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See, Feel, Change: Navigating the Stages of Acceptance

By March 28, 2016

By: Joanna Iturbe, Sr. Software Applications & Project Manager, Leeds Technology Services, University of Colorado Boulder

Higher education institutions use Salesforce in robust ways and the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business is no exception. We use it for everything from recruitment and scholarships to career advising, tracking co-curricular activities and involvement in global programs, as well as internship, job placement and corporate and employer interactions, among other things (including a very cool faculty and course management component!)

My on-going joke is that I use my PR degree every day trying to convince people I’m making their lives easier with technology, not harder! As a fast-talking, multi-tasking technologist who embraces change, my lessons learned over the years have been around networking, user adoption and change management when rolling out a new process, product or tool.

See… Feel… Change

One of my favorite professional development books is Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath. Although I personally take the “analyze, think, change” approach, what I’ve come to discover is that change management is much more successful with the “see, feel, change” approach.

See: Lots of user acceptance testing (UAT), how-to videos, quick reference guides with hands-on practices and hands-on training for Go Live.

Feel: Dashboards have been my success in getting people to believe that my hassling and hounding them to get data in the system really does pay off when they’re able to produce never-before-seen metrics and data points with hard facts instead of educated (or, not-so-educated) guesses.

Change: Once the snowball starts rolling, make yourself available, as the administrator, to listen to all of the amazing – and sometimes really ‘pie-in-the-sky’ – requests your users start to bring to you. Don’t brush them off or dismiss them because that will undercut their level of excitement and potentially negatively affect their utilization of the system.

Navigating the Stages of Acceptance

Support does not stop at ‘go live.’ In fact, that’s when it really starts. On-going support for your users, old and new, as they navigate their way through the different stages of acceptance of a new system is critical to success.

User adoption reminds me a lot of raising and disciplining children: There’s no magic formula and what works is different for everyone (and may even vary from day to day!) I’ve found both in raising children and user adoption that it’s a fine balance between the top/down, stick approach and the bottom/up, carrot approach. A couple of adoption tips:

Chatter: Chatter is powerful. It typically doesn’t have a great initial adoption rate because it’s one more thing to learn, it’s a ‘social’ tool, etc. However, I’ve driven adoption by posting weekly tips, tricks and reminders. I’ll even throw a trivia question in the mix and offer some Salesforce swag for the first person to answer correctly! Also, when someone emails me with a one-off question or request but the response will benefit multiple users, I mention the requestor via Chatter within their user group and include my response so users see that it eliminates back and forth emailing and is in one, centralized location for future reference.

“Snackforce”: My boss came up with the name, so I have to give him credit, especially if I end up having to Trademark it because it’s become so popular! When we went live with our first phase, we wanted a way to stay in front of our users and keep Salesforce on their front burner, but we didn’t want to mandate another regularly-scheduled meeting. We wanted to be proactive, not reactive, which led to the inception of “Snackforce”. It’s an optional, monthly, informal, come-and-go one hour session where at least one Salesforce technologist is available during lunch. Users bring their lunch and we provide a dessert. It’s in the same location at the same time, and we have Salesforce pulled up. We work through questions, problems, concerns and requests in real-time. It seems to be such a simple, straight-forward concept, but it’s been wildly successful.

Walk the Halls: If you’re in a location where you can easily access your users, physically, then walk the halls! There’s no better way to get organic, impromptu feedback:

“Oh, Joanna, good to see you! You know, I’ve been having this one issue with my cases for the last few days, but I’ve just been so busy…Can you help me?”

Why, yes, yes I can.

And, if you’re on an IT Service Management tool, like we are, there’s no better way to get some First Response Resolutions!

HE Summit 16I’d be happy to talk further with anyone who’s interested in my journey to becoming an admin, what we’re doing with Salesforce at Leeds and CU and/or general hobbies and interests (like being Quality Control for my husband’s home-brewed beer, wine, mead and cider!) I’ll see y’all at the Salesforce Higher Ed Summit in New Orleans!

Higher Ed Summit 2016

About the Author
Joanna IturbeSince 2011, Joanna Iturbe has served as the Senior Software Applications and Project Manager for Leeds Technology Services where she is the senior technical expert and manager in leading the development, configuration, installation, upgrade, delivery and day-to-day management and maintenance of a suite of 15 applications at the Leeds School of Business on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. She supervises a team responsible for deploying and supporting Salesforce which is central to the key functions of student success and retention, communication and outreach. Her certifications include Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Developer, Database Management and Project Management.

Before coming to CU, Joanna received her bachelors degree from Baylor University in public relations and business administration and worked in marketing and recruitment in the private sector and at Baylor.

Joanna serves on the Salesforce Higher Education Advisory Council and on the Girlforce leadership team. Additionally, she is co-leader of the Salesforce Denver user group. At CU, she serves as Co-Chair on the Boulder Campus Staff Council (BCSC) and is a representative on the University of Colorado (System) Staff Council (UCSC).