Google Apps adoption for high performing team: Insights from Google's data scientists [Guest post by Alvan Santoso, Google]

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    Gidday from Sydney!


    I'm out here to speak at a Women in Leadership event and also to catch up with some customers and partners based here. I'm not sure if any of you have seen the news about Sydney? The weather here has certainly been exciting since I landed!


    I'm very excited to share with you today's article - written by my friend and colleague Alvan.






    Greetings Apps Community!


    My name is Alvan Santoso and I’m part of the Google for Work Product Adoption team based in the Google HQ in Mountain View.  Our team’s goal is to help our customers to adopt our various products  - Gmail, Editors (Docs, Sheets, Slides), Drive, Hangout, etc through the analysis of data.  I have met many of you on different occasions - be at a Customer Meetup, Conference or Transformation Lab.  It is the best part of my job - to always learn and take your constructive feedback.


    In this edition, let’s focus on a couple of concepts; first, how do we measure adoption; second, what does the adoption profile look like for effective teams .


    The first question that may come to mind as you roll out Google Apps within your organization is, how do users interact with the products? Has employees behaviour changed from how they used the previous tools?  Are they uploading files to Drive, or still sending attachments over email?  Are they sharing documents across different teams?  We start by asking, how can we measure user interactions with the product?  Let’s begin with the basic metrics - we can monitor the number of Docs, Sheets and Slides created over the last month.  For Drive, we can also count the number of files uploaded and make a distinction on whether or not they are Google native editor files.  These basic metrics provide us some idea on how pervasive each of the products are as a part of the user’s daily activities.


    Figure 1:  Basic Usage Metrics

    Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 1.13.07 AM.png

    At this point, you might feel quite satisfied with how your organization adopts the products.  However, we know we can gain more insights by looking at the ratio of these metrics.  Let’s take a look at the “penetration” metric.  The point of the penetration metric is to understand how widely used is a particular product within the organization.  We introduce this notion of 30 day active users (users that have used the product at least once within the past 30 days).  The illustration below provides an example of how the penetration metrics differ by Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Mobile.


    Figure 2:  Penetration Metrics by Product

    Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 1.24.45 AM.png


    Once we apply the penetration metric on all the products, we have a good idea on how popular each of these products is within the organization, and look for adoption blockers if they exist.  For example, if we deep dive into the 65% Sheets penetration level, we might be able to uncover that a specific team (e.g. Finance) needs more training, particularly on Apps script and file conversion process.


    Now, let’s take a look at what characteristics are common in effective teams.  Research (reference: Harvard Business Review publication) has shown that a more productive team is one that is highly collaborative, where every team member directly connects with each other.  The diagram below gives us some idea on how this can be measured - the higher we are on the “Hierarchy of Collaboration”, the more likely the team would operate more effectively.


    Figure 3:  Hierarchy of Collaboration

    Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 1.36.31 AM.png

    This collaboration concept can be applied to various part of the organizations, each one of them would benefit from their own specific use cases - let’s use an example scenario for illustration:

    Suppose a Sales Rep is in the field and is having some challenges closing a deal.  The prospect wanted to understand more details about a specific product feature.  The Sales Rep could create a Google Doc and collaborate with the Product Specialist to ensure the prospect gets all the right answers to their specific questions immediately.  If needed, the Sales Rep can furthermore set up an interactive Hangout video conference with the Product Manager to have a live conversation about the questions the prospect has.  Within hours, the Sales Rep would be equipped with the relevant information to close the deal.  This level of collaboration is an example of how an effective team operates.


    I would like to close this article with a call to action.  We all work with various teams within our company and in most cases hopefully would have implemented some change management activities throughout the organization.  You can take this up a notch by simply measuring the penetration metric for each product by different team in order to identify which part of the organization need more specific assistance.  In addition, taking the “Hierarchy of Collaboration” concept would take your organization to an even higher level of effectiveness - and the beauty of this is that you could be a highly collaborative organization by simply increasing the adoption of the Google Apps products that you’ve already purchased!


    I’d love to hear your comments or questions on this topic - please share below.