Webinar summary

7 Steps to SaaS Success

Featuring Rolls-Royce’s Global Head of HRIT Solutions, Simon Barker.

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With more organizations facing pressures to adapt to a home working environment while retaining productivity, reliance on technology and user self-service is greater than ever.

So how do you make sure that your applications are delivering their intended value to your employees? We were proud to join Simon Barker, Global Head of HRIT Solutions at Rolls-Royce for a discussion on common SaaS misconceptions and best practices for global organizations looking to maximize the success of their technology.

Using Rolls-Royce’s Workday implementation as a real-world example, we revealed Simon’s top tips for successful user adoption. If you missed the live session you can get a summary below or catch up on the recording.

Introducing Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is a multinational engineering organization with over 51,000 employees in 50 countries.

In 2012, Rolls-Royce started looking at new ways of delivering its HR processes. There was no single view across the user community, and its legacy systems simply didn’t enable the processes that HR wanted to deliver to take the organization forward. The main aim was to achieve a consistent user experience.

After 15 months of planning, Rolls-Royce rolled out Workday in October 2015 to 45,000 global users.

The approach

A process and change workstream ran alongside the project, including user adoption which was crucial to the delivery and value. Now in year 5, the Workday project continues to evolve.

Following the 6 pillars approach alongside AppLearn, Rolls-Royce knew that bringing in the technology would not be enough to ensure real transformation. Its journey can be mapped to the following pillars:

Strategy: Rolls-Royce introduced a global people strategy to support the Workday project and ensured the team were all aware.

Culture: A key project aim was to drive a self-service environment, and as this would involve new ways of working for everyone they had to communicate and support it.

Behaviors: The change would mean asking managers to take more responsibility and accountability, with the system change driving behavioral change.

Processes: After exploration, they identified and communicated which processes would be adjusted and which would be brand new, such as moving from paper to online.

Skills: They acknowledged that new processes and behaviors would require new skills and implemented both training ahead of launch, but also just-in-time in-app support.

Technology: Rolls-Royce would need to ensure adoption and proper use of the technology itself, as well as understand the metrics for success.

The misconceptions & key takeaways

For Rolls-Royce, the steps to success were inextricably linked to overcoming misconceptions. These came in the form of lessons learned along the way, as well as Simon’s years of experience.

Over the coming weeks we will be running a blog series focused on the common adoption misconceptions discussed on the webinar, which were:

  1. “Adoption will just happen. The technology is intuitive.”
  2. “If we need to cut costs, then the change budget can go.”
  3. “Our plan is to create ‘how to’ training to drive adoption.”
  4. “Chatbots will solve all my adoption problems.”
  5. “There’s content available on the intranet if people need help.”
  6. “Our change approach worked for on-premise; it will work for SaaS.”
  7. “We measure adoption by measuring system usage.”

In these blogs, we’ll also be digging deeper into the following key advice on ensuring SaaS success:

  • Your systems will only deliver the full outcomes and benefits based on how they are used by users—not from the technology itself.
  • Construct the business case to stakeholders on outcomes, no outputs, as outcomes drive the real value.
  • Ensure you focus on individual requirements, with content at the time they want, in the way they want to consume it.
  • Have the data to back up decisions and measure adoption. You only have success when you can prove log ins, efficient use and quality.

Questions & Answers

Finally, while we answered some questions on Rolls-Royce’s business case and culture during the webinar, we didn’t have time to cover others that were submitted.

We’ve now answered these questions below, but don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss any of the information in this summary.

Q: What type of data do you need to capture usage and measure adoption?

A: The real key here is to look beyond top-level logins, and even task completions. While this requires context and third-party data, insights into real adoption and valuable usage can be found in efficiency or accuracy improvements, engagement within the tool or Adopt’s modules and how this affects other processes. The real value of software and adoption is then found in the cost and time savings—these figures that separates the fact from the feeling.

Q: As Adopt sits across a number of applications, how beneficial has this been to have consistent tool, UI and UX?

A: While this is still being developed and rolled out at Rolls-Royce, having a multi-app digital adoption platform means familiar UI elements can be found in different SaaS applications. This can be massively beneficial, as rather than required users to learn several support systems and layouts, global consistency can be reached rapidly. The real value here is in saved time and frustration, as users can help themselves as and when they need to, rather than relying on external resources or support. The recent shift to remote working makes this even more important.

Q: We tried to implement a global system with global processes in 12 countries but it failed. How did Rolls-Royce manage to go big bang in 45 countries?

A: If only it was as simple as that! While it takes countless efforts and actions before, during and after go-live, it comes down to learning from mistakes, and essentially laying the foundations and watching out for the misconceptions we went through during the webinar.


If you’d like to learn more about how to achieve SaaS success with AppLearn, watch the full webinar featuring Rolls-Royce via the button below.

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Insight by

Daniel Gripton

Insight by

Daniel Gripton