Only three people stand between you and the success of your IT project: the decision maker, the key user, and the objecting user. In the previous post I talked about the decision maker. In this post we focus on the key user.
Who is the Key User?
The key user is the moving force of the project. He can come from different levels in the organization. Generally he will be a professional user, who is dedicated and understands the organization, its goals, and the work in it. He knows the different workers and is esteemed by them. Generally he will also be an opinion maker on the topic of the choice, definition, and assimilation of the system.
How Is It Possible to Identify the Key User?
It is clear to all of us that the key user will not come to the kick-off meeting with a special hat, sign, or even a small sticker that says “Here I am” on his chest. However, through the investment of a little attention, the key user will stand out rather quickly, on the background of his high levels of involvement and responsibility.
I especially remember one of the users in a project that I recently managed. Already in the first work meeting, in which there were many participants, most of the discussion was a dialogue between her and me. There were even points in which the conversation shifted to high tones, but without a doubt, the points she raised, the examples she brought, and last the responsibility she took so as to advance topics related to this work team crowned her immediately as the undisputed key user of the project.
What Is Important to Achieve after the Identification of the Key User in the Organization?
When the key user walks at your side, the path is much easier. First, it is important to create a personal relationship, since it is preferable to undergo the difficult and complex path when at our side there are people whom we know and appreciate.
In the continuation, it is important to listen and to address points and problems raised by the key user. These will usually be important points that will enable the project to succeed. Last, it is recommended to harness and involve the key user in the performance of tasks, in the decision making, and in the promotion of processes on the level of the organization.
For example, the same user I mentioned previously accompanied the project personally in all the stages and when the project was launched she became the ambassador of the system among all the users.
Of course, she also assumed responsibility to manage parts of the system on the level of the entire organization.