After start of the COVID pandemic in early 2020, many personal and professional lives were put upside down. One of the most important changes that this historical event left us is how companies and employees have changed their vision and expectations of workplaces. Many organizations realized that they should use the situation as an opportunity to rethink and transform the future of work.
When large organizations plan enterprise-level workplaces transformation programs, they mostly initiate them as technology implementation projects, and the user focus is brought into consideration only once the program has started. This does not mean that User Centricity will not have a role in these transformation programs. User Centricity can still be embedded, albeit at a later stage, and can influence the course of the transformation but the late user involvement can lead to consequences on the user engagement and experience.
For enhancing user adoption, any workplace transformation program should start with mapping the User Experience (UX) vision and requirements, using it as the basis to define the program building blocks. Consequently, UX aspects drive the program objectives, the platforms to implement, the resources to mobilise, the timeframes and the underlying milestones.
Workplace transformations affect by design, large portions of a company. The need for redesign on multiple levels, such as compatible applications, technical readiness of soft- and hardware, or knowledge transfers to operations and support teams, result in complex transformation programs. Early and precise forecasting of needed activities will strongly influence the effectiveness of the program and workplaces themselves.
In order to have a UX-centric strategy in place, so what are the key experience aspects to consider when designing a new program governance?
5 success factors for an experience-driven program governance
- Clarity on technical capabilities: any changes or improvements to the user journey require direct feasibility studies and prioritisation, and the input from the owner of the new workplace platform being implemented.
- Monitor home-office concepts: companies are expected to answer the mobility and ways-of-working concepts with a pre-defined set of business-proven service apps, solid rollout processes and intuitive communication processes. Digital platforms on enterprise-level can fill this need as long as they are constantly checking against user needs.
- Early dependency identification: there might be external sources that influence the overall UX. They need to be engaged early on, onboarded to the goals of the transformation and given regular updates.
- Clear measures: the fulfilment of user needs and requirements is a challenging task but a necessary step to achieve the expected UX. Measurable Key-Performance-Indicators (KPI) are a core instrument to discuss and actively steer optimization activities. Real time tracking dashboard can support and bring more agility to this activity.
- Continuous improvement: Requirements on UX may change over time driven by several influencing factors. Therefore, an active seeking and analysis process that is organized End2End also involves checks on effectiveness of all system updates.
From an operation perspective, strategic targets will be accompanied by several delivery actions. These functional topics are the concrete steps to consider and for integration into the overall employee experience throughout a workplace transformation program.
Practical steps for a user-driven workplace transformation
- Core user journey: start with understanding what the transformation program is delivering, i.e. which platform, and map out a basic user journey: answer the questions on the core touchpoints. Start the identification process on the main user needs that enable him/her/them to adopt the new workplace set up.
- Touchpoints & data: add any additional touchpoints that are required to support the users – i.e., which communications will the user receive and when. What are the core user guides/support materials, which will be received by the user and when? What other channels are requested by users to pro-actively manage their data?
- Optimize channels: Start to challenge the touchpoints: can complexities be reduced? Can some of the activities mapped to the user be simplified and possibly performed in the background? If extensive instructions or training is required, this may be a sign that some steps could be reduced or simplified.
- Innovation: become inspirational: can additional, more value-add touchpoints be introduced – for example; to upskill users and ensure they can take full advantage of the features of the new workplace.
Both, strategic and operational elements are key to establish a sold and scalable solution for enterprise workplace transformation programs. Feel free to reach out to our consultants for more information.
Anais Llano Fernandez