This blog entry was originally published on the Tri Tuns blog.
Is the Grapevine Killing Your User Adoption Communications?
Ensure Your Communications Are Accurate and Effective
In the clip below, Lil is trying to get a critical message to Johnny Dangerously, who is locked up in jail. It is a matter of life or death – Johnny must get accurate information about the threat to his brother’s life. We see how easily the message gets mangled as it passes from person to person, until the final message that gets delivered is nothing like the original. Have you had a similar experience with communications in your organization?
Apply What You Learned: Carefully Manage All Communications & Beware of the Grapevine!
Accurate, timely and effective communications are critical to successful User Adoption programs. Make sure you have carefully develop appropriate communication channels and ensure that all stakeholders receive accurate information. This involves a variety of steps including setting up communication teams, developing multiple communication channels (live events, email, web sites, blogs, forums, webinars, various social media, etc.), developing a communication strategy, developing communication collateral, and then actually communicating with end users. It also involves carefully defining the roles and responsibilities for all parties involved in developing, approving, and delivering communications.
Best Practices & Key Questions
- Develop a comprehensive communication strategy for your user adoption program. This includes:
- Create a solid infrastructure for ensuring effective 2-way communications.
- Define a communication strategy for each phase of your project.
- Assign specific roles and responsibilities for all aspects of your communication program.
- Provide for as much active engagement and participation of stakeholders in communication activities as possible.
- Beware of the Grapevine!
- Take steps to ensure that all stakeholders have easy access to accurate and timely communications. Don’t let rumors or inaccurate information sabotage your communication efforts.
- Ensure communications continue over the life of your system. Many organizations stop communications once the system goes live, at which point the grapevine takes over. You need on-going communication efforts to make sure new stakeholders receive accurate information and to respond to evolving communication needs.
- Proactively ask people what they are hearing on the grapevine and then respond as necessary to squash rumors and inaccurate information.
- What steps do you take to make sure that all of your communications are accurately conveyed to their intended audience? How are grapevine communications impacting your User Adoption program? What can you do to manage the grapevine in your organization?
- Take the User Adoption Challengeto see what specific user adoption issues you face on your IT project.
- Schedule a demo of Tri Tuns’ “My User Adoption Plan” portal to see how it can provide a comprehensive infrastructure for ensuring effective stakeholder engagement & communications over the life of your system.
- Read “Motivating User Adoption: Commitment, Compliance or WIIFM?” to learn more about defining success goals that will deliver the business benefits you need.
- Read “What’s Wrong with WIIFM” to learn more about effective User Adoption communication messages.
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