3 Principles for Preventing Abandoned Software

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  Abandoned software might be a bigger issue than you realize.   In today’s organizations, new software implementation is not a rare occurrence. New tools that promise to skyrocket productivity are a dime a dozen. However, to reap these benefits, training professionals must figure out how to make these platform stick.   Whether it is a new messaging platform or document management system, it is important to be aware that software can easily become “shelfware” without preventative measures. This is especially prevalent for non-essential platforms. However, just because these extras aren’t the main system your employees are using does not mean they are free. In fact, abandoned software results in negative ROI as well as wasted time and resources.   This becomes a very easy way for companies not only to lose money, but also miss out on profit and productivity gains. The good news is, with the right strategy and outlook, it is easy to transform this habit of abandonment to a culture of adoption.  

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Adoption Over Deployment

  If you are focused simply on deploying the software to as many people and as quickly as possible, success will be difficult to achieve. Efficiency is important, but prioritizing rapid implementation over learning could lead to confusion, and ultimately abandoned software. Deployment is an action, but adoption is a value-driven process.     Users will need an incentive to actually use the product after they download it. It is important to contribute to a culture in which software is adopted rather than abandoned. The new product is valuable only once it becomes embedded in employees’ daily work.   Rather than focusing on the plug-and-play side of deployment, remember that this process takes time. Adoption is a marathon, not a spirit. Build out a timeline — creating attainable milestones makes it easier to see track success.  

Identify your Influencers and Champions

  The skeptics are the hardest ones to “convert.” In other words, realize the potential of the new software. Think about employees who have been at the company for a certain period of time. They have developed a routine and are familiar with their digital tools. From their perspective, it is a waste of valuable time to learn how to use another application.   This phenomenon is called employee resistance to change, and one effective strategy is to employ influencers and champions. Influencers generally hold senior titles and are able to use their sway to drive change. Getting these people (team leaders, managers, the CEO, etc.) on board with the new technology will expedite adoption among other employees.     Champions are similar to the influencers, and can even be the same people. These individuals are the cheerleaders for the adoption. They’re excited about how the new product is going to positively impact their workflow and encourage others to develop the same attitude. Champions, like influencers, prevent abandoned software by simply adopting it themselves and encouraging others to do the same.   Involving employees from different teams and departments who were not part of the acquisition will drive the adoption rate forward. The more people get excited about the new platform, the lower the likelihood of abandoned software.  

Provide Constructive Training and Support

    One of the main contributors of abandoned software is inadequate training to use the product. Level the learning curve and lower the barrier of entry by giving users clear information and support at the point of need.   Training is your chance to show off the features and illustrate how the platform can positively affect user workflow. Learning how to use a new software may seem cumbersome, especially on top of other daily responsibilities. But by emphasizing the potential benefits and offering robust support, you will raise employee motivation.   WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) is a powerful adoption hack. It provides on-screen guidance which can be used both as a teaching aid and for user support. The contextual nature of the widget makes adopting new software a walk in the park.   Businesses are constantly testing out new softwares and technologies to keep up with the digital transformation. Before your workplace is full of expensive, abandoned software, use a DAP to empower employees and create a culture of adoption.  
WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) for organizations to utilize the full potential of their digital assets. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and contextual guidance, WalkMe adds a dynamic user interface layer to raise the digital literacy of all users.