As companies move into active development with smart, connected products and Internet of Things (IoT) programs, it is critical that they remember to invest in learning and adoption.
Especially when companies are launching small IoT pilot and proof of concept projects, it is easy to ignore potential needs for organizational learning and adoption efforts in later stages of development. The primary focus is just on the actual project, which often involves only a relatively few people.
Most companies assume success with pilot and proofs of concept projects, however, and often move quickly into the next stages of more substantial program development. And, in the longer run, the ultimate success or failure of IoT programs will rely heavily on organizational change and end user adoption of new processes and tools – as is the case with any serious technology-based program. Indeed, this may be especially true with IoT since most IoT programs will have far-reaching impacts across many parts of the organization, as well as partners and customers.
It is thus never too early to begin considering the requirements for a Learning and Adoption Strategy for even the smallest IoT pilot project.
Still not sure? Here are four issues to consider:
Budget: Once the IoT project gets off the ground, how much will it cost to ensure the necessary awareness across the organization, stakeholder support, and user training?
Timeline: How long will it take for successful project development, rollout, and adoption? What are the key milestones? Who needs to know what, when?
Risk Management: Who needs to support the program to minimize the risk that it stalls or goes sideways? How much do they need to know? How should they be motivated and incented to support and guide the program?
Marketing and Reputation: How will customers, stakeholders, and market influencers learn about the new program, and how will they perceive it? How will the necessary marketing and sales people gain the knowledge they need to bring the program to market?
For all of these reasons, organization should begin the process of fleshing out a comprehensive learning and adoption strategy with even the smallest IoT program. Without good answers to these critical questions, the chances of program success could drop significantly.