Key Users – important ambassadors for new IT-projects

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Key Users – your most important ambassadors for the introduction of new IT projects

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Key User

Key Users are sort of a guarantee for successful project implementations. In every company, the successful adoption of new processes, new software and new services depends on the acceptance of the employees. The key user concept is a way to build this acceptance through contributions from key users, who are usually pre-selected employees of the company. As you’ll see in this blog post, the tasks of a key user can be complex, and should not be given to just anyone.

The announcement to implement new processes, software or services or to replace legacy systems does not necessarily trigger enthusiasm among employees. Instead of seeing the opportunity for improvement, most anticipate chaos and overtime. From the start, the commitment to support these new processes can be low. However, without the support of the employees, the implementation of a new process will end up – ironically – with chaos and overtime.

Key users are important figures in the introduction of new processes. They provide support in determining the features of the new system, accompany the introduction process, strengthen the acceptance of the software or service among employees and remain important contacts for users even after go-live. Identifying these key employees on the basis of their specialist knowledge and personal skills, and involving them in the implementation process from the outset contributes significantly to the success of a project.

To help you identify the perfect key users for the introduction of a new IT project in your company, this blog features their specific tasks as well as their professional and personal requirements. We’ll also cover the working conditions that are typically best for these key users.

Duties of a Key User

When introducing new IT processes or implementing new software in your company, key users support the process by representing the professional interests of their division or department. This may sound simple, but in fact the role of the key user requires a wide range of skills and technical qualifications in order to take the project from the planning stage to running the application.

The role of a key user begins during the assessment stage, in which processes are recorded and the legal, organizational and technical requirements for a new system are formulated. As the project progresses, the key user ensures the correct technical implementation, conducts functional tests, designs and conducts training, and facilitates the live start. They often continue to be the main contact person for questions and problems during the operation of the new IT solution. And finally, the key user is the one who gathers suggestions for improvement, contributing to the ongoing progress and success of the project.

One important factor about key users is often underestimated:
A key user promotes the new solution during every phase of the project.
They address end users with technical requirements and get them directly involved in the implementation process. This not only creates synergy. People who are personally involved in the introduction of a new IT solution in their work area are more willing to accept the process and its use going forward. In addition, conducting informative events and training programs help key users overcome reservations and increase the confidence of their colleagues.

The duties of a key user are important and can require tact and sensitivity to the feelings of others, along with other technical and professional qualities. ‘The perfect key user – what qualifications and personality profiles should they have?’ will be the next blog in this series. It will impart more information with regards to a key user’s typical persona. Read Part 2 here.

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About the Author:

Peter Fels
Peter Fels is Product Manager D-A-CH (Germany, Austria, Swiss) at SEEBURGER for the automated processing of incoming invoices for all non-SAP systems. Mr. Fels has many years of experience regarding the conversion from paper to the electronic invoicing processes.

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