Picture this: you’ve just discovered how awesome Kintone is. You’re building apps left and right; increasing efficiency over here, streamlining a few processes over there. You’re almost positive that this could be a game changer for others in different parts of your organization or even other members of your team.
But how do you communicate the value of Kintone? How can you convince your supervisors or upper management that this is a great investment (low-cost, minimal risk, HIGH ROI) that deserves their attention, or your coworkers that they’ll want to learn how to become Citizen Developers on the Kintone platform?
I’m glad you asked. In 2017, I found myself asking—and then trying to answer—these same questions at AB Emblem when I first deployed Kintone. My experience taught me a thing or two that I think you’ll find of use in your own journey.
Without further ado, here are the five top tips to get your team onboard (and excited for!) Kintone:
1. Pick ONE problem to focus on.
Start with a semi-small problem or challenge that you can tackle with Kintone. Build an app to solve it, improve the process, and take notes along the way. Then go back and compare how many steps it took to solve that problem without Kintone and what it takes with it. Be sure to list out how your new method in Kintone improves the process (such as whether or not it saves time, how it does, and how much).
2. Pay attention to what your team members care about.
The best way to get people onboard with your vision is to make it meaningful for them. If you want your team to embrace Kintone as a solution, figure out what their pain points are. What do they struggle with? What current processes cause them a lot of frustration? Ask them questions about what they think would make the process better. Take notes and then maybe build an app to show them how the process might be improved with Kintone (using THEIR ideas). This creates excitement AND engagement. It also starts creating a lot of curiosity about what else Kintone might be capable of.
Developing in Kintone is so quick and simple that sometimes you don’t even need to pause the conversation to show them how Kintone can help. I had some instances where I was able to build the app my teammate needed right then and there while we were talking. Not only did this show them how much I cared about what they were saying, it also demonstrated how Kintone was the perfect platform to realize their ideas. This approach almost ALWAYS creates excitement.
3. Know your audience.
When you’re presenting ideas with Kintone, you’ve got to pay attention to your audience. Who are you talking to? Your supervisors/upper management team are going to be interested in a higher level perspective of what Kintone has to offer. Give them the facts and a demo. Always have a demo and budget ready when presenting to your management team. They’re going to be the ones to champion your efforts (financially and other resources).
If you’re presenting to your peers, refer to List Item #2.
If you’re presenting to people that work under you, get them involved. Ask for their ideas. A lot of times the employees that are in the everyday grind are going to have some of the BEST ideas of how to improve things. They’re going to see things about their workflow that you may not even know.
4. Share your vision.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you have a vision for your company you’re invested in. You see what Kintone can do and how much better you could make your processes with it. So talk about it! Share your vision! Bring it up any chance you get. Talk about the improvements you’ve made so far for yourself as well as what you’d like to do for others on your team or in your company. Your excitement is contagious.
The biggest battle in implementing change or a “new thing” of any kind is the mental part. The actual, physical change isn’t that hard—it’s getting people to believe that the change will be GOOD that’s tough. So talk about (and show off) the good Kintone has done for you! The more you talk about it, the less ambiguity there is about Kintone. Part of what freaks people out about change is they don’t know what to expect, but you can counter that by telling them by communicating exactly what Kintone delivers. That way they’ll know what to expect because they’ve seen your results.
5. Have fun and think outside the box!
Of all the points on this list, this one may be the most important. Every organization is different. Every company’s overall “personality” is different. We’re all just older kids and kids like to have fun. Who says the office has to be a drag or process development has to be expensive and painful? That’s in the past (where it should stay)!
Once you get buy-in from your managers and team for Kintone, keep the excitement rolling! Have a Roll-Out party when you have an app/new process go live! CELEBRATE the victories, big AND small. Don’t wait until all the things are done. People like to party. It doesn’t have to be big event, but at least have snacks. If you provide them, they will come.
Also be sure to celebrate individual accomplishments. As more of your team members become Citizen Developers, recognize them in front of others. Show off what they’ve built and how they’ve helped improve a process. Also, foster a spirit of collaboration. The more people are included at every level, the more they’ll be encouraged to engage and start engaging on their own. Even the most resistant-to-change people will start to engage with you in ways that will surprise you.
Another important point is to share resources with your team. Kintone has some great documentation, including this blog, monthly customer training sessions, and for the super tech geeks on your team, a developer’s network. These are all resources that can help your team get comfortable (and creative) with Kintone.
One Final Note
Don’t EVER shoot down ideas people bring to the table, even if they don’t seem relevant at first. They may not have the same perspective you do, which means they might see an issue or solution you’ve missed.
So that’s it for now folks! These are things I’ve tried and tested in the field and as simple as they may seem, they work. Give them a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome and it may not take as long as you think to get your team onboard with you.
Happy Kintoning! :)