Putting Personality Behind Data Requests

Allison Schweizer

User personas help make communications feel relevant, driving greater engagementMore than 50 EcoStruxure™ Resource Advisor users participated in User Group Workshops held during this year’s Innovation Conference: Energy & Sustainability Perspectives. During these workshops, the Resource Advisor Product Management team spent time helping attendees better understand and overcome data challenges.

One common challenge kept arising: user engagement.

The Importance of User Engagement

User engagement is critical to the success of any energy and sustainability strategy for two main reasons:

  1. Many strategies are still reliant on user data entry, so engaging the right audience is key.
  2. Performance improvement requires individuals to take action. For example, a number of actions required to support energy consumption reduction can be behavioral, meaning it’s reliant upon individuals in global sites and facilities.

Engaging a large and diverse group of stakeholders with varying levels of expertise and interest is difficult. To overcome this, it’s important to build an effective communication and outreach strategy. Ask any journalist, teacher or expert in communication – they will tell you differentiation is key. Contentand the approach to communicating itmust be tailored depending on the audience and linked to their personality, goals and aspirations.

user personas at work in Resource AdvisorThe Product Management team faces similar challenges when designing a product to meet the requirements of a very diverse group of stakeholders across energy and sustainability teams. Stakeholders range from shop-floor right up to the CEO. During the workshop, the team shared how they approach this challenge through user personas. User personas help drive the software roadmap and ensure everyone in the business is aligned on who the product is designed and developed for and what factors are critical for successful adoption. The user persona encapsulates the requirements of a particular group of users clearly and succinctly.

5 Steps to Develop User Personas for Better Engagement

Looking to better internal engagement? User personas can help drive engagement on a wide range of projects or initiatives. Try a similar exercise by creating personas using the following steps:

  1. Segment internal stakeholders into different groups
  2. Devise a set of questions that will help determine their drivers, interests and requirements
  3. Interview a smaller number of individuals in each group to get more detail and clarity on their interests
  4. Analyze the responses and look for common themes before drafting initial personas.
  5. Circulate with the groups they are meant to represent, seek feedback and iterate.

Try using the personas when thinking about a next engagement or communication campaign. Personas will help teams remain focused on key stakeholders and their requirements, interests and motivations.

Need a jumping off point? Download Schneider Electric’s user persona template used with Resource Advisor users.

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