5 Ways to Gain Acceptance for Enterprise Programs and Projects

By Corbin Links

In any big IT or business program, user perception and acceptance makes all the difference between success and failure. Check out these 5 tips to improve your chances of success, and gain sweeping user acceptance.

  1. Clearly summarize and articulate the reason for the program. This is not the time for an exhaustive laundry list, or discussion of technical whiz-bang features. Most if not all of the end-user community will care very little about the underlying technology or what vendor is providing it. Keep your message clear and simple. An example statement: Due to the feedback we have received about too many passwords, long times to sign on in the morning, overly long time to process your requests, etc. we are instituting a program here at XYZ Company, called “Identity and Access Management, or IAM for short. Note that the preceding statement places the emphasis on the end-user pain points. Each audience (end-user, program sponsor, auditors, developers, data security, helpdesk, desktop support, etc.) will require its own custom message.
  2. Post the preceding statement on your company intranet and internal newsletters, along with guidebooks, screen shots, and videos. Think of this as “advance marketing”. It is critical to advertise well in advance of the launch. At a minimum, most Identity Management Programs include some form of user impact, such as password change frequency and/or complexity. Keep in mind there will be some measure of user impact, and plan accordingly.
  3. Offer at least one informal “brown bag” session at each company facility. The fireside chat model works well. Start with a brief presentation of no more than six or seven slides, and then leave the rest open for questions and answers. They key is to provide a forum for users to air their questions, concerns, and grievances. Make impacts clear, and be open and honest about program benefits. Describe what the system can do, and what it cannot.
  4. Clearly summarize the timeline. When, where, and how the system will be implemented. Who will be affected and when. If pilot or rollout groups are used (very common), then describe how the groups are selected, when they will be included, how much time will elapse between group deployment, etc.
  5. Clearly state the “411” policy: where users can go for help, and what they should expect. “Support after the sale.” All it takes is one highly placed individual to have a negative experience and inadequate support to derail the deployment. Make it abundantly clear where users should go for help, how they use the help facilities (email, web-based forms, helpdesk issue entry systems, phone numbers, chat tools, etc.) Set up codes just to track Identity-related issues, and ensure that the helpdesk is ramped up, and staffed accordingly. Expect issues and general questions to initially spike way up, then plummet after the first 30 days. Set user expectations for response times.

I hope the preceding list is useful. Want more hands-on help getting acceptance for your big program? Call me today (via Links Business Group LLC) at +1 800 507 3480 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or fill out the contact form./p>


About the Author

Corbin Links --> Data Security and Enterprise Workflow Automation Specialist, API Integrator, Identity Access Management (IAM / IdM) Consultant and "Other Duties as Required"