How do employees learn to use software? With a DAP

A Digital Adoption Platform is a virtual teaching assistant to help staff get to grips with new tools
Felix Eichler

The Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) is a relatively new category of tool designed to replace traditional software training with embedded, continuous, and practical learning. The platform acts as an overlay on the user interface (UI) of any web-based software app and provides immediate, contextually relevant access to interactive guides that demonstrate how the user should complete a specific task or process.

The result is simplified technology adoption and improved ROI on digital transformation projects, ensuring that employees have the information they need the moment they need it, so they can take on their tasks instead of struggling with technology.

How does it work?

A DAP runs on top of software and provides the user with contextual support. Take, for example, an employee who is trying to register a lead in a CRM system like Salesforce but can’t remember how to. They may have received an hour of classroom-style learning several months ago, but their scribbled notes aren’t helping them to solve their problem. The clock is ticking to register this lead, and they’re feeling increasingly stressed.

With a DAP, this employee could easily access clear, actionable instructions at the click of a button. All they would need to do would be to select the DAP, which is integrated into the CRM software, and they would have instant access to an interactive, step-by-step guide on the specific operation they’re struggling with, as well as a library of countless other support guides.

It's also possible for the DAP to analyse user behaviour and intelligently trigger appropriate help or support prompts as the user is interacting with the software. This helps employees make full use of the software’s feature set, ensuring that the company is maximising the ROI on its software spend. Additionally, DAP training resources can be tailored to individual job roles. This ensures that everyone has access to the most relevant information at the right time, without feeling overwhelmed.

Within an organisation, teams can generate training content quickly and easily without the need for special coding knowledge. A member of the team with permission can add new guides by recording themselves completing a process, saving it to the DAP, and sharing it within the system. Guides can also be supplemented with rich content, including images, GIFs and links to external sources, to make them more informative and engaging. Training content can also be made available in multiple languages and to conform with accessibility guidelines for those with disabilities or impairments.

Who can use a DAP?

A DAP can be implemented in organisations of any size or industry, across multiple software programs. A major benefit of DAPs is their ability to scale and change as the needs of the employees and organisation change over time.

Moreover, a high-quality DAP should be quick and simple to implement. In other words, you shouldn’t need a DAP to adopt a DAP!

Why use a Digital Adoption Platform?

Both an organisation and its employees benefit from using a DAP. Some key benefits include:

  1. Better support for employees: Modern DAPs embed access to support and learning resources within the software itself, enabling employees to develop a better understanding of the topic at hand. Those who are already confident with the software can dip in, when necessary, while less tech-savvy employees – or new hires being onboarded – benefit from all the assistance they need, at their own pace.
  1. Decrease software total cost of ownership: Low software adoption is a rarely discussed but widespread issue, and it is associated with significant direct and indirect costs. For instance, regular retraining and low feature adoption result in a lower-than-optimal ROI on software investments. Similarly, lack of support often results in employees spending unproductive time searching for answers and unnecessary increased pressure on IT teams. For the small additional cost of investing in a DAP, an organisation can massively increase its ROI on the software it already pays for and reduce its total cost of ownership (TCO).
  1. Digitalise existing software knowledge: Organisations can also turn existing written training guides – perhaps hidden somewhere amongst a library of company documents – into easily updatable, interactive guides within the DAP, putting them front and centre the moment employees need them. Modern DAPs are scalable across many different software products and can cater to the unique needs of various departments within a large organisation.
  1. Use data to understand employee challenges: Unlike the traditional training model, DAPs are data-rich. Leaders gain access to rich data on employee software usage, including the areas in which users commonly make mistakes, the number of guides that have been interacted with, and the processes that users most frequently need help with. Where the data highlights that users are struggling, the organisation can rework existing guides which aren’t addressing their issue or add more in-depth guides to support them. Organisations can also reconfigure their software to eliminate problem areas, optimising the user experience and enabling employees to get on with their work.
  1. Create confidence: Ultimately, implementing a DAP creates self-sufficiency among employees, enabling them to use new software without feeling burdened or frustrated. It’s an ideal example of a larger theory of running a successful organisation: employees should be empowered with the tools and information they need in a way that leverages technology rather than forcing it on them and leaving them to work out the specifics.
Written by
Felix Eichler
Written by
January 18, 2022