Tips for Collective Proficiency in OnePager and Avoidance of Shelfware

Shelfware is the common term for unused software, which was calculated to be around 30 billion dollars annually, in the US alone, in an often quoted study performed in 2016.

We’re certain OnePager was a very small part of this waste. The largest reason, based on our own customer research, is education. Users are handed a paid license for the application, but never learn how to use it, eventually relinquishing their license.

The obvious way to avoid this waste is to invest time and/or money in some form of learning to ensure your users understand the basics of how the application works.

OnePager proficiency can be collectively gained in 3 ways:

  1. Formal training
  2. Individual self-help
  3. Knowledge sharing

All of the above take some level of commitment: time and money, or just time. What will work for you and your colleagues depends on the type of people you are.

OnePager is an application that tends to spread virally as it makes its way into an organization. This means that early adopters are the ones who find us. These “early adopters” are usually a different type of personality; they have their ears to the ground and their eyes open to new things in an effort to better themselves, their processes, and how they do business. They seek change constantly to solve the problems they see and experience, and are willing to convince everyone around them of the positivity that the solutions they find can bring. Their interest in improvement also allows them to learn new things on their own more easily. You either are–or know of–one of these types of people.

But not everyone is an early adopter.

Some people are either just heads-down because they’re so busy, or are simply more comfortable doing the job they were asked to do, and playing their position with the means they were provided. Nothing wrong with that. Let’s call these folks “team players.”

Intuitively, we can say someone that is more of an early adopter-type is going to have an easier time using method 2 above (individual self-help) to learn OnePager on their own. This person has also likely had more exposure to our experts during their evaluation and trial use of OnePager.

The team player, however, is often simply handed the application after a team purchase, and asked to learn it in the same way the early adopter had.

For self-help to be effective, the user must be formally tasked with certain things:

  1. Introduction to the resources on our website, and the basics of the application
  2. Carve out time in their schedule to consume the resources on the OnePager website
  3. Apply what they’re learning to the things they have to actually produce

The above aren’t something that we’re typically consciously considering, as individuals or as managers, but they must be implemented to help with adoption of the new tool. Otherwise, OnePager might become shelfware on their desktop.

The other option is to create a means of collaborative OnePager learning, which would consider of any combination of the following:

  1. Internal process to onboard new OnePager users
  2. Development and maintenance of shared Templates
  3. Central location for OnePager Templates, application and stylistic guidelines
  4. Assignment of application mentor
  5. Internal OnePager User Group
  6. Means of education on data visualization best practices
  7. Documentation outlining any of the above that are adopted

The items above are something that should be implemented regardless of whether or not you also invest in formal training for all of your end users. OnePager isn’t something you can learn once and forget about. It’s an iterative process due to new features being regularly introduced, and due to the evolution of your team’s understanding of data visualization best practices.

Formal training is ideal. It will hasten your users’ understanding of the application, and therefore reduce or eliminate any anxiety they might be experiencing from having to learn a new tool. The faster they pick up OnePager, the quicker your organization will start seeing the benefits of more frequent and effective communication. Meanwhile, your team will not be falling back to the manual “old way” of doing things.

Chose whatever mechanism you want, but commit to it fully. Without a resource commitment, you actually risk wasting much more not just in the expense of the application, but in the potential gains that would have been made by using OnePager effectively.

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About Jay

Jay carries with him fourteen years of project management experience within the cable, telecom, construction, software development, and energy industries. The spectrum of projects and programs that Jay has managed throughout his career is broad and deep, enabling him to help clients implement OnePager software in a multitude of applications.

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