When it comes to software, it is important to have the right features, but you also need good functionality and some risk takers to get the most out of the investment. Features are the capabilities of the software. Functionality is all about how easy it is to use those features and apply them to real world tasks.
Most if not all users will discover the basic features and will become functional once they are trained. Only super users will play around with the application enough to figure out all the features. But how quickly will they translate the discovered features into functional solutions? That depends on how many risk takers there are in the company.
I heard someone say the other day that they would try the new application – “why not, I can’t break it”. That attitude is critical to the adoption and use of features in software. But how do you instill that attitude across all employees or as many as possible? These types of users are critical to getting the full return on the investment.
Take document management software as an example. There are likely features in your document management software that support digital signatures and version control. The key is to get users to be comfortable using those features on a daily basis – taking the risk to try out sending out a document that requires the receiver to sign it digitally or using the version control feature instead of creating a new file.v2.
We are all wired differently so there is not likely a single method to successfully get that message across. But the response from the help desk and management should be consistent – non-disparaging, supportive and encouraging at all costs. The software has to work too, that is a given.
If the software has the right features with good functionality, that is a good start. Users without fear will learn, adopt and excel at using technology and taking it to its full potential. That means that your organization will reap the benefits of that technology in better efficiency and productivity. Hug a risk taker today.