“I thought I’d never give up my Excel model!” It’s a refrain we often hear from clients when working closely with them on their Adaptive Insights implementations. When users gain competency with their systems, they recognize they can complete their work more quickly, accurately, and enjoyably. They arrive at that “aha” moment where they realize that while spreadsheets are appropriate for some ad hoc planning tasks, they are not the best for agile, collaborative, and active planning.
When users get the most out of their corporate financial planning software, it changes the way they work for the better. Implementing any new business planning solution means adapting workflows, training users, and integrating it with existing systems. It takes time, money, and effort. To get the expected results from any new software, it’s critical to ensure your team knows how to use it.
So, what are recommended tips to help users get onboarded and trained in the use of the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud?
Here Are Five Tips:
Share the Benefits of Adaptive Insights
Adaptive Insights enables a variety of efficiencies for the FP&A department and the entire company. There are rolling forecasts, driver-based budgets, easy version updates and comparisons, interactive reports and dashboards, and other capabilities that enable better business performance.
Share with your team what makes Adaptive Insights the optimal solution for your business and why you selected it. You can explain to the FP&A team as well as other stakeholders how it will allow them to be more successful in their roles. For non-finance stakeholders, you can show how you will make their planning process more efficient while allowing them to track the KPIs that are most important.
Additionally, provide your list of selection criteria and compare it to the alternatives. A snapshot of Gartner's Magic Quadrant or an ROI comparison chart could be compelling.
Prior to the implementation, you can also show them a demo of the software and testimonials from others who are using it successfully. Answer questions like:
- How will it impact my role and contribution to the company?
- What will the company's workflows look like after it's implemented?
- What mundane tasks will it eliminate or minimize?
- What is possible with the system that wasn't possible without it?
Explain how it benefits the company and connect that with how it will make their lives at work easier.
Educate Users About Adaptive Insights
Initially, users may not be completely aware of how they should work with new software. When you implement Adaptive Insights, be clear about how users are expected to use it by answering the following questions:
- Should they do all their work offline and upload the results into Adaptive Insights? Or, should they use the tool’s planning capabilities?
- How long does it take to get trained and ramped up in the tool’s use?
- How frequently do they need to use it?
- What tasks can they complete with Adaptive Insights that they used to complete elsewhere?
- What should they do if they encounter issues or have any questions?
- Can they reach out to their implementation partner or Adaptive Insights support directly, or is there a point of contact at their company who can help?
All these questions and more should be answered and clarified for the user. Creating central FAQ documentation featuring additional user questions and comments could be one way of ensuring they know how to use the software.
Provide Training Incentives
You get more when you incentivize.
If you want to help people use Adaptive Insights efficiently, give them a rewarding educational experience.
How can you do this?
An effective way is to host one or more lunches where employees get hands-on experience with the new software and have the chance to ask questions. You could also offer gift cards to everyone who completes training or attains a certain level of software proficiency.
People learn best by doing rather than solely watching or listening. Additionally, the lunches will create positive associations with the software. When you provide engaging and interactive training experiences, you will motivate users to become skilled in the software’s use.
Create Customized Training Guides
In addition to group training, ensure that users have a way to refresh their knowledge the next time they're using Adaptive Insights.
You can do this by creating video walkthroughs of each workflow or encourage users to create their own. You could also create, or encourage users to create, documents with screenshots that walk them through their workflows. Additionally, after these reference materials are created, store them in a central location that users can easily access for future reference. Your implementation partner should provide you with customized user guides, but anything you can do to supplement training materials will have its benefits.
During the first few months after software training and onboarding, consider emailing a message that reminds people to use the software and refers them to the reference materials.
Quickly Address Issues with a Dedicated Resource
When addressing issues, timing is important. If a user logs in to Adaptive Insights for the first time after the training and encounters an issue, it is helpful for them to have a dedicated resource they can depend on for quick, personalized support. Appoint a power user within your company as an Adaptive Insights champion and point person. They can reset passwords (if they're an admin), answer questions, and conduct walkthroughs. If users can receive assistance in minutes or hours, they will be much more likely to be satisfied with their experiences.
Preparation Meets Opportunity
Adaptive Insights can significantly elevate the finance function. To get the most out of its capabilities, it’s important to prepare users through onboarding and training.
When you take the above steps, you can enjoy the many benefits of Adaptive Insights, such as shorter planning cycles, intuitive reporting, and a deeper understanding of your business.
Do you want to learn more about how to build a team of proficient Adaptive Insights users? We're here to help.