Proficiency in Software Adoption: 6 Lessons from a Digital Transformation Expert

Success isn't just measured at the corporate level. Proficiency, adoption, and return on investment must be taken into account at an individual level. Digital transformation expert Janet Robb explains how to assess proficiency and ensure digital transformation success.
software adoption
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Laura Reininger
Laura is the Content Specialist at ClickLearn, operating at the intersection of Marketing and Experience Design, helping to increase awareness of concepts, companies, problems and ideas.

Here's why should you focus on proficiency in software adoption

Digital transformation experts emphasize the significance of proficiency in software adoption in driving successful outcomes. Here, we’re sharing Microsoft Community organizer Janet Robb’s thought-provoking and humorous insights that shed light on the often-overlooked human element of digital transformation initiatives. 

Delve into the 6 major factors, as outlined by Robb. Don’t miss the key quotes from this expert who highlights the importance of prioritizing people and their personal journeys in digital adoption strategies.

6 Lessons on Proficiency in Software Adoption

1. Understanding the Personal Journey

The digital transformation is fundamentally about people and their personal journeys. In order for each impacted group of users to really embrace change, their motivations have to be identified. By addressing their pain points and providing solutions that resonate with individuals, organizations can capture their attention and secure buy-in from these groups.

2. Benchmarking Success Factors

The lack of focus on success factors and benchmarking in digital transformation projects is vital. Success should be measured at an individual level, rather than solely at a corporate level. By setting clear benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), organizations can track progress and evaluate whether the intended goals have been achieved.

3. The Importance of Proficiency in Software Adoption

Proficiency in software adoption is a crucial component of successful digital transformation. Robb highlights that proficiency is often ignored, as organizations tend to underestimate the time and effort required for individuals to become proficient in new technologies. She relates that just as one wouldn’t hand over the keys to a car without proper training, organizations should not overlook the need for software training, testing, and ongoing checks to ensure proficiency.

Janet Robb on Proficiency in Software Adoption

“Proficiency is often ignored. So I describe this proficiency as, you know, when you all passed your first driving test, what was it like driving on the motorway? 

We were all nearly wetting ourselves. We were all terrified because it was new and it was difficult. Now driving on the motorway, you’re really, really quick. 

Proficiency comes with time. But when it comes to digital transformation journeys, for some reason, people just think you can go on a training course, you can look at a book. 

So I describe it as business applications is usually the engine of your car. You need it to run your business. 

So why are we giving people the driving lessons of our business and giving them one driving lesson, not even giving them a test, not even doing proficiency with them, and not even going back and doing checks with them? 

Why do we give people the keys to our business without testing the proficiency? It is crackers. Utter crackers.


Proficiency is forgotten about, and it is one of the key things I’ve said a number of times now, that proficiency equals return on investment, it gets ignored. 

But one of the reasons it gets ignored is people don’t know how to assess it. People don’t know how to build systems to be able to assess it. A lot of people aren’t giving the system enough time. They think it’s going to be really expensive. So I feel if we can make it easier for a customer to assess somebody’s proficiency and give them guidance on how to do that, people will buy in more.”

4. Combating Change Fatigue

Change fatigue is a real challenge when implementing digital transformation initiatives. People can become overwhelmed and resistant to change, particularly when they are already busy and have to learn new systems. To combat change fatigue, organizations must make the change process enjoyable and engaging, addressing concerns upfront and delivering tangible benefits to users.

5. Recognizing the Value of Change Practitioners

Robb emphasizes the value of change practitioners and success managers in the tech industry. Their expertise in adoption and utilization can greatly contribute to the success of digital transformation projects. Acknowledging their role alongside technical roles is essential for fostering a holistic approach to digital adoption.

6. Rethinking Training and Change Management

With the rapid pace of digital transformation, traditional event-based training methods are no longer effective. Organizations need to embrace new approaches and methodologies that prioritize ongoing learning and support. By adapting training programs to individual needs and providing continuous guidance, organizations can drive better adoption and utilization of new technologies.

Key Takeaway

The critical role that people play in the success of digital transformation initiatives cannot be understated. The need for organizations to prioritize proficiency, benchmark success factors, combat change fatigue, and recognize the value of change practitioners. By understanding and addressing the personal journey of each user, organizations can increase adoption rates and achieve their digital transformation goals.


As the tech community shifts its focus from technology itself to adoption and success, there is a growing realization that these factors are the true drivers of digital transformation. The episode concludes with an invitation for further discussion on digital adoption, indicating the importance of ongoing conversations and learning in this continually evolving landscape.

with Janet Robb

Change fatigue is a real issue, but with the right motivation, users can be encouraged to embrace new technologies. Janet Robb discusses the importance of speaking the language of the user and providing them with solutions that benefit them.

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