A Parent's Guide to Systems

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Liv Wilson
February 21, 2020

I’ve had an epiphany - systems are like children and it’s our responsibility to ensure that they grow up safely, behave, and make the world a better place.

So, how can we do this? As both a Mum and system user; in my experience, it’s using the tools available to you, leveraging the right expertise, and, most of all, supporting everyone else going through the same journey.

One of the amazing tools for parenting is a village - surrounding yourself with other people to help you raise your little human. And one of the amazing tools available for systems is a Digital Adoption Platform called WalkMe.

How to: Avoid Toy Throwing

Any parent can tell you that there is a certain way to act around a sleepy toddler if you want to avoid armageddon; and you only have to do a little bit of work on a system to understand that all software can also act like a tired toddler.

You can do some things correctly, like remembering the right process to follow to make systems happy. But sometimes you click the wrong button or enter an old code, and then it throws its toys and refuses to do anything else for the day.

WalkMe can smooth (and sometimes eliminate) these system tantrums - taking away the pain points for your users, streamlining experiences, and using automation to enhance processes.

With WalkMe implementations, it’s important to understand what will cause your system to throw its toys, and what will make it happy. This is the hard bit, and it’s likely to be the first 20% of the project.

Just like parenting, perseverance is the key to success here. Find those triggers early, and solve for them quickly so they don’t show their ugly heads when you have implemented WalkMe (or now have an older child on your hands).

How to: Use Expertise Wisely

It’s a while ago now, but I vividly remember that my son only wanted his Dad when he was scared about anything. You see, Dad had magic powers when taking away the boogie-man. It’s the same idea for system implementations - your wonderful SMEs have figured out the workarounds, they wrote the cheat codes, and have that same magic touch.

Being smart about how you leverage that expertise will ensure your WalkMe implementation goes smoothly. SMEs are also wonderful for helping you build a solution for any undocumented processes and reliability testing.

But while your SMEs have this magic touch, this means they’re not the right people to use for testing process optimisation. Instead, you should test with people who don’t know how to use it first because they’ll break it in different places (see "Avoid Toy Throwing" above). Newbies are likely to check the user interface and experience, and then see WalkMe, but the SMEs will check WalkMe first.

It’s a similar concept when it comes to building the solutions too - the first way they think of building it might not be the best way.

Experts are experts for a reason, and using them in the right place can have powerful outcomes. As for ridding our household of the boogie-man, turns out a Labrador sleeping in the same room can eradicate him completely.

How to: Steer Into The Difficultly

My son is now 11 - yep, “that” age, and we’ve had all the chats; Santa, Tooth Fairy, peer pressure, being yourself, sex, and drugs. It’s difficult and uncomfortable, but an important element of ensuring he’s growing as an amazing human.

Systems are the same. Sometimes the difficult things are the elements that have the biggest gains in the long run.

I have some colleagues who built WalkMe at a big corporate. They did so at pace and got some wonderful learning as a result.

Their first build didn’t include jQuery and it simply didn’t work.

Without using jQuery, changes to code can cause breakages in random places - and if your IT team are making regular updates to the software or UX (as most corporates are), it simply isn’t sustainable to keep making changes to the WalkMe solution.

Learning jQuery isn’t easy, but it’s a worthwhile skill to develop to help build a sustainable, low-touch solution which works right out of the box

How to: Know That You’re Winning

The kid is now in Intermediate and walks to school (which is new for him), and we’ve come across a good way to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t get distracted at the shops on the way… we spy on him. He has this great SpaceTalk Watch which means we can see where he is, and contact him if needed. The information is out our fingertips, so why wouldn’t we use it?

Same comes from your systems and WalkMe. The data is your friend.

Setting goals and milestones are ways that you can see whether your solutions are working for your people. You can see where they opt out of a process or skip steps, you can see how they interact with the software, and when a process is seen through to its very end.

And if people are failing, you can iterate the experience and build a solution that proactively ensures it doesn’t happen again.

When the kid first started walking to school, we did a couple of dry runs and now it’s a habit for him. Same goes for WalkMe, you can walk your people through the processes (good for Newbies), or just be a guiding sign if needed.

Systems are children, but let’s use the tools available to make it a great experience as they grow and develop.

So, go ahead and leverage the village.

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

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February 21, 2020
February 21, 2020

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