How to Improve Employee Adoption for your large IT Programs?

An article by Eric Blum, Managing Partner AKT Global


84% of Digital Transformation projects fail due to the failed adoption of technology (Forbes 2020).

What do we mean by failure? The project goes at lower scope, takes more time than estimated and goes way over budget. But really, failure means that after three to six months, when you start to run a business value assessment you will realize whether you actually got the business value you expected. Hence, 84 % of projects actually fail because they are either underscoped, over time or over budget but more importantly underperforming. All in all, the business value realization assessment after 12 months shows a significant deviation from the initial business case.

For this reason, Gartner warns of the need for a more innovative and sustainable approach for organisations to achieve their goals.

Focusing on the employee digital experience is really crucial and it starts right at the time the project is being kicked-off and announced to the user communities. Let’s make this more visual: When you think about visiting a restaurant, it starts at the time when you select a restaurant, book a table and then you go there and take your table. So, the meal basically starts way before you actually sit at the table. Project and IT experience is basically no different. It’s all about the gap between the experience and the expectations.

I have had the chance to engage on a few super large IT transformation programs over the last months, leveraging Qualtrics Digital Experience solutions to assist our customers.

Let’s show one example to understand how this is materially changing the way to drive a higher adoption of new programs, while reducing the time and budget spent on change, communication and training:

The customer we helped with in this case is a global one who has 70,000 employees in more than 40 countries and has more than 8,000 managers. They have 2 dozen different systems in use to run their business internationally. In order to actually deliver business to their customers in a much more agile way and engage with their suppliers, they decided to use only one system. So how would this work, considering the number of employees and countries they are working in? This is where we come in.

At AKT, we gathered everything for our next steps:  We’ve understood the scale of the project, the scale of the teams and the lengths of the project (four years). So, what we have put in place is a program that carefully listens to the employee feedback. For us, we then have the key moments for their team to look at:

  • The time we announce the project to their team
  • The time we’re testing the program
  • The time we are releasing the program
  • The time we are rolling it out
  • The time when it’s been rolled out for a few months


By looking at these key moments of their new digital experience, we are able to gather some very important key perfomance indicators about the way they’ve been engaged and about the ability of the program to actually make the team more successful in the way they work. We can also see the impact on their working life during the transition. We then reported this to the core team, the change communication team and the management in real-time on a dashboard that we’ve created. All of these groups have an overview about what is going on. This is a very engaging way to listen and understand people and most importantly take action.

In a nutshell, this is what digital employee experience for large IT transformation programs is about.
Thanks to the platform, it’s a new practice and a very sharp and focused way to actually engage with broad communities. It is integrated with the project management setup and with collaboration tools. This is a very new way for the customers to actually participate and engage within the digital adaption.

Let’s take a look back to the restaurant metaphor from the beginning: We have a journey from picking the restaurant up to actually dining there. The same goes for our customers journey with integrating our platform: We have been able to listen and understand the whole journey and with that, we have achieved two things:

  • We know how to make their experience better again and again and for all the new customers to come
  • If we are repeating that good experience or make it even better, we are sure our client is going to “want to go back to the restaurant”


Why is this important? Because the large program we set up is not the only one you will deal with during your time at a company. It is likely there are several more to come in the future in your business. A minimum of ten new business applications in the next two years are the daily business. Therefore, if the big change with the new program is not done properly there will only be a reluctancy for the next ones to come. But if the setup of the new program is done correctly the users will be eager and even excited to use it. We at AKT really care on how to get our clients on board for the new services so they will make a more successful employee and will actually be more engaged with the success of the company.