I'm currently reading a great book on strategy, Kenichi Ohmae's (McKinsey & Company) "The Mind Of The Strategist", and was inspired to put pen to paper on some principles I'm keeping in mind for 2016. Disclaimer: I write from an enterprise user app development standpoint as apposed to a mass consumer application standpoint (like Uber).
Below are two principles to keep in mind in order to CRUSH User Adoption in 2016.
1. The "5 Whys" (use them before choosing ANY new enhancements for development from your pipeline!)
"5 Whys is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. The primary goal of the technique is to determine the of a defect or problem by repeating the question "Why?" Each question forms the basis of the next question. The "5" in the name derives from an empirical observation on the number of iterations typically required to resolve the problem." -Wikipedia.com
We've all been there. A specific user base isn't using our application and there is pushback to rollout a new UX, or focus more on what the business / users say they really want versus what they REALLY NEED. A broad brush solution is NOT always the answer.
One example from my own experience is that users have told me that they need a way to log their calls quickly and in bulk into our CRM system. Normally, you would expect to just make a bulk entry screen and be done with it. Incorrect.
But why? The reality is, the users need to log their calls to appease management. Management is appeased if the data is good / meaningful, and can be transmitted to other users / people internally and externally. Users are happy if Management is happy. The most important reality is that Management is happy if they can demonstrate that their employees are spending hours on the phone productively helping clients, which they can in turn use to ask for more revenues. That's our end game, that's our real requirement to fulfill, not facilitation of a bulk entry page (which typically results in less than stellar data, which then kills your system).
This ability to allow Management to see that employees are spending their time making the right calls, and transmitting this knowledge effectively to the rest of the business / their clients is your requirement. This is what is justifying your system, and what should be driving your pipeline (not making it easier for the users to enter meaningless data).
2. Get the car to drive straight before putting in that crazy sound system!
Time and again I've seen a situation where if just a small amount of resources were put up against improving the CORE functionalities of an application, a significant usage boost occurs. Don't be afraid to go rogue and push this stuff in fellow Product Managers, I've done it and sometimes you just have to ask for forgiveness later if it doesn't work out. Thankfully, it's worked out 95% of the time, <knock on wood>.
I've had to fight for changing bad process flows of CORE functionality for users (95% user impact) over enhancements that impact 5% of the user base in my past experience. You just have to find a way to streamline and simplify your core functionality first in order to make the largest positive impact on your user base. IE: Make sure your car can drive straight before you worry about installing that 60 sub audio system in there!
What are some of your top principles that you are keeping in mind entering 2016?
Tell me in the comments! Thanks