

From describing to applying – user training taken seriously

It still is one of the most common mistakes made ever… Implementing new or updated software without providing user training as the reasoning is: “Oh, we don’t need to train our users. They have been using this (or similar) software for years, surely they know by now how to use it“.

Well, do they really? I’ve recently been involved in several adoption projects where we trained both new users as well as users who had been using collaboration tools for years on how common features in everyday tools like mail, calendar, task lists and contact books can help them become more effective. One of the comments we got back a lot was: “I was aware of most of it but never really applied it to how I could use it in my own job, now I see how it can help me I wish we had gotten this training years ago!“.

The thing is that to those implementing the software it often all seems so straight forward. “It’s mail? How hard can it be?” or… “Come on, everyone knows how to autosum a column in Excel!“. Reality is though – users often don’t.

“I didn’t even know it could do that!”

Often users simply don’t know all the functionalities that the software they get offers because nobody ever showed them. Most times they use only a small percentage of it’s capabilities, not because they don’t want to use more of it but because nobody took the time to set them down and show it.

“I know it can do that, I just don’t have a clue how ‘I’ can get it to do that…”

Without training most users simply won’t know how to use half of what they have.  “Well they can use the Help can’t they? Or ask?“. Yes they can. But asking often implies inadequate knowledge of something and a lot of users don’t feel comfortable admitting to their coworkers not knowing something that others seem to think is such implied knowledge. And Help files? Well,… Ever tried using MS Excel Help to figure out how to create a pivot table?…

The most important one though in my opinion, and one that is often the biggest culprit of failed user adoption is:

“I don’t see how it can help me do my job better”

The mistake made here is that often implementers and trainers focus on showing users HOW to do things without explaining to them WHY this could be beneficial to them. Expecting users to be able to make the leap from seeing a ‘feature’ into applying it to their daily job without helping them to do so is often one step too far for a lot of them. Especially with the wide variety of software and functionalities we have nowadays.

For instance: If you talk to users about the ‘awareness’ functionality in instant messaging software like Lync or IBM Sametime you can simply explain that they can change their status to “not available” or “do not disturb” or you can start a discussion and address the topic of constant availability, where IM stands in the array of options we have nowadays to contact each other (mail, phone, face-to-face, etc), why and where it can be handier to use one over the other and how users can – and should – make choices about their availability to be contacted in that way.

Last but not least:
Enablement, education and training should never be seen as temporary things. Good adoption of technology and methodologies requires repetition and involvement so don’t stop after you’ve implemented the software; done your training sessions and provided reference materials. Reiterate the knowledge by regularly posting small tips & tricks on bulletin boards or intranet sites, by uploading videos, by having users interviewed  – or better yet – stimulating them to write blogs and wiki’s themselves about how it helps them to do their job better and by offering over the shoulder support.

So….

  • Never assume
  • Involve the user to train the user
  • Start with addressing the ‘why’ before going into ‘how’
  • repeat & reinforce

But most importantly have fun doing it… Nothing is more satisfying then seeing that ‘light bulb’ go on in someones eyes when they learn that one thing that will make all the difference to them in their day to day job… :)

 

Gamification – putting out the welcome mat

I love IBM Connections. It’s a great way to connect and share information and it allows me to broadcast my opinions and ideas within our company. Out of the box though IBM Connections can be a bit sterile. Yes, there are some templates and yes you can customize it of course but it’s still all a bit aloof. It can take some time to really feel connected with it, which means getting the adoption going can be a struggle.

Cue gamification: We recently became a partner for Kudos Badges, a gamification module that helps drive adoption of IBM Connection and implemented it within our own environment to try out. Suddenly everyone was talking about the badges and checking out their scores. The overall usage picked up immediately.
Ok yes, I work with mostly males and regardless of what you say…. THEY ARE MORE COMPETITIVE than females (although I’m usually worse then most of my male co-workers but that’s really the exception). So there was a definite surge in activity visible and it caused most of my co-workers to really start exploring and using IBM Connections.

But apart from the competitive element it adds something else: A visually appealing effect.
It personalizes the for some relatively overwhelming digital social tools environment and adds a bit of humanization and color to it. Making it less sterile and less intimidating. It’s like putting the ‘Welcome’ mat out and a pot of flowers in the windowsill to invite people in.

Now yes, I am competitive but that is secondary to visual for me. When I look at something I notice style, color, layout and navigation first and functions second. The better the visual appeal and logic the better I understand and recognize the functionality and the more I am inclined to explore it further.
And I am not alone! Why do you think Apple products are so appealing to so many…? Their way of putting design on an equal level to the functionality clearly works. Gamification for IBM Connections, if done right taps into that as well.

So in a quirky way Kudos Badges is livening up IBM Connections in more then one way. On the one hand with a competitive element, offering leaderboards and scores and on the other with a bit of visual appeal and logic, offering clues and tips on usage, colorful achievement badges and challenges and goals to strive for.

Does this mean it is something that will entice everyone or that this is an end to it self? No, but it’s a great onboarding tool, something that can help you get that initial adoption going and get people interested. Helping them overcome their initial hesitation of using IBM Connections.
So use it to put out the Welcome mat and give your users a warm welcome. Let’s get them over the threshold!