by CIO Staff

A CIO’s Guide to the Toughest Users

Sep 15, 20022 mins
IT Leadership

Species: The Old Dog

Behavior: Fearful of new systems because “we’ve never done it that way.”

Common habitats: Government, construction companies, nonprofit organizations.

Identifiable characteristics: Desk littered with Post-it notes; gold pin for 20 years of service.

Care instructions: Introduce one big change at a time. Explain how the new system incorporates their old way of doing things. Install reward and recognition systems for using new technology.

Species: The Missionary

Behavior: Busy and driven by a higher calling (for example, saving lives, curing cancer, litigating); thinks learning about IT is a waste of precious time.

Common habitats: Hospitals, law firms, pharmaceutical companies.

Identifiable characteristics: Assistant who reads him his e-mail; 80-hour workweek; six-figure salary.

Care instructions: Explain new systems in terms to which they can relate: for example, improving care, saving time, increasing revenue. Enlist user liaisons. Tailor training to their needs.

Species: The know-it-all

Behavior: Tends to have strong opinions about everything from system requirements to vendor selection.

Common habitats: High-tech companies, business consultancies, engineering firms.

Identifiable characteristics: Late-model PDA; technology conference badge.

Care instructions: Create mechanisms for input. Invite criticism.

Species: The nervous nellie

Behavior: Burned by bad IT implementations, worries that any change will be bad.

Common habitats: Anywhere and everywhere.

Identifiable characteristics: Arms folded in disbelief, head shaken in disgust.

Care instructions: Ensure every major project has metrics that can be tracked. Publicize practicality of new systems. Build IT strategy from the bottom up.