New ways to learn New IT
Our internal IT organization applies leading and innovative approaches to engage our global workforce to adopt constant technology change.
Accenture implements new applications, programs and systems for our people at a constant pace. There are always new business processes, regulations, innovations and tools that require people to adapt and change. Simply implementing a new technology, however, does not equal success. As a technology organization, we must see the return on investment and ensure that new systems and products are successful.
We recognize that the way our internal IT organization enables end-user change and adoption is what determines whether a technology deployment is successful. This is especially important for a company with the size and scale of Accenture.
For this reason, we consider learning and behavior change as critical parts of the rollout of a new technology solution or a solution enhancement. We understand that we need to put the individual first rather than the technology. This starts when our systems and technology are being designed, way before deployment.
"In the past, we thought about technology first. Now we think about our people first, we design the technology for the user, rather than expecting the user to adapt to the technology."
– SARAH DUGAN, Director – Internal IT, Accenture
The new technology our internal IT organization deploys at any one time can range from an intuitive-to-use mobile app to a complex pricing system or a new information security practice that requires a behavior change. End-user adoption and behavior change strategies and tactics for each initiative vary. We use many of the well-known change management approaches and methods such as awareness campaigns, training, champion networks and stakeholder engagement to effect end-user behavioral change. But as an organization that operates in the New, we also embrace additional engaging and innovative approaches.
Our leading approaches include:
Provide learning on-demand
In the past, training employees on an application or tool was often done in a classroom with an instructor or through lengthy computer-based training (CBT) courses. Now, we provide learning that is on-demand and through multiple channels, including mobile, to reach our diverse user base and to sustain a learning culture. We also fold learning into everyday activities by bringing learning into an application or business process, so that it happens efficiently and effectively in real time in the actual context. Wherever possible, we customize and deliver learning specific to the individual’s role.
Drive grassroots adoption
Our internal IT organization provides new technology to those who want it and relies on individuals to promote it, as change is often more accepted from peers than when pushed from the top. One example is the plan we developed for rolling out Microsoft Teams, a chat-centered collaboration platform that brings together collections of people, content and tools to get things done. We are rolling out Teams through phased product deployment and self-paced, self-initiated adoption over a two-year timeline with an end-date cut over. Adoption initially is a grassroots process of gradual familiarity and use, with increased and more structured learning pushes closer to full deployment. The learning aspects are key as Teams will become an integral capability of Accenture’s digital workforce.
Make learning compelling and engaging
When our employees need to learn a new application or create a new habit, like checking our Accenture Portal for company news or staying on top of the constantly evolving security tech, we have to make it compelling and engaging. We do this with such techniques as gamification, bite-sized videos and 30-day challenges where ideas and skills are given in small, daily bites to ingrain new habits. We created a TV-like drama video series called “Hacker Land” to cultivate and embed behavior-specific guidance around critical information security practices. For more complex technology releases, we use what we call next-gen communications to educate our employees more in-depth using such vehicles as animated videos, infographics, television shows, blogs and more.
Personalize the learning experience
We focus on personalizing the learning experience by making it highly immersive and highly interactive, and whenever possible, role-specific. We customize the content, so learners can practice tasks specific to their daily activities in the context of their jobs.
Use feedback to make agile improvements
Understanding how our people are using applications and how we can make them better is critical. Gone are the days of doing one big release a year. Instead, our internal IT team regularly interacts with users and gathers their feedback as well as feedback from change networks and the business. This feedback is shared with application teams who then make enhancements to applications in agile ways.
We are a technology company and many of our employees are early adopters who want the latest and greatest as soon as possible. There are others, however, who prefer to wait until the technology has been proven and accepted. Given this, where possible, we provide choices in the technology employees can use and at the pace they want to adopt it. A great example of this was our incremental adoption of Microsoft Windows 10 and OneDrive for Business within about a two-year time frame.
"Our change and adoption plans are rooted in data as we always look to realize the value on the investment in new technologies. We measure adoption and benchmark ourselves rigorously and adjust our approaches so we can maximize the user experience and benefits to the business."
– URSZULA FABISZAK, Director – Internal IT, Accenture
We are transforming our learning culture and enabling behavior change around IT adoption to make it easy, intuitive and even fun. We are pushing the creativity envelope with videos, storytelling, TV-like series and gamification. We are listening to our users and using analytics to continuously improve upon learning and adoption. And, we are looking ahead and exploring the use of virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, omni bots, visual analytics and more. All these approaches are enabling Accenture people to be more productive, drive more value and deliver results to Accenture clients.