The rapid pace of open source adoption in the enterprise continues. There’s more at stake for project teams within the enterprise. Projects are bigger than ever before. Here at FFW we continue to engage in larger and more strategic builds - true enterprise scale stuff. Enterprises are prioritizing open source solutions front and center of mission critical business process and for good reason.
Open source is obviously license free and incredibly flexible. You also get the power of the “community” at your disposal. Open Source projects like Drupal have such a strong community “infrastructure” it means you essentially have thousands of developers on your “virtual” team.
There are fantastic open source consultancies, like FFW, that can help enterprises to conceive of and rapidly deploy these mission critical applications. Combining our delivery skills with scalable support and hosting solutions offered by our partner, Acquia, and our SaaS commerce partner, CommerceGuys, and Open Source is a no brainer.
With that said, the focus tends to be on building those critical applications, with adoption inside and outside the enterprise often an afterthought. Budgets invariably get squeezed; timelines cut, and ultimately adoption pays the price. The net net is that despite the quality of such solutions they can often fail to succeed.
Community solutions can struggle to gain user adoption. Internal applications, platform CMS deployments, intranets etc., can remain dormant and largely unused. Thats not the ideal for any project team looking to make the most of big investment.
At FFW we approach our engagements with the complete picture in mind. Its not just about training - it’s about creating a holistic and sustainable adoption strategy. We prioritize this as high in our process as we do the building of great technology solutions.
At the FFW Center of Excellence, we have experience building adoption strategies and customized training plans for some of the largest fortune 500 enterprises in the industry. While in most cases we recommend, at minimum, developer, infrastructure, and content admin/editor training for the most straightforward projects, we also like to look at each engagement in context of the larger goal. Don’t underestimate the need - develop an Adoption Strategy for your application. This blog covers our six steps to adoption success.
1. Identify your audience.
Identifying the audience is a critical first step. What are the personas we need to consider? Developers, administrators, editors, end users? Inside the organization? Outside? How will the application be maintained? By whom? What skills do they have? Who will administer the solution, create and edit content?
What about the end user if they might be outside our company? Should we consider some sort of available training solution, available within the application, for them? These are but some of the questions we should consider when building a holistic program.
At this stage its good to create a spreadsheet of personas describing the various audiences, their roles, and other associated attributes. Are they tech savvy? Will they require any special handholding?
If you've built user stories go over them with a mind toward training and adoption. If you have not built user stories a full service agency such as FFW can help you learn how to develop a full set.
Great! So step one is complete. Identifying our audience is a major first step in building a successful adoption plan. It will guide you through each consecutive step. Revisit and adjust as you make discoveries along the way.
We've got five more steps to share. In next week's blog we’ll discuss how managing logistics and geography can help ensure adoption success. Stay tuned.