Richard Gallo, Contributor



How do we ensure that our employees will properly adopt E2.0 technologies? The case study Implementing Gov 2.0 highlights the following key factors:

The first element highlighted in the case study centers around motivation. Ensuring motivation is critical to success. Without the right incentives, (be it intrinsic or extrinsic in nature) motivation is the critical factor that needs to be addressed. The best adopters see themselves in their work and understand the value in adopting the tool in their work routine. As managers, understanding the context, norms and perception proper to the work environment perceptions of our workforce is critical. Implementing tools without taking into account the actual needs is a recipe for disaster. Ensuring the proper motivation includes making it relevant. If it’s not relevant to them, they won’t use it!

The case study likewise highlights the importance of ensuring that E2.0 tools are designed to promote cross functional teams. Matrix organisations have already learned the value of working in a horizontal organisation. Bringing in E2.0 tools into the picture can enable new synergies to occur. From communities of practice to functional experts having the capability to bring these all under one roof sort-of-speak is a good strategy to enable staff to fully adopt and integrate E2.0 tools in their daily work. The case study highlights the importance of empowering your users to find like-minded individuals to enable them to cultivate collectively their knowledge. Imagine for instance a task force working on a budget. E2.0 tools can be leveraged to have all the relevant experts representing. From a technology stance E2.0 tools should be implemented with the largest spectrum of interoperability in order to leverage their utility in the workplace. E2.0 tools that are cross-pollinated in various enterprise systems can be used in dynamic ways which can simplify work practices and hence serve as an added incentive for employee to adopt them as value added tools. From another stance the case study makes reference to the use of incentives “badges of honour” or informal awards to highlight E2.0 use, and indirectly promote adoption. Likewise, by promoting knowledge expertise when possible government should get users “excited about their community” so they will be well motivated to take advantage of E2.0 technologies.

Corporate culture does not always understand the true benefit of E2.0 technologies and sometimes perceive them as “toys”. Controlling the perception of corporate culture can be an important success factor. Education and communication strategies are thus important elements in user adoption. From a corporate perspective having a proper communication plan will help employees understand the important transformative power of these tools. Likewise, it is critical for senior management to openly and demonstratively promote and use these tools. Perception of value is almost as important as actual value. If middle management perceives that senior management endorses these tools the ripple effect can help positively adoption rates. I agree with the author’s statement that “it’s hard to motivate people to change how they currently do things.” I think if management doesn’t lead by example then it’s unrealistic to expect employees to do any better. In addition to the points above the case study highlights several other factors that promote user adoption. One of these would certainly include the importance of training and education. Having these proper support elements in place can be a significant impediment to success and sustained user adoption of E2.0 technology. Likewise, designing E2.0 interfaces in an intuitive way, sign elements like single sign on, intuitive, aesthetically pleasing robust self serve can go a long way to promote user adoption. Another roadblock to user adoption of E2.0 tools relates to the perceived danger related to their use. Fear regarding the security aspects of these tools needs to be addressed to clear the way for business line adoption of these tools. Changing perception can take time. Security concerns and other negative perceptions can take more time to uproot in time and energy than training and education investments. With the right strategy in place user adoption may not be assured but it will be supported. The article indicates that departments should seek to cultivate a critical mass of early users able sustain the business transformation that is occurring these days.

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