How to roll out new apps, processes and tools and make them stick: Four steps to strengthen your adoption rates

So, you’ve rolled out our Complete Cloud with Microsoft 365 and taken a peek at the many apps and tools available to you. Congratulations! You are well on your way to realising the benefits of modern workplace technology. The question now is how do you maximise productivity and process improvements using your Microsoft 365 subscription?   

Microsoft Power Platform is included in Complete Cloud and you are probably wondering what it looks like. Power Platform generally refers to Microsoft Power Apps, Forms and Power Automate. It’s a platform that allows businesses to automate processes and become paperless. 

According to Travis Carter, Director at Retrac, to take full advantage of your technology, you need to bring your team on a journey and make sure they understand the new tools and how to use them.  Here are Retrac’s four steps to ensure your new processes and tools are adopted by your team.  

 

Step 1: Make your new apps and tools easy to use 

There are many upsides to digitising a process or fixing a problem within Microsoft 365. Moving from a paper-based process to a form or list enables users to capture data as it is entered, making future reporting a breeze. 

But first things first – you must make sure it works. Test the system to check it is more efficient. If it makes life easier for them, they will use it. If it makes it harder for them, they will not,” says Travis. 

Retrac recently improved an informal ordering process for a volunteer-based organisation. Where team members previously sent a text message (or left a note in a pigeonhole) to order a replacement stock, volunteers now access a list of simple forms via an app on their phones. When stock runs low and needs replenishing, the volunteer can tick a box, and an alert is sent directly to the person in charge of ordering.  

“By making the app user friendly and easier than the process it replaced, we were able to improve productivity and reporting. This enabled volunteers to do more with their time,” Travis says. 

 

Step 2: Make the solution intuitive 

Consider the thought process a team member might go through and the logic they would apply. Is your new process straightforward? Does it make sense?  

According to Travis, the fastest path to adoption is to make sure your new apps and tools are simple and intuitive to use.  

“Everything your team uses should be logical, they should be able to figure it out without being shown. If you use apps that are intuitive, you are far more likely to have a higher adoption rate,” Travis says. 

 

Step 3: Train your team  

The third and perhaps most critical step in the adoption process is to take the time to train your team. Even if your app is logical and shouldn’t need explaining, you must clearly communicate what the tools are, how they work and why you are deploying them.  

In the rush to roll out an exciting new product or feature, it’s tempting to skip this step. But be warned, the risks attached to rushing, or avoiding, user training are not to be ignored.  

Success all comes down to adoption. If you skip training, you will end up with some people using the tool and some people not which creates confusion, fragmented and disjointed processes and almost makes the whole exercise pointless. And training shouldn’t be seen as a one-time only thing, if there’s a new feature released, you will need to re-educate people,” explains Travis. 

 

Step 4: Retire the legacy process 

Another critical task in embedding a new app or tool is to take the old process away. This sounds obvious but all too often, organisations try to stagger the roll out of a new app. Habits take time to break, and if there is the opportunity to revert to a familiar (and often less efficient) process, chances are, it will be taken.  

“If you put an app in place to onboard a new client which used to be paper-based, you want to take away the paper-based process – otherwise your team will still use it. It’s human nature to resist change. People will try to use the legacy processes because that’s what they’re used to, it’s what they’re comfortable with,” says Travis.  

“And on a similar note, you need to lead by example. You can’t expect staff to adopt new tools if business leaders are still sticking to what they know. If you want your team to use more efficient, modern ways of working you need to jump on board, practice what you preach and lead by example,” Travis adds.  

 

Ready to modernise your processes? Talk to Retrac today 

Retrac has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to solving process problems using Microsoft 365’s Power Platform suite. 

“We’re building apps for customers that make data entry easy through a phone or PC. Our aim is to automate processes that are difficult and make them easier, more time efficient and more secure. We’ve seen what other businesses have done and what they’ve needed. We can look at another business problem through that lens and say: ‘We can do it this way. We’ve seen this done and it will be successful’,” says Travis.  

“Our customers have better adoption because we spend extra time doing raining at the beginning,” Travis concludes.  

To embed a new app or tool in a business, Retrac run training sessions with your team. To learn more about ensuring adoption or to investigate apps that could replace your current paper or manual processes, contact the team at Retrac today. 

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