DAP professionals, time to level up your digital adoption program

Kristopher Clark
By Kristopher Clark
Updated May 2, 2023

Editor’s Note: It’s always a pleasure to share our blog pages with like-minded people, so we were thrilled when Kristopher Clark – Head of Digital Adoption & Content at ServiceNow – accepted our invitation to share his wisdom (and creativity!) on our blog. 

Kris recently spoke at our DAP Professionals Community Meetup, where he broke down his journey to becoming a “super” DAP Professional, and we wanted to make sure people who couldn’t attend the event didn’t miss out.

In this post, Kris shares how you can level up your digital adoption program and why it’s important not only for your organization, but for you as a DAP Professional (or aspiring DAP Professional!). Ready to play?

Super DAP World: why digital adoption professionals have superpowers

If you’ve ever heard me talk about digital adoption itself, I tend to refer to WalkMe as like adding superpowers to any given system. Why? It enables us to add that “extra” layer on top of any given system and gives that system all of different capabilities that never had before. Systems are like regular  people – but if you add special abilities to them, they become “superheroes” that are ready and able to save your community (be it employees, customers, partners, or any combination of the above).

Yet, there’s one key competent left out of the conversation: the Digital Adoption Professional. 

If you’ve ever played video games, it’s a lot like going on an adventure – to new levels, new worlds, new tribulations – where you face different obstacles and gain special powers along the way for the next challenge at hand.

Source: Kris Clark

I’m going to share some of the things that I’ve learned on my journey, both in terms of conquering new levels and special abilities that I’ve gained, to help you – and all aspiring Digital Adoption Professionals – master what I like to call “Super DAP world.”

Level 1: Adventure land

This is where all the fun starts. 

Source: Kris Clark

Level 1-1 – Stop talking and start building

All too often, people start planning and defining business challenges, which is all fine and good – but in the meantime nothing is happening

When I started exploring Digital Adoption at ServiceNow, I quickly uncovered four other functions evaluating a digital adoption solution. They were planning and discussing, but

no one actually had pushed anything out to production. I saw an opportunity: create a small demo to show business stakeholders how digital adoption technologies – in this case WalkMe – work in real life. (Seeing is believing!).

You can do this with a one tiny walk-through (aka Smart Walk-Thru in WalkMe terms) highlighting new features of a specific system that lots of people use, a pop up message that reiterates a recent announcement that went into the email ether, or any other small, yet immediately understandable example. The main point: don’t talk about what you are going to do, just build it and demo it.

You will have detractors along the way. These are the folks who will say things like: “Oh, we already have training for that”; “we already sent out a communication”; “the system is intuitive enough, so we don’t need guidance.” 

But, with a demo, you can quickly show instant value and get people thinking about new use cases, with very little effort. 

If you build it, they will (likely) come. 

Level 1-2 – Find allies

Once you’ve actually built something that demonstrates a small bit of value, you need to find an ally or two to help you promote your new “power”. You want to find people that get it

Where do you find these people? Listen to what stakeholders or executive sponsors are saying in meetings, in 1:1 side conversations, or in your company communication channels. 

Are they using the new feature? Have they mentioned needing more training on a process? Are other people suggesting old-school methods for fixing these problems?

Once you identify the people who seem like they could benefit – or help champion – Digital Adoption technologies, reach out and show them your demo. 

Level 2: Build your squad

Source: Kris Clark

Even Mario couldn’t do it alone. 

After you have a demo built and have identified a few allies who support your vision, it’s time to expand your team. This is not about finding people who know the name “WalkMe” or know what “digital adoption” means (although these are great people to have on board!), it’s more about getting the people that are simply solution-oriented. 

Once you’ve built your squad, you acquire another superpower: superspeed. With a squad, you now have the ability to actually take on different projects at any given time, complete them at lightspeed, and deliver value back to the business quickly and continuously. 

Super DAP World Cheat Code: Conquering the training dungeon

So, you have a squad, you’re building solutions that solve problems, you’re getting more and more requests. But, this is where many people get stuck. 

Building digital adoption solutions that eliminate issues with traditional training or that provide step-by-step guidance for common processes is great – but if you’re using digital adoption solely for training? You’re only utilizing  1/10th of its power.

Think of stop lights. Green means go, red means stop. Easy enough. But if those stop lights are removed, what prevents the cars from crashing? 

This is where the superhero comes along to direct traffic or stop cars from crashing using that super strength. They – and you as a DAP Professional – aren’t just capable of one thing, you can “shape-shift” and solve problems in novel ways. For example, imagine a team asks you to build a step-by-step walkthrough for a process in a new system. Great, you can do that. But, what if, instead, you ask questions about common issues, goals with the system, and uncover a bigger issue that you can automate, remove, or simplify? 

That’s how you avoid being typecast as solely there to help with training or having your stakeholders think of WalkMe – or your digital adoption platform of choice – as solely a training tool (disclaimer: we need training and can definitely help with it, but we can do so much more!).

Level 3: BOSS stage – create some FOMO

Source: Kris Clark

The final level – or the last one we’ll discuss today  – is when you reach the BOSS stage. This is when you show people the impact you’ve been able to make and what they are missing out on by not using your team to supercharge their systems and processes. 

Once they get a picture of the power of digital adoption, they will want to jump onboard. Trust me on this.

At ServiceNow, we started with that small demo and now deliver solutions for  35+ systems, have built our own brand for our Digital Adoption implementation, and have a dedicated team for all things Digital Adoption solutions. We’ve avoided the training dungeon and seen way more engagement than you could ever have with any typical forms of training and communication. 

So, the last upgrade that you get? A jetpack. Firstly, who doesn’t want a jetpack? Secondly, in all seriousness, this upgrade symbolizes how you can “fly up” to get a bird’s eye view of the entire organization, its challenges, and can influence your organization from the top level. 

With your squad, your shape-shifting capabilities, and your jetpack, you’re the ultimate Super DAP Professional: you see what, where, and who needs help and your team has the why and how to change it.

Thanks again to Kris for his insights! (And, we agree, who wouldn’t want a jetpack?! 🚀) 

Source: Kris Clark

If you found this interesting and want to learn more, check out the Digital Adoption Institute for Digital Adoption Professional courses and certification (open to all).

If you’re a WalkMe customer, we invite you to join our WalkMe World DAP community (available to all WalkMe customers) to share your perspectives, learn more about digital adoption, and connect with members of the community. 

Kristopher Clark
By Kristopher Clark
Kristopher Clark is the Head of Digital Adoption & Content at ServiceNow, pioneering and growing an amazing team in a whole new space of Digital Adoption. Throughout his 15 years of experience, Kris loves to wear multiple hats, working in product management, project management, software development, data analytics, and organizational behavior. He considers himself a full-time techy professional and a part-time futurist, economist, and studier of human behavior.