getting user feedback at an early stage

Our sales team are the heaviest users of our CRM system, and not used to Ubuntu, Firefox, or indeed an web based databases.  Following good advice from an IBM case study, we are holding a user testing experience at an early stage to get feedback on the user experience.

The success of an Open Source migration to us is heavily dependant on getting buy in from the users, and their involvment at an early stage is, to me, crucial.

  • User testing is essential, however just be careful about the setup and environment. It’s my experience that people can be easily influenced by little things, e.g. if the test machine has an old dirty keyboard and mouse or a beat up old monitor then before even looking at any software perceptions are on a negative track.

  • Julian Robbins

    All the best with the migration. I will have to compare notes with you as we’re going on a similar but less comprehensive process.

    Firefox and OpenOffice shouldnt be too bad, but watch those pesky Excel VBA Macros ! OOo has some support for VBA macros now, but really only in the newer versions than Dapper.

    We used to use Don @ Hauracki – nice guy, very helpful.

    Don’t forget to promote your plan on features, reliability, flexibility and ability to hack, NOT cost ! You appreciate cost issues, and so will your Financial Director, but the staff just see OOo as a poor mans MS Office.
    Otherwise convince them that cost savings will go instead towards non IT items that will help them in their work that you would not have been able to afford otherwise….

    Also, please consider a Jabber messaging system. We use one. Gaim is excellent as a client, and its very, very popular and incredibly stable at our company. So much more responsive compared to email, and it lessens the email load too. Definitely worth considering even in a small company (we have 35 employees).

    Likewise a Wiki could be useful, if setup correctly.

    Best of luck

  • I’m a Wine developer, am interested in helping make sure
    Wine can run the “unimportant” Windows apps you need.
    Do you have a list of the Windows apps you’d like to run?