Featured image: How to Improve IBM Connections Adoption in your Organization


IBM Connections is in essence a social networking platform for business, designed to improve collaboration and communication. But there are many components available, and the best ROI comes with widespread user adoption. So what are some things that more technical members of your staff can do to increase adoption of IBM Connections within your company or organization?


1. Recognize where resistance comes from; learning curve? resistant to change?


First, it is worth the time and effort to understand if there is resistance to adoption, or if the lack of progress is simply due to the time and effort required to learn how to use the new platform.
If you find there is outright resistance, you need to dig deep and learn what the root cause is and address it. However, if the issue is essentially the learning curve required to adopt the new paradigm, your more technical staff can help by pushing projects and activities into the IBM Connections model.
Use a community for a new project, and put everything related to that project into the community. Use the shared file space instead of sending copies of file to users, and help them see how that feature benefits them. Reach out via the instant messaging or instant meeting room for ad-hoc conversations and show them how easy it is to keep in touch!

2. Identify transition champions and celebrate success.

Every organization has a few propeller heads that are widely known, and highly respected, because they really know their stuff and manage to remain personable. Get these folks on board, and have them not only explore deeply the IBM Connections features and tools, but charge them to do some point-specific "how-to" training videos or presentations. Specifically target the training along the lines of "how we used to do it, vs how we can now do it, and so much more". Organize these, and of course, make them available in a company-wide IBM Connections community. The technical folks will appreciate the opportunity to lead the way, and the less technical users will appreciate some real-world examples.



3. Eliminate alternative options, specifically the formerly used tools.

There is a natural tendency to "stay with what we know". Unfortunately, that will tend toward users continuing to use the former / incumbent collaboration tools. One way the organization can encourage adoption of IBM Connections is to eliminate the old tools.
This needs to be done in a planned, and likely phased approach, so call on your technical staff to lead the way. Since they are generally more interested in learning new stuff anyway, so you might have the initial phase be targeted to technical projects and teams. Have the Project Managers and technical leads include some "lessons learned" specific to how they used IBM Connections to collaborate and achieve success on their projects.
Have the PM manager monitor these "lessons learned" for the gems that should be included with the "how-to's" from the technical leads mentioned above. This type of walking the walk can go a long way to helping less technical staff. Eventually, outright elimination of the alternatives will be the way to drive full adoption.

Fully embracing all that IBM Connections has to offer is more than an upgrade, it's a journey. Enjoy it!


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