Staff in companies have nicknames. Some that they have chosen. Some that have been chosen for them. Names are important.

I remember how surprised I was when I discovered that a guy who I have known for years in dinghy sailing as Ricky, was Rick when he was at work. His choice. Small change, but important to him.

But what are your staff called behind their back? Often these names are far more revealing than looking at their personnel reviews in the HR system. One example I heard is the back office sales support gave one of the salesman the nicknamed “Paula”. Why Paula? Because “he makes everything he does look so hard and painful” – i.e. Paula Radcliffe.

So along the same lines, what nicknames are given to your systems or applications? Do you give them a name to make it something emotive that users want to go – Nimbus Control which is a process management application – the operation manual for staff – is often rebranded. Examples of names are How2 which is Carphone Warehouse. EOL (Excellence Online) at Philips, PACE at HSBC, Don’t Panic, etc etc

But what nicknames are given to your systems? What do they say about their popularity with end users. Names I have heard recently are SalesTradgix (obviously a CRM system) and MS Sharepointless – and no prizes for guessing what product that is.

So it is worth tapping into the grapevine to really understand why you are not getting the end user adoption your systems deserved. So if you are not getting adoption, look at the implementation and approach, not the system itself.

If the implementation approach does not start by engaging end users by documenting their business processes (not their system requirements) in live workshops, then you are missing the first critical adoption opportunity.

These end to end business processes will define the system requirements. Not the other way around.

Then let them come up with a name or brand for the end to end processes and system. Something that spells out the benefits to them.

Then let your marketing team loose and get them to design the brand, the look and feel, the promotional materials. Really SELL it to the end users. Make the launch event memorable and fun.

Finally, give the end users a mechanism to continually improve both the processes and systems. And make sure that the approach to change is responsive. Think of the time-boxing approach that Agile Software Development uses. Rapid, small, tangible results.