Succeed in the Digital Workplace thanks to an adapted UX strategy and user involvement

Behind each screen there is a user: this is the "mantra" that Digital Workplace project managers should systematically follow. However, many of these projects are still being carried out without positioning employees at the centre of the reflection, without studying their needs, without finally knowing them well enough to build an adapted and sustainable Digital Workplace. Too many "tied" specifications, without UX framing upstream, imagining uses that do not exist or on the contrary forgetting real needs.

Offering employees the right Digital Workplace solution is not enough if its implementation is not accompanied by a relevant UX approach and throughout the duration of the project.

 

The workplace today: sudden changes

Teleworking, nomadic workstations, staggered working hours, mobile uses, multiple jobs, multi-location, cross-functional projects...: the workstation is undergoing numerous and sometimes "violent" upheavals, which reflect the desire of organizations to always offer better service to their customers.

This phenomenon of digitalization of the workstation must therefore be controlled and controlled, at the risk of:

  • Let some employees, "frustrated" not having the right tools, use alternative solutions: we all have examples of employees using, within the organization, Google drives and other Dropbox, Doodle, Slack... with all the consequences that these "rebellious" uses imply
  • On the other hand, leave aside other less mature collaborators with digital uses to try to manage without success with the tools you have made available to them

The challenge, to succeed in the process of digital transformation of the organization, is therefore to support employees in their appropriation of this new workstation. We can therefore define the Digital Workplace as the "augmented workstation" of each employee: turned both inside and outside the company, hyper-personalized, vertical and horizontal, and which must reconcile individuals and the company.

At the same time, it should not be forgotten that your employees use advanced applications in their daily lives, which evolve regularly, are easy to use and have multiple defects. They therefore expect to find in their professional lives equivalent tools, which are as effective and "better" than in their previous professional experience.

Employees' expectations are high, so they must always remain at the centre of decisions: the term "user centric" is not an empty word!

 

The UX approach: before, during, after

The methods and tools to design an effective user experience are many and varied: you still need to use them at the right time in the phasing of your project.

It can be said that a UX approach in a Digital Workplace project is divided into 3 steps:

  • Upstream: well before defining the scope of your project, it is important to know your users and understand their expectations. This phase involves techniques such as:
    • The distribution of questionnaires to your employees to collect quantitative data
    • Conducting one-to-one interviews to collect qualitative data from different user profiles
    • The setting up of focus groups within the departments and services to generate ideas and compare them
    • Based on the work listed above:
      • The creation of personas, a fictitious representation of target users to guide decisions on interface design, information structure, ergonomics and uses
      • The implementation of experience maps to put into context the user experience of your peopleas by precisely identifying their interactions, their modes of communication and consultation, their points of friction and blockage
  • During:
    • The design of the tree structure of your intranet, the classification plan of your GED, the functional perimeter
    • The prototyping (wireframing / zoning) of your Digital Workplace screens, before any graphic design, to materialize the user paths previously designed
    • User tests on prototypes or on the developed application: very efficient, they quickly bring out 80% of the interface problems
  • After: UX is measured. Even in an internal application, we can talk about UX ROI: it is about identifying the right KPIs and evaluating them over time after deployment. Let us quote some examples: increase in employee productivity / decrease in training costs to control tools / reduction in the number of emails exchanged / etc....

 

Change management to ensure long-term success

New tools, new uses, new processes: you cannot ignore change management, a factor in ensuring the success of your project, which must be carried out in parallel with the UX approach.

It is possible to approach this change support in 3 distinct phases:

  • Diagnosis > understand where the organisation stands with regard to its Digital Workplace project by: studying current and desired processes / interviewing all stakeholders / establishing risks / planning the "change".
  • Communication > plan all communication actions related to the project: targets, media, media, and associated planning
  • Deployment > train employees, support them in the use of new tools and processes

However, change management is the poor relation of Digital Workplace projects: in the 2019 edition of its intranet & digital working observatory, the French firm Arctus cites the following figures: 34% of companies have not formalized any rules or procedures, 38% have not deployed any help in using the intranet.

 

What to remember

Deploying your Digital Workplace without taking into account the expectations of your employees means taking the risk that they will not use it. Building it with and for them means ensuring the success of your project.

Meet me at the Digital Workplace Summit, on November 12 at 3pm at the Eolas workshop to learn more.

 

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