There are so many reasons why you should build a formal SUN. But there are also some reasons why you should not go through the effort.
After working with Super Users for so many years, (decades now – YIKES, where did time go) there is one thing universal… everyone believes it is important for Super Users to continue beyond projects. If everyone agrees with this, there must be value. So where is the value?
- Supporting end users with the real version of the truth for how users should be executing business transactions. Notice I said, “real version”. How can Super Users do this sustainably if we don’t help them?
- Supporting projects in a highly engaged, motivated, and prepared way.
- Offering up business process improvement ideas that are vetted cross-functionally within their SUN.
- Reducing business user errors.
- And I could go on and on…
I believe every company with business processes needs a Super User Network, not just large fortune 500 companies. We have proof. So yes, everyone needs one. But until you are ready to invest in doing it right, you might want to shelf that idea for a while, or put on a seed sack and play the role of Johnny Appleseed spreading the seeds of change.
OK, now the answer to the opening statement, “Do not build a Super User Network if…” you aren’t ready to invest in doing it right.
The reason I believe this is because I have decades of experience showing that many who journey down the path of starting up a SUN do not achieve the results they were seeking. In studying these cases there are common reasons that are all avoidable.
If you are planting seeds in your backyard, go ahead and wing it. You don’t even have to read the instructions. If some seeds grown and others don’t, no big deal. Heck, even if none grow, still no big deal. Try again next year. But with a SUN, you are talking about people and trust and much more. If you don’t get it right, there can be a lot of unfavorable unintended consequences. Then when you get ready to really invest in doing it right, you have even more barriers to overcome.
What does it mean to invest in doing it right?
- Follow a proven plan. You should have a structure and plan that is much more than just identifying people across the business (we call it “the LIST”) and setting a meeting cadence with them. In that plan you should have research. Know what’s available for you to leverage, who else is leveraging, and then leverage – don’t figure it out alone.
- Join a community of practice. Through the SUNsource Super User Network community, you have a ready-made network specifically focused on the same thing.
- My top 3 pieces of advice beyond those:
- Get a strong Executive Sponsor. Check out my 60 second podcast on this topic.
- Get the right Super User Leader. Trust me on this, do your research. The market around this is growing and so through the SUNsource Community you have quick access.
- I’m really struggling to come up with #3 here without referencing the above bullets. So I guess I will just say, read them again. This is important. This is like building what I have called, “The department of the future”. And who wants to “just figure it out”!
If you are now asking yourself, “How do I follow a proven plan?”, don’t worry. We can help. We have just launched our 1-day Jumpstart workshop that gives you just that, a jumpstart into our award-winning structured approach to building and sustaining a Super User Network. Check it out.