Recently, we conducted a nationwide survey on recruiting, developing and managing boards. Many responses centered on board portal adoption and successful technology implementation.
Below are the three biggest tips our survey respondents had to offer.
1. Commit to Training
Training is essential to long-term adoption. To best teach staff how to use new software, board portal users suggested:
- Ensure internal champions are well versed with the software, so that they can better facilitate pilot programs and rollout.
- Plan training based on board members’ technology aptitude. Evaluate the tech-savviness of each board member, and customize training accordingly.
- Be patient. While set up may seem tedious, know that there is a big payoff at the end of all the training.
Pro tip: Simplify training by partnering with a board portal vendor that offers robust training and support services.
2. Simplify the Technology Rollout
Rollout should be done gradually. This way, training and technology kinks can be solved before widespread implementation. For a smooth rollout processes:
- Plan, and then play. The rollout process should not be rushed. For long-term adoption success, document a rollout plan with clear and realistic timelines.
- Phase in the new technology. Give board members time to adjust to new procedures. Do this by providing hard copies, in addition to online files, for a period of time after initial rollout.
- Implement the buddy system. Ask board members to help one another through the training process.
- Keep the portal top-of-mind. Link to content on the portal in emails and documents, so board members are reminded of its functionalities.
3. Plan For Future Use
Ongoing board portal management takes preemptive planning and well-established processes. For best chances of prolonged board portal success, consider these best practices:
- Promote consistency in use. Thoroughly document how board members should use the portal in specific use cases. This includes naming mechanisms for documents and files, and how to communicate through the portal.
- Provide support. Dedicate a staff member to be the liaison between board members and the vendor’s support/training team. Route all inquiries and troubleshooting requests through this individual.
- Commit to the software. Set a precedent for board members by sending all communications, scheduling requests and documents through the board portal. The less you link to resources outside the portal, the better adoption will be.
Share your board portal adoption advice in the comments below.
Find more advice on board management in our recent report: Board Management Tips and Tricks: A Community Curated Guide.
Image Source: OTA Photos via Flickr