The Impacts of Successful System Adoption and How it Leads to a Better ROI

With the increasing importance of data-driven decision-making, transit agencies are investing in software to manage, analyze, and derive insights from vast amounts of data. This helps in strategic planning, identifying trends, understanding rider behavior, and optimizing operations. Software no only streamlines processes, and boosts productivity, but it cuts costs by minimizing manual labor and errors.

The return on investment can only be substantiated if transit agencies are being good stewards of system adoption and the technology providers they partner with are actively engaged in helping them reach their goals. Often, it is one of these two areas that fall short, and as a result, the agency is left with an expensive product that never fully lives up to the vision of its original procurement.

What key considerations should an agency keep in mind, whether they’re venturing into technology adoption for the first time or upgrading from legacy software?

The key to this process is ensuring that all staff understand why the technology was purchased and the value it brings to the transit agency. Engaging key stakeholders from different departments and levels of the organization early in the process will aid with buy-in and create a sense of ownership amongst staff. Creating ownership and accountability in the early stages of the project implementation process is vital for successful system adoption.

Effectively managing change within the agency is another crucial component to overcoming internal resistance and facilitating successful system adoption. Identifying within the agency those staff members who will help influence and promote system adoption while also proactively addressing concerns by other team members is essential. Without strong cross departmental system champions, it will be more difficult to overcome the challenges that come along with implementing a system that is driving more efficient ways of doing business.

What can ITS vendors do to assist with system adoption for new projects?

Several considerations come to mind, with none more crucial than integrating role-based standard operating procedures (SOPs) SOPs help all transit personnel understand the things that need to be done in the system, as it pertains to their role, to be successful adopters of the product. This is important not only for first time adopters, but also plays a key role as the transit organization evolves in the future.

Over the past several years, we’ve seen staff retire, transition to new roles, or leave agencies altogether for different opportunities. Change is going to naturally occur; we want to ensure that we are setting the agency up for success by implementing the SOPs that will help mitigate the effort needed to onboard unfamiliar staff in the future.

Does the approach differ for transit agencies not currently engaged in new projects or under warranty and support?

The people helping to assist with the effort may change, but the process should remain the same. The goal being that post project, transit agencies continue to build off the adoption foundations that were administered during original project implementation. Vendor staff will continue to utilize the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) established during the project as a baseline for the agency’s adoption level. This serves as a springboard toward a continuous improvement process cycle focused on maximizing a transit agency’s system adoption.

Monitoring system usage is another great way to stay on top of user adoption. Product engagement metrics serve as a powerful tool that highlights areas of product that are being heavily utilized. Most importantly, it identifies underutilized areas, which prompts discussions to improve adoption.

System adoption is an ongoing improvement process where we, as the technology provider, collaborate with the transit agency to meet their goals. Working together from project implementation to post-warranty support is critical for maximizing the agency’s initial investment return.

Todd Beaumont, Director of Customer Experience