Listening to a podcast from Voices of CRM recently, I was not surprised to learn that the number one problem with large-scale CRM deployments is "user adoption." That is, getting users to actually use the system that's been implemented. Now keep in mind, we're talking about companies with thousands if not tens of thousands of users. So naturally, challenges with user adoption at that level could be expected.

And what's the biggest problem for associations when it comes to implementing a new association management system? User adoption, of course. But how can this be? Most associations are only implementing tens of users (maybe over 100, but rarely).

The reality is, software and technology are enablers. They are tools for getting a job done. But if the user doesn't understand how to use the tool, then the user will find tools they do understand. And that's where user adoption becomes a challenge.

So don't be surprised if you have challenges with user adoption; those challenges are everywhere, and not unique to industry or even size. Be prepared for user adoption issues, and have a plan in place to deal with it. Anything else is just malpractice.