my world of work and user experiences

September 30, 2021

IT governance and user adoption need each other

Filed under: Adoption,Governance — frederique @ 21:24

I have said it before: it is not enough to set up an IT solution. You will just end up with a solution that nobody uses and that soon is no longer useful anyway. But then again it is not enough to only organise its governance. Or to only stimulate its user adoption. The IT solution needs both of them. And governance and user adoption also need each other.

The users need to adopt the IT solution for it to be useful

If the users do not adopt it, why did you spend time and money to create and roll it out? For a museum? You will never achieve your business goals if the users do not embrace the solution and use it.

If your project only had technical goals, like migrating from an obsolete platform or updating it, before its end of life: if nobody uses the new version and you are fine with that, why didn’t you just unplug the old one? No need to replace or upgrade it it. And yes, I do see projects where only technical goals are stated, like the migration or update of an obsolete version of SharePoint, for example. And then I also ask what’s in it for the users, would-be users or should-be users.

So you need to be clear on what’s in it for the users and help them adopt the solution to achieve those goals. In other words: you need an adoption plan and you need to implement it.

Governance needs to be in place for the IT solution to stay useful

If there is no governance on the solution, it may soon be obsolete when the environment evolves, the users get swamped in obsolete stuff that is not curated and cannot find the stuff that has become relevant. Security issues appear, as the recent users don’t have the right permissions and old users have permission that they should no longer have. I already talked about this is a previous post, the snags we hit if you don’t have governance in your Microsoft 365 environment.

So you need to determine what the governance should be, so that the organisation and the users can keep achieving the goals you were aiming for. In other words, you need a governance plan and you need to implement it.

Governance also needs user adoption

Even if you have a brilliant governance plan, it won’t help you if the users do not adopt that governance along with the solution. If they haven’t adopted that governance, they won’t know what to do to, and what rules and guidelines to follow. For example, they need to know if and how the can get a Teams environment, if and how they can get access, if and how their document will be archived or deleted.

Of course some of the governance is completely invisible to the end-users. For example, if everyone has the same license, the end-users don’t have to know how you manage those licenses, as long as it all just works. No adoption needed there.

So you need to include the solution’s governance in your adoption plan for the solution. For example, on help pages and in training, teach how users can request a Teams environment, what are the rules, how owners can give colleagues access.

And user adoption needs governance

Even if you have a brilliant adoption plan and made sure that, at the start, all users embrace the solution enthusiastically, it won’t help you in the long run if you haven’t arranged governance for your adoption plan and materials too. For example: when Microsoft adds a new app to the Microsoft 365 toolkit, how do we make sure that users adopt that one as well?. If it turns out that users are having trouble with a particular aspect, how do you solve it?

So you also need to include the solution’s adoption in the governance plan for the solution. For example who will Introduce new apps, explain what’s in it for them, and update the adoption materials to include this new addition? How do you identify gaps in the user adoption and fill them in?

If you fit all of these pieces into the puzzle, you will get a solid and future-proof solution that meets the organisation’s and the users’ goals and keeps meeting them. And that’s what we want.

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