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Strategic Approach to Driving User Adoption in Business Transformations – 5 key steps

Published on 25 January 2024
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Alex Bennet
OCM Lead

Alex is a highly accomplished OCM Lead with over 25 years of managerial and functional experience. His expertise spans across multiple domains, including organizational design, change management, training and development, software implementation, and process outsourcing. With extensive experience as an SAP specialist and consultant, Alex is well-versed in delivering successful projects across various industries.

Despite investing in various digital transformation projects, many organizations overlook ensuring the success of each project before moving on to the next. This haste creates a digital adoption gap, where the promised benefits of technology capabilities remain unrealized due to limited user engagement. To bridge this gap and unlock the full value of software investments, leaders should prioritize and ensure effective user adoption before diving into the next project. After the implementation of digital transformation projects, business leaders often move on to the next initiative, with the deployed technology becoming a part of the tech stack. This challenge is intensified by diverse workforces across generations, from baby boomers to Gen Z, necessitating innovative training approaches. Success in business transformations relies on user adoption – engaging users, tailoring training, and addressing concerns. High adoption rates unlock added value, paving the way for growth and profitability in the new system.

Here are five essential steps to guide organizations in achieving successful user adoption: 

user adoption steps

1. Choosing the right tools for effective training

The first consideration is determining the tool to help you develop, deliver, and track the training and onboarding process. Numerous tools including SAP Enable Now, uPerform, and Articulate 360, offer the ability to record simulations or walk-throughs and link to various sources such as the Internet or PowerPoint slides. Facilitating simulations and linking to diverse sources enhances training effectiveness, providing practical experience and comprehensive learning. Assess how these tools can be customized to suit your specific training needs and how seamlessly they can integrate with your current processes.

The varying prices of these tools are the primary concern for smaller companies with fewer end users. Analyze the pricing structures to choose one that aligns best with your organization's budget and requirements. Further, evaluate features, user interface, intuitiveness, long-term scalability, customizability, and integration capabilities. Leverage your systems integrator’s expertise to guide you in selecting the tool most suitable for your software, scope, and budget.

2. Crafting tailored learning paths for seamless adoption

The next step involves creating a robust curriculum that tailors and personalizes the learning process to address each user's strengths and limitations. In larger projects, this may involve anywhere from 25 to 50 individual learning opportunities. Consider the complexity of the subject being trained to determine the delivery method and course development – for instance, an eLearning course requires specific user interventions, while a classroom-based class emphasizes theory with exercises. A well-designed curriculum often adopts a blended training approach to keep the users engaged and interested in learning. This approach aims to bridge the knowledge gap, simplify the learning curve, and create a sense of belonging for seamless adoption. 

3. Powering the impact of training with business-backed experts

The next step is determining the trainers for the program. For effective training sessions, having a businessperson as the trainer is often more impactful. Their strong understanding of the organizational context and greater credibility with the end-user population enhance the overall training experience.  When adopting this approach, the customer needs to identify suitable trainers and allocate individuals to play an active role in the project from the start, allowing them to learn extensively before delivering training.

Apart from subject matter expertise, focus on selecting trainers who possess strong communication skills. Emphasize the importance of relaying complex information effectively and in a clear, concise, and engaging manner to ensure maximum retention. Offer trainers sufficient time and resources to become well-versed in the new system. Conduct “train-the-trainer” workshops to empower them with the right skills, knowledge, and teaching methodologies.

4. Guiding users with clear communication

The other key to user adoption is communication. The business and the end users must be informed about what, why, when, and how changes will impact their daily tasks. Regularly communicate updates, progress, and changes regarding the system implementation or transformation.  In addition to training courses, try hands-on workshops mirroring real-life situations, showcasing the seamless integration of the new system into daily tasks.

Ensure clarity by explaining the purpose, goals, and benefits of the changes. Address “why, what, when, and how” to offer a comprehensive understanding of the work process. Articulate the impact on daily workflows, explaining the advantages, efficiencies, and improvements.  In the end, personalize your communication, seek feedback, address concerns, refine processes, and maintain clear, ongoing, and user-friendly communication practices.

5. Exploring continued learning opportunities

How can users effectively continue learning post-training and before the go-live phase? In scenarios where a user’s training concludes early, such as by week 1, and no further sessions are scheduled, providing access to a sandbox client becomes crucial for independent practice. Alternatively, implementing drop-in workshops, staffed with experts to address system-related queries, offers an additional valuable option during this interim period. Ensuring the availability of learning opportunities post-go-live is also crucial. Incorporating workshops, lunch and learns, and implementing focus groups for specific areas of functionality are excellent strategies to sustain the learning experience. Leveraging tools like SAP Enable Now, uPerform, and Articulate 360 for simulations and diverse source linking ensures continuous and enhanced learning experiences.


Navigating digital transformation requires a solid adoption strategy, considering the significant changes that take place in employee workflow. As organizations race to implement diverse digital projects, it becomes imperative to bridge the digital adoption gap through a strategic approach. The commitment to prioritize user adoption, coupled with the careful selection of tools, tailored learning paths, and business-backed experts as trainers, lays the foundation for success. Clear communication, hands-on workshops, and continued learning opportunities further fortify the journey and facilitate user adoption and utilization of the transformation. If you are seeking a transformation and want to align your user base with new changes, contact our experts. 

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