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juni 10, 2015

They didn’t need adoption for their mobile device!?


Recently during a workshop on user adoption strategies by Michael Sampson, one of the attendees remarked how user adoption seems to be very different for mobile devices than it is for other technology. He noticed how very badly written (or not written at all) announcements or instructions for anything to do with mobile devise use are still effective. Yet very well thought and positioned materials on the collaboration platform were not doing anything at all.

So why is it that we achieve great user adoption on getting employees to use mobile devices, but not such good user adoption on using their collaboration platform?

As Michael clearly answered there is a big difference in people using their mobile devices, and people using a collaboration platform. A mobile device is something they use personally. Often it is even their private device. Changing the way I work, using my mobile device doesn’t require anybody else to change with me. I can easily start using my mobile device for e-mail, without my colleagues having to use a mobile device. They can continue to use their desktop application. 

A collaboration platform, such as Office 365 or IBM Connections, does require a group of people to change the way they work. There is no way I could start using online co-authoring documents, or sharing travel reports in a community blog without my colleagues using this too! Often it becomes complex to shift to another way of working collectively. There are different needs, governance, security and culture to address. Making the change collectively therefore is much slower, and requires different efforts.

According to B.J. Fogg, as explained in his Behaviour Model, in order to change behavior 3 things need to be present at the same time: motivation, ability and trigger. This is true for an individual of course, but could apply to a group or organization as a whole as well. 

So what does this model mean? In short, in order to achieve a target behavior (your goal, but could be broken down into smaller steps) a person needs to be motivated to do so, and needs to be able to do it. Motivation makes you put in the effort. Ability means you have the time, money or resources to do it.




A person could be highly motivated, yet have low ability, but still reach the target behavior. Or a person could have low motivation but high ability and reach the target behavior. But most importantly we need the 3rd factor: a trigger. A trigger functions as a reminder for us to do the new behaviour. A trigger could be an alarm, seeing someone’s face, or an existing habit. When we combine an existing habit, to be followed by the new habit, that’s when we most easily achieve a change in behaviour.

What happens with mobile device use, is that the motivation to use it is in general very high, as compared to other tools made available to employees. The ability to use them is also often quite high. People use their device for lots of things, also besides work, and devices are becoming easier to use all the time. The trigger is something that is always there with mobile devices. In fact, that is why a lot of people are so hooked to their phones. They are constantly being reminded by apps showing badges, makings sounds or even gamification techniques to keep them going at it.

So why do I think we do not need a lot of adoption strategies for getting people to use – for example – e-mail on their mobile device? Because they are highly motivated to have and work with a mobile device. It allows them to work from home or on-the-go. Mobile phones are becoming so mainstream that in general people know how to operate them, especially since it is the same for personal use as for business use. More and more organizations allow people to bring their own device, or supply one if necessary. They are simply available. Mobile devices are great to trigger people into using them (all the time!) which makes them use it a lot and for more and more situations.