IT User Adoption – a Question of Motivation

When it comes to User Adoption, this Famous clip from the movie Office Space is a quick reminder of one of the most commonly overlooked issues when implementing IT systems – motivating people to work. And sure, Initech is a fictional company, but it actually resembles a lot of organizations with which I have worked over the years. In this scene, the employee Peter Gibbons tells the efficiency consultants how his organization approaches motivation and the impact it has on his work efforts. Does this sound like your organization?

How do you motivate people to use your IT system and gain desired User Adoption?

Whenever you implement an IT system, look at all things affecting employee motivation and their ultimate impact on User Adoption. Sometimes there are issues with compensation and incentives. Other times the management may actually be demotivating employees. As Peter says, “I have eight different bosses right now, so that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only motivation – not to be hassled.” Ultimately, change is what you are getting your people, your most important asset, to buy into, and the business outcomes that that delivers.

Would WIIFM motivate this employee?

Conventional wisdom (which is high on convention and low on wisdom) often says that when implementing an IT system, you should try to “sell people on what’s in it for me.” Do you think trying to sell Peter on WIIFM would work in this case? Of course not.

There are bigger issues that need to be fixed here. And unless these other items are fixed, WIIFM will not work. So, what will you do to make sure you have motivated people to use your system and achieve desired User Adoption? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us on the Success Chain community forums!