Driving GovCon Capture System User Adoption – Different Scenarios, Different Tactics

I was reviewing my posts this month.  I wrote two case studies about two customers using WinCenter for GovCon Capture Management.  Their objectives are different and how they approached their implementations is different.  Both want user adoption, but, for different reasons.  In this article, I’ll take a look at both situations, compare them, and, provide my take.

The Customer Scenarios

The article Government Contractor Uses WinCenter to Drive Integrated Capture Management is about a 350 person organization that was focused on moving from spreadsheets to an integrated capture system.  Their implementation is done and was successful.  I’ll refer this to the OOTB (out-of-the-box) scenario because they largely adopted WinCenter out of the box.

The article Guide and Drive GovCon Capture Activity – Going Beyond CRM is about an 800 person division of a top tier Federal Government Contractor that is leveraging WinCenter to create and rollout a new and unique capture methodology.  I’ll refer to this as the Custom Capture scenario.

In both cases they were moving from manual spreadsheets into an integrated capture management system.  And, in both cases they choose WinCenter instead of the direct competition which were leading CRM systems.

Objectives of User Adoption

Both projects were driven by management top down to get to a better place.  However, the definition of user adoption and the purposes were different.

In the OOTB scenario, the adoption by their users was important because they were driving towards making their capture work more manageable and consistent.  Their aim was pretty basic and considered to be an operational objective.  To be successful means that people would use the system and this would meet their operational objectives.

In the Custom Capture scenario, their aim was very high.  They were focused on rolling out a new methodology and therefore using the system to drive the understanding and adoption of this new methodology.  This is a higher level objective.  It is considered strategic.

Approaches to End User Adoption

Just getting the adoption of any system by end-users is always a challenge.  In the OOTB scenario, the customers’ management team planned and executed with the idea of getting users to adopt the basic OOTB system as a core objective in and of itself.  Some of the tactics that they used were:

  • They involved members of each of the 4 business divisions in their planning and the implementation.
  • They planned to invest in brown bag events to train end-users.
  • They invested in custom videos that were role based to make it easy for end-users to learn.
  • They kept the initial system being rolled out to a very basic level with only a few specific enhancements.  And, certain elements were even disabled to start.
  • Management provided business users with a “give and get” proposition whereby they would do monthly reviews virtually within the system which reduces the burden of ad hoc data calls that were very common.

In the case of the Custom Capture customer, they have invested primarily in adapting the system to their new unique capture process.  Their effort is on the technical aspects of the system to make it user friendly in support of their custom methodology.   A key aspect of our approach in this scenario, was to use the R3 “Do and Learn” methodology (shoulder-to-shoulder knowledge transfer) to empower the internal team to configure the system on an ongoing basis.  The logic is that their internal team will be able to support the system, make changes, and, help build the user adoption based upon feedback.  They plan to move into a structured rollout phase for user adoption.

Which is Right? What are the Upcoming Challenges?

I think that both approaches are appropriate to their situation.  R3 has altered our implementation model to meet the customer situation.  With that said, let me talk about the challenges that each will probably face.

The OOTB customer got their user adoption.  They met their tactical objective.  Now, that the users are using the system, they will start to change their behavior such as becoming more explicit about capture activities.  Their approach is to incrementally introduce these changes and alter behavior.  At the end of the day, their intent is to have a far more effective and integrated capture and proposal process.  Once they start with this approach, the key is to continue with an incremental approach.  They are set up for a sustainable approach for continuous improvement.  The challenge is simply that they may settle in at a point and the improvement will stall.

The Custom Capture customer is taking a more risky approach.  However, with this approach they stand to get much further, faster.  The challenge is to stop innovating at the right point.  They need to force themselves to stop at a point and go into a structured rollout phase.  The risk is whether they got it right.  To get adoption, users need the time to absorb the system and the way of working.  This approach lends itself to a more stair-stepped approach to adoption.  When rolling out, users will need to be introduced to the system in steps of adoption.  As it is a new system and a new methodology the customer must plan for a lot of internal training and education.  The good news is that the system has prescriptive guidance built in so the training on the methodology will be greatly reduced.


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