You've bought a new product, are really excited about it, and want a big launch to get everyone on board. Is that the right way to go about it though?
Forcing new technology down users' throats rarely goes well, and user adoption might remain low. Here are some tips on how to make sure your new product is a success.
- (Re)define success: setting your goals too high (e.g. 2,000 users in one year) will likely end in disappointment. Set realistic targets, with year-on-year comparisons. Make sure that adoption rate is not your only metric. How many hours were saved by using the product? Which department completed a project more efficiently due to it?
- Start small: select a small team to begin with - their initial feedback can smooth over teething issues. Word of mouth also goes a long way to increasing interest and user adoption!
- Choose product champions: you don't need to be fighting your corner by yourself. Find like-minded people in various departments whose opinions are valued. They can launch trials of the product within their teams, diversifying the user base, and collect feedback for you.
- Listen to your critics: it might be easy to dismiss critics as unwilling to make changes, however their feedback can be invaluable in improving how the product integrates with current workflows. Make sure you have set up a system whereby this feedback can be collected and used constructively.
- Internal communications are key: if you have quietly added a link to the product on your intranet it is unlikely that many people will see and/or investigate it. Make sure that the launch, even if exclusive to a limited number of users, is well advertised within your company - and keep it going with success stories!
Above all, be prepared to work with a number of different people, use cases and opinions - they all matter!
Most leaders contemplating change know that people matter. It is all too tempting, however, to dwell on the plans and processes, which don’t talk back and don’t respond emotionally, rather than face up to the more difficult and more critical human issues.