Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The 4-hour body and New application adoption

As I'm reading the 4-hour body by Tim Ferris (NY Times bestseller) I'm being reminded of difficulty of change, and thinking how software is really one of the toughest things to change and adopt across an organization. If you've ever tried to implement new software in an organization, you know how much resistance you face - seems like almost everybody will have a reason why they don't want to switch or adopt new software - "I have another tool I like better", "There's nothing wrong with the system we're using right now", "my people will never be able to learn new software", "this is too lame for engineers - we need to be able to do x,y,z", "the sales people won't embrace it - they are too busy" (feel free to add your own examples).

Tim is dealing with another stubborn change - change in behavior that's required in order to get your physical life in order, and he's talking about 4 things that influence the change:
  1. Power of 5
  2. Making it a game
  3. Making it competitive
  4. Small bites at a time
#1 is really important one in my experience - people will try something once or twice and consider it not working for them 99% of the time, but it really takes 5 times doing something in order for it to stick, so as you're introducing a new system, don't get discouraged at the initial lack of enthusiasm - it will take pulling, pushing, and kicking and screaming, but keep your eyes on the prize - 5 is the magic number :)