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Key User

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The key user is designated to those people within a company that have a decisive role in the choice and implementation of new software. Key users tend to act as representatives of certain departments, so that everyone can contribute to the overall progress of the company. Other names that can be used to refer to key user are: SuperUser or User ++. Sometimes they are also called decentralized administrators.

Normally, the key users are the experts in directing projects that improve some ICT tool, which are usually people interested in computer science and who are used to support high workloads. They have a high level of knowledge and experience. Therefore, they are of great influence and have a high power of decision before, during and after the optimization of business processes. They form a key group led by the project manager, as they are the ones who will have to set the requirements and make decisions together, as well as assess possible changes and improvements in workflows.

For what purpose do companies name key users?

The key user provides support for the most important phases in a software implementation, be it an ERP system, document manager, human resources system, BPM or CRM. The key users put on the table the knowledge, the requirements and the real worries of the day to day of the company. This is intended to choose a tool that's really useful for different departments, and that'll be adopted by users. In addition, key users often have the responsibility to test the different deployment scenarios and to direct or participate in pilot projects. In the case of an unexpected change, the key user must also assess the different existing alternatives.

Likewise, this key user is both the point of contact with the team and the functional manager. It's the sound box of end users " people who will directly manipulate software " and indicates the relevant needs of the project and instructs end users in practice. It also has the power to approve instruction documents and procedures, facilitating approval or, otherwise, rejecting acceptance tests. It establishes change requests and accepts functional specifications, as well as possible changes in standards.

Qualities that a key user must have

As a key user, apart from the department's own work, this person is also responsible for the care of the design and operation of the software package. It's the visible face of all aspects related to the department. He knows the software tool from end to end and has a high knowledge about product and service processes not only from his own department, but also from other related issues.

Organization and coordination of tasks

It's vital that the key user ensure that the deadlines established for implementation are met. In addition, at specific moments of the project, the tasks to be carried out and who will carry them out so as not to hesitate in the process and waste time unnecessarily should be clear. This role is inevitably related to the correct communication, not only within the implementation team, but also with the other employees of the company. A correct flow of information considerably improves the environment of a company that's immersed in a project and thus encourages the fulfillment of tasks. In the end, the key user will be the first contact for troubleshooting and direct link with the project manager. Fundamentally, he must be able to explain the tool to his colleagues so that they don't have to ask the project manager.

Strong conviction in decision making

The key user must identify the obstacles and points for improvements, describe possible solutions and know how to describe them, because within a project, a decision made on time generates an impact on the total duration of the project. Thus, key users shouldn't be afraid to make important decisions regarding certain business processes such as the reconduction of the project if necessary, the modification of working deadlines, etc. In short, their level of involvement with the users' organization, as well as participation in various consultation processes must be high.

Flexibility for innovations

Key users must be open to changes and innovations. Based on current business processes and having the current situation, there is always some way to improve the situation by being open to other methods that we might not have previously estimated; These may already be a change in the initial planning of the tasks, in the people involved in them or even in the role model to achieve the final objective. This creates more involvement and responsibility on the part of the rest of the employees during the project. Definitely the constant improvement and the intention to achieve an increasingly efficient work must be in the DNA of the key user.

Motivation towards users to better cope with the changes

A key user should be energetic and motivating to convey positivism and enthusiasm to other users.in order to involve them in the software acquisition process. This begins by listening to employees, which will make a closer relationship exist and so you can know their situation to know how much to expect from them and above all, how much to demand. This can be a good example of how you can change the attitude of colleagues about the new system, encouraging enthusiasm to make work easier and easier. It's important to maintain this attitude before, during and after implementation. Thus, the openness of mind of the employees will be stimulated and increased. The implementation can be an opportunity to start fostering an improvement in business culture. In short, the project won't succeed without the continuous involvement of the key users.

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