User Success: Leading and Lagging Indicators

Working in the operations team at ItsMyCargo and supporting logistics companies in their adoption of our software, we have seen clients succeed in the software onboarding process as well as fail.

Working in the operations team at ItsMyCargo and supporting logistics companies in their adoption of our software, we have seen clients succeed in the software onboarding process as well as fail. Understanding these critical factors is now bread and butter in our team; the onboarding experience oftentimes reflects the overall success of the partnership and software. With the goal in mind to strengthen the user onboarding and simultaneously reduce the risk of user churn, leading and lagging indicators support us in predicting which user will succeed in the software adoption and which one will struggle, or ultimately fail with their digital agenda altogether.

Although both lagging and leading indicators touch the user success journey, the indicators target different progress stages. While leading indicators are predictive measurements about adoption and can be hints or signs reflecting the user’s adoption progress, lagging indicators become visible through a user’s performance outcome.

When looking at this concept from the perspective of a Software-as-a-Service provider, we at ItsMyCargo recognize and identify these principles during almost every customer onboarding process. With our target of creating a smooth and successful software implementation experience, our focus is to improve the users' leading indicators when adopting the software to change the lagging indicators for the better. Seeing that these leading and lagging indicators are greatly related to the motivation and dedication users are bringing along when engaging with a new software, we at ItsMyCargo have defined the following user prerequisites for succeeding in the onboarding process:

  • Technical Understanding: Users should be motivated to understand the technical focus of the software to optimally integrate the software into their daily business processes. Software training provides users with a better ability to work with the application to retrieve all advantages the software offers.
  • Time: Users should be aware of the fact that the onboarding process of a software is time-intensive. Not having enough time to explore a software’s scope and functionality will most likely result in a failed onboarding process.
  • Commitment to Organisational Change: Integrating a new software is triggered by users' ambitions to complete the onboarding. As the software incorporation is enacting organisational change, users should be resilient towards difficulties that can occur during the onboarding process. Without any determination from the user side, the onboarding process might become a never-ending story, or will even fail.
  • Strategy Alignment: The need to align the application of the software with the business strategy to perfectly benefit from the software’s advantages. Thus, the focus on priorities can be enhanced and important resources can be saved.

All in all, the correct understanding of the software becomes crucial. Through the investigation of processes that either indicate leading or lagging signs of users, risk factors can be identified, eliminated or improved. For ItsMyCargo, it is highly important to enhance the user experiences through optimizing onboarding processes, especially because we are operating in the people’s business of logistics. Hence, building awareness about the above and being in constant dialogue with our clients are cornerstones of our business philosophy. Finally, while the standardised optimal user adoption is probably non-existent, since it is subjective to every user, taking massive action to fulfil leading indicators is the best means we have found to our end: the path to achieve our customers’ success.