Project failure: 5 challenges of digital adoption

HRIS, CRM, ERP, Purchasing IS, Digital Workplace… companies continually invest in costly business software to remain competitive to customers and their industry. In reality, few companies achieve adequate digital adoption for ROI.

On average, companies waste 37% of their software budget. (Source: 1E)

It raises the question: why do so many software projects fail? Lemon Learning explored 5 potential reasons for project failure and the solutions to achieving successful digital adoption.

1. Lack of methodology

The most influential factor to software project failure is insufficient training methodology.

66% of change management projects are either late, over budget, or lack planned functionalities (Source: Atos Origin)

But what does it have to do with your software projects? Software projects are also change management projects in disguise! Without the correct training methodology in place, your software project can suffer and struggle to yield the results you forecasted before deployment. 

The absence of training methodology can result in costly losses:

  • Time: loss of time organizing yourself on the spot (misdiagnosis errors, tight deadlines, poorly defined roles, etc.)
  • Efficiency: reduced efficiency creating project implementation roadblocks (late tasks, employee resistance, change fatigue, etc.) 
  • Money: additional costs accumulated during project deployment including wasted licenses (purchased but unused) which directly cause a lack of user adoption and negative ROI

So how do you avoid this obstacle?

Define a methodology before project deployment

To build the foundations of a successful software project, it’s essential to frame your project with a clear methodology. Consider things like: 

  • Stakeholders: Who are the project drivers? Who are the project stakeholders?
  • Project management: How many stages in the software project setup? What are your biggest challenges? 
  • Change management: What actions will you put in place to drive the implementation of your software project? 

In short, take into account all possible elements that could have an impact on the progress of the project, from its deployment to its adoption by end-users.


2. Lack of communication regarding the software project

Communication is key to a successful project… or not. 1 in 3 project failures is due to ineffective communication.

When it comes to software projects, a lack of communication can translate instantly: 

  • Users make little or no attempt to use the tools or abandon tools.
  • User churn rate increases, as do your costs (yup, still those unused licenses).

Did you know? Only 1 out of 26 users complains, meaning the rest completely disengage from digital adoption (churn) (Esteban Kolsky, Customer Experience Survey). So how do you communicate effectively to promote the digital adoption of your CRM, HRIS, ERP, or Purchasing IS software?

The Lemon Learning solution: Communicate with your employees throughout your software project

To promote faster and more efficient digital adoption, it is essential to communicate throughout, to reduce employee resistance. To do this, begin communicating upstream, explaining the reasons behind the new software deployment while highlighting its added value. During implementation, employee feedback is vital to adjust the software project accordingly to their needs. And post-deployment, you keep it up! To maintain project momentum, remain vigilant to feedback, support calls, and areas of improvement to optimize the user experience.



3. Lack of software training

One element that is often lacking: software training. Whether it’s a CRM, ERP, HRIS or Purchasing IS, software training is a crucial step in software projects. So what’s the catch?

58% of employees say that their employer uses advanced digital tools but does not offer the training required to use them. (Source: Randstad)

If you do not train or poorly train your employees on their daily tools, you expose yourself to several obstacles:

So how can you help train your employees on their software?


The Lemon Learning solution: Train your employees with interactive guides

To effectively train your employees in CRM, ERP, Purchasing IS or HRIS tools, you need to think outside the box. No more training via lengthy manuals (paper or pdf) or unsuitable e-learning modules. Opt for an innovative training solution tailored to your software project: interactive embedded guides. With Lemon Learning, your employees can train in complete autonomy directly from their software tools thanks to a library of interactive guides – accessible on demand. It’s simple (just a few clicks), fast (3 minutes increments), and efficient (immediate learning by doing methodology). 




4. Lack of impact measurement

Another reason so many software projects fail is the assumption that once deployed, software projects have reached completion. A software project is only complete when a company withdraws it. To promote a successful project, (i.e mass user adoption) it’s essential to continually measure its impact.


On average, between 60% and 73% of a company’s data is unused for analytical purposes. (Source: Forrester)

The importance of measuring your ROI isn’t only financial. It allows you to spot bottlenecks in software adoption. In other words, measuring your ROI allows you to identify areas for improvement to promote the adoption of your software. It’s an essential element since the adoption of software isn’t limited to the use of digital tools. Fostering the adoption of software means promoting its use and above all, its correct use by your users. And all this… sustainably. 

The Lemon Learning Solution: Use Analytical Tools 

Data is everywhere, so much that it’s easy to get lost. To measure your ROI, start by defining performance indicators. This could be the rate of software errors, the number of support requests, or the rate at which users use your software. At Lemon Learning, we provide Lemon Analytics, an inbuilt feature of our solutions to measure the adoption of tools using indicators such as the number of guides consulted or the preferred user formats. 


5. Lack of long-term user support 

Post-deployment is just the beginning of user support. It’s a continuous process that  includes support for change management, training, and digital competency. Support ends only when you withdraw a software.

53% of users do not have support when working outside regular office hours and 61% of them wish they could have it (Source: Econocom – IDC)

Without sustainable support…your software projects won’t be sustainable. The simple reason? Your tools, employee roles, digital competencies, challenges, and software needs are always evolving! 

The Lemon Learning solution: Support your users in real-time with embedded application support

Long-term, sustainable software support is essential. With that in mind Lemon Learning created push notifications, so that you can support your employees well into the future, at any time. Thanks to embedded interactive guides, you can update your training and optimize your support immediately to prevent skills obsolescence.




Methodology, communication, software training, ROI measurement, and real-time support. Use the 5 challenges we’ve discussed for sustainable success with your software project!

Are you interested in accelerating the user adoption of your software? Discover the Lemon Learning solutions or take a peek at our case studies for real-life examples. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch, and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions!