In order to understand a tool, you have to use it. In order to understand its value you have to apply its use to something to see whether it improves a task or an issue. Until you do this it is just a tool, a technology that can be perceived hard to use, complicated and doesn’t add value.
One of the challenges I’ve faced when building communities or using new tools and technologies is answering the question “what’s in it for me?”. How is this (whatever IT is) going to make my life easier? So we need to understand the tools ourselves before we can demonstrate value and then we need to take people on a journey to enable them to see the value themselves so they adopt its use and become advocates.
First you must establish a need, without a need there is no point in looking at a new tool as what you have must already cut the mustard and allows you to get the job done.
Take live online learning, for months I was trying to build momentum around delivering traditional face to face sessions through a well known online training tool. I spent time to understand the tool becoming a confident user in the process as I felt this was important to demonstrate its’ full potential. No-one would take that plunge and it was left to me to drive adoption and bring the value of the tool to life. I delivered team meetings, problem solving sessions as well as facilitating project meetings using the tool but still no real buy-in. Shortly after this I became learning & development project manager supporting a new business launch and was responsible for developing all the learning solutions and induction programmes from products to a brand new system.
As this was a new set up we were recruiting significantly higher numbers than a standard induction programme , in this case it was 24 people. We had 2 trainers and one room with 10 computers, “er Mike we’re going to have a problem” I was told, “We don’t have room to deliver the system training for 24 people”.
I had discovered a need! I demonstrated how using the online tool would enable them to facilitate the system demonstrations to ALL 24 people at the same time, I showed them how to record the sessions so people could review them afterwards….it even meant that the groups could all sit together on the floor and use their headsets so they could listen intently and watch the demo from the comfort of their own desk.
Bingo – value had been demonstrated! I spent time developing the trainers confidence with the tool and supported them when needed. The problem had been solved and in actual fact we had improved the learning experience as feedback was great as the group could use the chat function to ask questions and chat between themselves AND they could watch any part of the system demo again whenever they wanted.
Find the need then choose the right tool that meets that need….sounds easier than it is in real life though.
Does this sound familiar?
How have you had to demonstrate the value of new tools and technologies before you get buy-in?
Could you share any examples that could benefit others?