Making e-records work – user adoption as the key to success

The concept of electronic record keeping (e-records) is at the heart of digital administration. It speeds up business processes and offers rapid access to relevant information. However, customers can only make full use of these benefits when the software is operated with confidence and data quality is up to scratch.

Achieving this requires trained staff and a clear focus on user adoption, with assistance provided directly within the work process. This is exactly what digital adoption solutions for e-record applications offer.

Competence as a success factor

The digitalization of administration brings with it fundamental changes that go far beyond record keeping methods. As a result, introducing e-records is not only a challenge for IT, it also means the entire administrative staff faces a massive task in the form of comprehensive reorganization. On the one hand, every processing step has to be mapped in context – from the request or initial draft through each and every coordination and involvement procedure right up to long-term storage. On the other hand, all these processes, including approval, countersigning and involvement procedures, need to be viewed in the overall context of electronic administration for this mapping to be done efficiently and consistently.

Clearly, changes on this scale have a huge impact on how each and every member of staff works. Processes and tasks that they were previously confident about handling are changing radically, and represent completely new challenges. For example, e-government skills need to be built up and new roles established. After all, if users can’t carry out processes confidently, the switch cannot work as planned. Administrative departments are therefore in exactly the same position as any competitive company – it is ultimately the users who decide whether the roll-out and utilization of new software and new processes is successful.

The prospects of success rise significantly if, rather than rejecting the new technology, employees accept it because they can see the benefits and understand the reasons for the change. After all, even the best software can only show its full potential when the organization’s staff are ready and willing to use it, when its functions are utilized, and when operating errors are avoided. Any project to roll out e-records should therefore include a change management and training concept that offers ongoing support for competence in the workplace and therefore also encourages user adoption.

Boosting user adoption among employees

However, what role does user adoption play in the long-term success of e-records? In short, it gives employees the one thing back that they fear they will lose in any fundamental change process – confidence. Building up user acceptance and competence is an ongoing process that brings staff on board long before the go-live. Alongside regular communication and information bulletins, the whole process centers on systematically building up skills.

User adoption is boosted by training concepts that offer continuous support before, during and after the go-live of e-records. This is important because the successful roll-out of a new piece of software depends on more than preparatory training and workshops. In fact, by the time the teams come to actually work with the solution, they will have forgotten most of what they learned during training.

To avoid this, it is vital that support is offered after the roll-out, too, for example via on-the-job training/coaching, self-learning courses (eLearning) or floorwalkers who provide on-site support. As a result, users are supported right from the start of the go-live, making it easy for them to settle into the new working situation.

Direct support within work processes

However, this doesn’t guarantee end-to-end support. For example, employees still regularly have to interrupt their work to look for the information they need to complete a task. In the worst case, the information they find is no longer up to date. Floorwalkers aren’t always immediately available either, and sometimes might have to go and find the answers themselves. This costs time and is annoying, which provokes a negative attitude toward the new software that can even go as far as frustration and rejection.

Ensuring it never comes to this requires context-sensitive support that provides direct assistance within the work process – a digital adoption solution. At the touch of a button, such solutions provide exactly the support needed for the relevant working situation, with everything tailored to the respective work context and role, so the employee can resolve the task on their own, correctly, and almost without interrupting what they were doing. The tangible benefit is that the task is completed without errors.

With the help of digital adoption solutions, knowledge is built up and reinforced on the job. The advantages of e-records are experienced in a very real way. One positive and desired side effect is that key users, floorwalkers and user support can concentrate on the more complex issues, because the knowledge curve is constantly rising. What’s more, since professional digital adoption solutions work across applications, users can even get help at the touch of a button when they are working on an e-record with other software solutions and specialist processes.

Building competence in every phase of the project

A digital adoption solution is the quickest route to user adoption, because users receive exactly the support they need exactly when they need it to build up comprehensive skills – in every phase of the project.

  • • In the training phase, the solutions can provide motivation for the impending changes, teach new concepts and processes and practice the basics.
  • • In the productive phase, the solutions can provide self-learning opportunities in the form of eLearning, documentation and exercises, complemented by variations for specific authorities, for example. Step-by-step guides also build up the competence of the staff.

One click, lots of formats

Digital adoption solutions make it possible to bundle a variety of information material about e-record applications and make this available. In the best case, a single click will give users easy, clear access to the following knowledge and support formats directly within the working process.

  • Step-by-step guides that show how to operate the user interface and the functions
  • Detailed information about work instructions, variations for specific authorities, etc.
  • eLearning, documentation and exercises that can be adapted to specific requirements and encourage independent learning
  • Concepts and process descriptions that provide an overview and put the user’s specific area of activity into the overall context
  • Training material that is familiar to users from their training courses and that they can use for reference purposes
  • Links to other related knowledge databases

In view of the large volume of information material, however, it is important to guide users and only offer them information that is actually relevant to them. Otherwise, they will quickly reach “information overload” and the desired time savings will not be achieved.

Customized support in e-record applications

It is therefore not only essential to build up comprehensive competence, but the support offered should also be as customized as possible and available to users in every project phase as they need it. Again, professional digital adoption solutions for e-record applications have many advantages in this regard, because they make content available based on the context and the user’s role.


The digital adoption solution recognizes which piece of software is currently being used and which process step is to be carried out. If the launch page of the e-record application is open, introductory content is provided. If a record is open for editing, assistance is offered for carrying out this specific step and working with the corresponding software functions.


Almost no one needs access to the entire knowledge database. Digital adoption solutions therefore offer the information relevant to the user’s role.

Benefits of a digital adoption solution

Using a digital adoption solution makes life easier for users in their daily work and in carrying out their tasks. It helps answer lots of questions, big and small, that arise during day-to-day work with the e-record – directly at the workplace. In addition, the solution ensures that modified structures or processes are quickly consolidated and made more transparent. This has a positive impact on cost-effectiveness. For example, the outlay associated with providing training, involving change agents and running a help desk can be reduced significantly.

Here are just some of the benefits

  • High level of acceptance of the new software
  • Context-sensitive and role-based user support at the workplace
  • Time savings in terms of training and induction by integrating eLearning modules
  • Greater efficiency and easing of everyday work
  • Knowledge available centrally
  • Can be installed for specific authorities and across applications
  • Improved process competence

Achieving user adoption by using a digital adoption solution

As soon as you roll out a digital adoption solution, you are setting the stage for a high level of acceptance for e-record applications among users. They will get exactly the support they need, when they need it, and can complete their tasks correctly and without interruption – in any process and any application.

However, a technical solution alone is not enough to ensure success. It is also necessary to prepare the content and provide a contextual structure – this is known as the didactic implementation. What content do users need when and where in the e-record applications? Once you have the answers to this question, a professional digital adoption solution will leverage the potential of user adoption and steer the digitalization of administrative processes to success.


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