Step 5: Survey Users

Develop an end-user survey:

This is where things get interesting.   All of the planning in the world will not prepare you for what you’re about to hear from your user community.  This is increasingly true the larger the company is.

What we want to accomplish in this step is monumental!   You want to drive user adoption with your new portal.  In order to drive user adoption, the portal has to be a productivity-enhancing tool.   It has to make someone’s job easier than it was yesterday.   You cannot make someone’s job easier than it was yesterday, unless you truly understand what those users need.

The biggest point I will try to convey in this entire method is said in only 3 words:  Ask. Listen. Do.

Should I put this in a larger, red font? Do you get my point?  Of course, I’m going to break it down for you anyway, because that’s what I do.  J

You are going to develop a survey that will be passed around to your user community.  Before you pass it to them, your Portal Committee will take the survey (and possibly tweak it).   Here’s what you want out of your survey:

Ask – Ask your users to provide input on what will make this portal project successful.

  • What do they like about their existing portal (if one exists)?
  • What do they dislike?
  • What do they want to have (that would be “neat”)?
  • What is essential that is missing?
  • What’s the most painful part of their day?   (Doesn’t have to do with Technology.  We’re just getting ideas here.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can help.)
  • Get creative and really feel out the temperature of your user base.  You’re very likely to get some great feedback.
  • I will post a sample end-user survey this week.  Feel free to use it as is, or add/remove however you see fit.  The purpose is to drive ideas, brainstorm, and to get creative.

Listen – Listen to the responses provided to your questions.  Otherwise, what’s the point of asking?   This is the ONE TIME (in some minds) that someone will ask the opinion of the average Joe.  They will seize the moment!  They will sound off.   They will be heard!!!  (hear hear!)

Do – Now that you’ve asked and you understand their needs, DO something about it.  So often I hear, “Well, we didn’t have  a say-so in this portal.  We just have to deal with it.”, or “It’s a necessary evil.”   These don’t have to be the comments you get.   Give the people what they ask for.  Worst case scenario is they’ll have to find something else to complain about, because your portal is freakin’ AWESOME!

Once you develop your survey, have the Portal Committee run through it.   There are 3 reasons for doing this:

  1. So you can gather feedback on the survey itself and see if changes need to be made before sending it out.
  2. To get the pulse of the Committee and see what each of your team members has in mind.  This is great, because you usually have representation from all “levels” of hierarchy in your organization present.  It’s interesting to see how their thoughts and portal usage differs.
  3. Once you gather the feedback from your Committee, you will later compare that to the feedback you receive from your user community.   This will be informative, enlightening, and entertaining.

Capture the results from your Portal Committee responses to the survey.   Once we agree upon the results, it’s time to set our initial goals.   Step 6:  Setting Initial Portal Goals.

Leave a Reply