How to Ensure a Successful Mobile App Rollout

by Will Scott, an EO Chicago member and president of Lextech Global Services.

Mobile apps have the ability to improve the way we do business by streamlining inefficient workflows. However, mobile apps only work if people use them.

In essence, mobile apps are changing the way we do business, and change can be scary. Imagine the difficulties of getting dozens, hundreds or thousands of individuals to embrace change.

In order to promote adoption of your mobile app, you’ll need a proven plan of attack. Having worked with many companies to transform their businesses using mobile apps, here are some best practices for getting employees to use them:

1. Communicate why the app is important. It’s essential that employees understand how to use the app and why using the app is important. Demonstrate how the app impacts employees individually (makes the job easier, reduces the steps for tasks, saves time, etc.), and how the app impacts the company as a whole (reduces costs, increases revenue, improves customer satisfaction, etc.).

2. Roll out apps one at a time. When creating change, it’s tempting to get it over with all at once, but this can backfire. It’s often better to whet worker appetites and then roll out more apps as employees become comfortable with them and see the benefits. Piecemeal change, stretched across scheduled timeframes, is often the easiest way for the end users to digest change.

3. Create excitement around the app. A great mobility program builds excitement around the products, ensuring that the workforce embraces change. Some companies create rollout campaigns that compare the new system with the old, using videos to demonstrate how much faster and easier the new tools make the process. One company I worked with nicknamed their old system “Hourglass” because it took so long. To promote adoption of the new app, they handed out t-shirts branding the app “Cheetah” for its speed.

4. Track the adoption. It’s important to track usage of the app on a daily basis to understand how quickly users are migrating to the new app and where adoption problems may be. Sonic Automotive, one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States, configured sensors to monitor the rate of user adoption. They were able to determine which dealerships were fully engaged, and which needed additional help to get everyone on board.

5. Groom adoption champions. A few influential workers getting on board with the new app can set the trend for the rest of the process, helping to start the ripple effect that leads to a mobilized workforce. App champions are a major part of the equation.

Finally, don’t forget about training. While mobile apps are meant to be easy enough to figure out without much training, they won’t be figured out at all if your end users don’t practice with the new apps, let alone open or download the suite.

Will Scott is president of Lextech, a mobile app development company that reinvents the way people work, and generates billions of dollars for clients in both cost savings and revenue potential. Follow him on Twitter: @WilljrScott.

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