When conference slides become a nightmare in reality!!


GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR – had to get that out of the way.  I recently got a software upgrade over the network on my phone.  It took 10-15 minutes and the phone was disabled during that time.  The phone came back on and it went without a glitch.  Voila – technology at work.  I am sure a number of you have been through this.

And then the trouble started.  All my settings were messed up.  The colors looked different.  The screens were unfamiliar.  My phone was no longer talking to my car (Bluetooth) and so on and so on and so on.  I suddenly realized that I had literally become part of my slide presentation.  This is the slide I’ve used many times and I had become the person screaming at her phone. (there is an audio file with it too!!).


The point that we make with this slide is that the average consumer realizes less than 10% of the value that is designed into the phone (innovation).  The rest is lost in the Adoption haze – yet phone companies keep adding more features and functionalities to their devices.  With no increase in Adoption, the realized value ratio actually goes down (further below 10%).  This was truly scary – I have now melded into my presentations.  My actual value realized has gone down because I am now spending all kinds of time either relearning or resetting and getting no added value from whatever the software upgrade did.  The phone company was focused on the consonants and totally ignoring the vowels

And if that wasn’t enough, during the same time we went through an MS Office upgrade.  We are now on the latest versions of Outlook, Powerpoint, Word, etc..  The rollout and conversion went very smoothly (thank you Rick).  And then the trouble started.  Same list as above – the setting were all messed up, the screens looked different, the keystrokes needed were different, the calendar updated differently and like a mule kick it dawned on me that we were now living in another slide that I often use and it’s this one(also with an audio file). 


By traditional metrics of IT project management, the conversion had been a huge success.  It went smoothly, was on time and budget.  The value to the user though was and still is negative because of low adoption.  Now trust me when I say this that we are all very sensitive to Adoption in our office and thought we were paying enough attention but obviously we were not.  We have lost time and quality and have dropped a couple of meetings on the calendar (sorry Hemant and Len).

While working on a Talent Management  engagement at a client, I recently ran into another definition of Adoption from a client who refers to it as Management Practice (thanks Don).  We are still going back and forth to confirm that our definitions match up- but his notion is that unless a new process turns into a Management Practice, it’s not really delivering value – a notion we totally agree with.

I know we have been on this Adoption bandwagon for quite a while and we will continue to do so. Those that have known us for a while may remember that after we started talking about Change Management in our community, it took a long time before most embraced the critical role that CM plays.  Similarly,  all of us need to keep turning up the volume until Adoption becomes a Management Practice or Management Practices get Adopted.




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