Implementation, Deployment and Adoption

A few months ago a peer of mine and I took an afternoon to mindmap her presentation on User Adoption.  During that time we realized that the topic was going to require more than one presentation and could fill an entire conference track.  This was her first time on the speaking circuit; actually second as she tagged team with me on one of my sessions a few months before.  But this was her first without training wheels.  I was pleased that her session was well received, actually better than well received; she got applause from the entire audience.   It’s been a few months since and now she’s eager to present at another major conference.   

This brought to mind the topic of adoption on a visceral level.   Initially I had tried to get members of my team to present at conferences.   It had been an uphill battle.  My score at been 0:6.  So I decided to try another tactic.  I figured I’d remove some of the anxiety of presenting by co-presenting; therefore my peer didn’t have to carry the session all by herself.  She had a little bit of nervousness, but, came through just fine.  Nobody noticed or commented on mistakes, she didn’t freeze nor die of fright.

Months later she came to me asking me to help.  She wanted to present by herself at another conference.  She was confident about presenting but unsure about the topic or what to say.   After a few questions back and forth we decided that the topic of adoption would be something she could add value to.  She had previously specialized in change management as part of her career, so adoption seemed like a rich topic.

For her first presentation she decided an overview covering the topic would be of value.  During our brainstorming / mindmapping session thoughts of implementation, deployment and adoption came to mind.  I put these aside till today as I’m poised to work with her again assembling another session for a conference next year where we’ll tagged team again.  But this time she’ll be confident presenting.

The reason I bring this up is often as professionals we confuse implementation and deployment with adoption.   I was after implementation having teammates present at conferences.   My efforts at deployment trying to enlist members resulted in limited success until I changed my deployment methods.  I needed to understand why teammates were hesitant to present.  Once I address their concerns of fear of the unknown I got adoption. 

This was an interesting lesson to relearn.  Years ago I had read an excellent article from Sloan Magazine on Stakeholder Analysis that highlighted for change to be successful you need to address other’s concerns in order to realize your goals


About briankseitz
I live in PacNW in a small town and work for Microsoft as a Enterprise strategy and architecture SME. I enjoy solving big complex problems, cooking and eating, woodworking and reading. I typically read between 4-8 business and technology books a month.

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