Many businesses want to capture the benefits of enterprise content management (ECM), but worry that their employees won’t use the system properly or will find ways to work around it. While this is a legitimate concern for organizations considering a technology investment, there are proven ways to drive strong ECM user adoption.
Here are five ways to ensure that your end users actually adopt a new ECM system:
- Solicit user input and feedback: To ensure user adoption, it’s vital that you solicit and respond to their feedback throughout the implementation. Requesting feedback early in the planning and implementation process helps ensure you understand the best ways to meet their needs. During the process, ask for their feedback when they encounter any obstacles to using the system. After the solution is up and running, continue this feedback process to give your users a voice in improving the tools and processes.There are many ways to solicit user feedback. For example, you could interview representative users on a regular basis about the pain points they have and what could be done better. You could provide a moderated user forum that allows people to raise issues and rank their importance.
Another option is to request feedback through a net promoter score questionnaire, in which you ask whether the user would recommend the ECM system to colleagues and friends, and to briefly explain their answer.
- Meeting the users’ needs: It might sound simplistic, but good user adoption depends on an ECM that does what’s needed. When you’re planning your ECM implementation, it’s essential to interview end users about what they need the ECM system to accomplish. Focus on identifying the goals, rather than generating a list of desired features, because there are many different ways to reach a certain goal.
- Providing good solutions to a given problem: In addition to meeting the basic user needs, the solution itself should possess several qualities. For example, one ECM solution might be able to meet your current needs, but it’s a quick fix, because you’re likely to quickly outgrow the solution. Instead, you want a dynamic solution that’s growing with you, with future-proof technology and a focus on innovation.
Additional qualities to look for include usability and stability. In terms of usability, the ECM interface should be intuitive and logical, offering a great first-time user experience. If you want to ensure strong user adoption, the platform should be easy to use, clear and straightforward — maybe even fun for users.
In terms of stability, you’re looking for a system that offers high performance even under a heavy load. If users are constantly interrupted by slow or erratic performance, they are likely to become frustrated with the platform and look for ways to work around it. Good indications of a stable ECM solution include a large user base, a long user history, and a cloud-based product as well as an on-premises solution.
- Professional sales process: Ideally, an ECM provider should be able to quickly implement a test installation with your own data. This allows your users to try the tool before you buy it and make sure it’s helpful and meets their requirements. This type of configuration development, combined with early user training, helps ensure strong user adoption when you roll out your ECM system.
- Knowledgeable, responsive support: When you’re using the ECM system and a user runs into a problem, they should always have access to qualified, fast technical support. This ongoing support is key to maintaining user adoption.
These five items are all indicators that your end users are likely to adopt your ECM solution.
Ready to learn more about successfully implementing an ECM solution at your organization? Read our free e-book, An ECM Insider’s Guide: The 7 Factors For Success.