Technophobe Tina & Technophile Tom – how to ensure they don’t sabotage your deployment

By Sarah Daley

Harvey Schachter’s article in the Globe and Mail March 7 2011 “Decisive Danielle or Skeptical Steve- A Guide to your customers” crossed my desk a few weeks ago and it started me thinking. When we install a new photocopier in an office environment I have noticed three distinct approaches to new technology. If you are the person who made the decision to buy, ensuring that each of these technology personality types is handled well is the key to a successful deployment.

“Adaptable Amy” – Amy readily embraces new technology and is excited about having something new in the office. The key to making her happy is to ensure she doesn’t have to do a lot of set up work herself. Ask your supplier to set up address books and defaults on the machine that work for most of your group. Make sure Amy is trained on the basics of the machine and how to use the features that are new to her. After that- let her play .

“Technophobe Tina” – Tina is afraid of machines. She knows how to turn on her computer and email and if you give her step by step instructions she can (maybe) set up the defaults on her print driver. She liked the old machine because she knew how to use it. Tina needs one on one training regarding the specific tasks she performs on the machine. She will need “quick buttons” or customized programs to be set up for her on the machine because she will never remember the 6 step process you took her through. Expect that there will be moaning and complaining and questions about why this machine isn’t exactly like the last one. Make sure Tina has someone in the office who can help her with new or complex tasks.

“Technophile Tom” Tom lives in his mom’s basement and plays World of Warcraft until the wee hours of the morning. He will have strong opinions about the machine’s capabilities and will be very interested in the minute details of both its technical specs and its functionality. While he loves technology he is often critical of it. He will be quick to point out every flaw and will have very high expectations of functionality. Make sure that you point out at least one new feature on the new machine that will save him time.

Some people accept change more readily than others. Though many people in your office will claim to “not have time” to learn how to use a new machine, it is critical to the success of your deployment to make sure they each get at least a little hands on training, geared toward their particular personality type.

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