Getting Adoption To Go Viral

Adoption is not a one time hit. Mapped the processes, got agreement from process owners, sent the email with instructions, ran the training course. Job done.

Think more about getting adoption of a change in working procedures as starting a viral following.

Malcom Gladwell’s book Tipping Point describes the phenomen very well. The tipping point is when adoption is now in the hands of the users. It has “gone viral”. The rock has been pushed to the top of the hill and now it is rolling down the hill under its own steam, gathering momentum. After the tipping point, adoption is largely out of your hands. Which is good and bad.

Good that your efforts are magnified massively because now every users is an evangelist and example to others.

Bad that you can no longer control the message. So you have beeter be sure that whatever you want to achieve is VERY simply described and passed on from person to person. If the message is too complicated it will be muddled in transmission. “Send three and fourpence we are going to a dance” was the famous World War II radio message, which was meant to be “Send reinforcements we are going to advance”.

So what are the steps to get your project to “go-viral”? Think of the parallels between your project and the team launching Wikipedia onto an unsuspecting, powerful and uncontrollable audience…

First some things need to be in place:

1. Clear structure and scope
2. Strong branding and identity
3. A governance structure with delegated ownership
4. An approach and diagraming notation that end-users / business owners can master without analyst support
5. A BPM software application which enables you to easily achieve all of the above.

Now the launch:

1. Use all the sales and marketing savvy you would use to sell your product to a new set of customers
2. Provide a support structure which is hyper-responsive in the early days3. Openly reward and recognise those who contribute

Good luck. And a measure of success is if you feel you are riding a roller-coaster or have a tiger by the tail.

Ian Gotts is CEO and Chairman of Nimbus Partners, an established and rapidly growing global software company, headquartered in the UK. He is a very experienced senior executive and serial entrepreneur, with a career spanning 25 years. Ian has co-authored a number of books including “Common Approach, Uncommon Results”, published in English and Chinese and in its second edition, "Why Killer Products Don't Sell" and books covering Cloud computing from the perspective of both the prospective buyer, and the software vendor. Having begun his career in 1983 as an engineer for British Rail, Ian then spent 12 years at Accenture (nee Andersen Consulting) specialising in the project management of major business critical IT projects. During this time, he spent two years as an IT Director, seconded to the Department for Social Security (DSS), with a department of over 500 and a budget responsibility of 40 million pounds.