The Fuze Adoption Playbook: Analysis and Recommendations
Fuze recently launched what it calls The Adoption Playbook. Their Adoption Playbook (found here) covers the creation of a five-phase approach to adoption. These phases include:
- Adoption game plan
- Internal launch campaign
- Engagement plan
- Go live support
- Ongoing nurture
Fuze’s Adoption Playbook covers the basics, but it is not as a complete playbook for unified communications or collaboration. It should be seen as the Fuze input to a larger collaboration plan.
In this rapidly changing world of work, end-user touches should be orchestrated and as inclusive as possible. Changes, such as the adoption of Fuze independently, or to complement technologies like Slack or Microsoft Teams, should be an opportunity to better understand how people work, not just how they chat, use the phone, or their video conferencing behaviors. The Playbook would benefit from other versions that recognize and define contextual differences when co-existing with other collaboration tools.
Fuze takes a top-down approach to adoption. Stakeholders, for instance, covers senior executives, such as the CIO, VP of Sales, and it rightfully calls of Executive Assistants as high influence/high impact stakeholders. What it doesn’t include are departmental IT decision-makers, and regular employees with very high call and meeting profiles. HR leaders implementing work from home professional development classes would also be a useful member of the stakeholder team.
Stakeholders need to include not just to support employees, but also employees who will be using the system daily and hold sway over the technology opinions of others. The Playbook does suggest that organizations identify stakeholders, but the examples would benefit from more exhaustive lists of potential stakeholders in order to provide better guidance to new customers employing the methodology.
Much of the Playbook focuses on informing and convincing employees of the value of the new tool, but it doesn’t use all of the tools at the disposal of the organization. The plan takes its framework from traditional marketing, with posters, slide templates, and town halls. Collaboration benefits from grassroots efforts like communities of practice as much as it does from messaging frameworks. Identification and engagement of communities would add another dimension to the Adoption Playbook. More intimate settings, like brown bags, virtual or physical, would also be of use.
The Fuze Case Workshops would also benefit from internal community sponsorship, as would the Ambassador program. Rather than top-down Ambassador nominations, self-nomination from real advocates would infuse the project with passionate voices rather than obligatory messaging as part of an assignment. Amorphous lines of influence often prove more valuable when adopting technology than the explicit lines of command-and-control.
The end-user survey, which focuses only on Fuze-specific implementations, doesn’t suggest capturing the ancillary work and technology relationships needed to understand the obstacles being faced, and opportunities available to the new technology. The post-deployment survey would also gain from a broader context, such as asking not just about the Fuze deployment experience, but if the employee continues to choose other tools, and why. Exploration of end-user expectations (which would need to be gathered in the earlier survey) and how the deployment did or did not meet those expectations would also offer valuable insight. As a general note, most survey questions should include “Other” as a learning opportunity for the team and the vendor.
Fuze has also developed a supplement to their Adoption Playbook, the WFH Edition. This covers access to desk phones, the inability to meet face-to-face, and the value of the technology to keep those meetings going, how to communicate change, and where to find resources. As with the broader Adoption Playbook, more context about WFH conditions and alternative communications methods would be useful.
Overall, Fuze has done a good job of creating an adoption book specific to a Fuze implementation. It includes templates and samples that will save time for those charged with the deployment and adoption of Fuze. Monitoring the wide array of Fuze analytics is also covered as a way to understand usage patterns as a complement to post-deployment surveys.
Unfortunately, most vendors either don’t offer adoption plans or also offer only single product guides. That means IT departments, HR, and lines of business will need to collaborate on how best to adopt the adoption guides so they create a holistic approach to collaboration, rather than one fragmented in vendor-specific silos.
With multiple changes taking place in most work environments, organizations can use this as a starting point, but they should think more broadly and inclusively about how to better understand collaborative work. Unfortunately, most vendors either don’t offer adoption plans or also offer only single product guides. That means IT departments, HR, and lines of business will need to collaborate on how best to adopt the adoption guides so they create a holistic approach to collaboration, rather than one fragmented in vendor-specific silos.
The Fuze Adoption Playbook: Recommendations
Fuze customers should use the Fuze Adoption Playbook as a starting point, but they should include:
- Context for when adopting Fuze alongside other collaboration tools.
- A deeper exploration of stakeholders beyond the Fuze examples. It is critical that companies adopting any new collaboration technology understand the influencers of adoption, not just the enterprise level sponsors of a project.
- Questions in the end-user survey about the entirety of the collaboration experience. What tools do people use, and most importantly, what are the handoffs between tools in critical workflows?
Look not just for productivity gains, or the maintenance of productivity levels, but for community interactions, in particular, cross-functional team interactions and examples of serendipitous activity value derived from interactions among teams and individuals.
The Fuze Adoption Playbook would benefit from the following:
- Deeper guidance on stakeholders.
- Incorporate more community and grassroots thinking.
- Provide more context about how deployment and adoption would work with other tools being implementing simultaneously, or with those already deployed.
- Better survey design.
- Implementation of key elements in popular collaboration tools such as Trello, Wrike or as a Microsoft Teams Planner so project managers don’t have to translate the guidance from the web to a task management system.
Fuze should also include infrastructure thinking in their adoption plan. For instance, they make a note in their post-deployment survey about people not knowing about the Fuze mobile app. For enterprises with device management, pushing the app should be a deployment topic discussed in the Playbook, as well as promoting the app on appropriate internal sites, via e-mail and through system-level notifications.
For Serious Insights recommendations on WFH practices, click here.