Ep 3- Why put people at the heart of a digital project (podcast in FR)

If the success of a digital project depends in part on the technical implementation, it will be only relative if the solution designed does not meet the needs of users.

Entrepreneurs often tend to relegate the human aspect to the background of a project. However, it is totally central, especially in the launch and adoption phase of the project.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why you should focus on people and put them at the center of your digital project
  • How to get the most out of your teams?
  • How to maximize the adoption process of your solution by users?
  • What processes should be put in place to value the human contribution?

What are the advantages of putting people at the center of digital projects?

1. Have a common thread

Listening to employees, customers and users allows you to have a common thread through the different phases of strategy, design and adoption of the project.

2. Have satisfied users

The initial version of the project goes under the radar of the users who will give you leads to exploit in the improvement process. You will then have a result corresponding to the users’ motivations and needs.

3. Have a 100% functional project

When you focus everything on business objectives, the application does not work optimally. Forgetting the human aspect makes the digital project very functional but not at all optimized for the reality of its use.

4. Have more dynamic teams

Understanding the expectations and ambitions of your teams on a digital project allows you to capture the group dynamics. This way, you’ll know which type of profiles will add value to it.

Podcast Highlights

  • (00:32) “These projects are made by men and women for men and women”; 
  • (02:45) “When you forget the human element (…) you create applications or sites that are extremely functional, but which, in reality, do not work”; 
  • (04:11) “Understanding what the dynamics are within the teams, allows us to understand which types of people can bring added value to the projects”;
  • (04:25) “being in an active listening of this internal team dynamic, is something that brings a lot of value to the projects”;
  • (04:40) “interview processes to understand what the problems are in relation to the business objectives of the project team”.

Transcript of the episode

My name is Christophe Jouret, partner of Anais Digital and digital entrepreneur for the past 20 years. I’m here to share with you my experience and some anecdotes on how to succeed in digital projects and avoid the pitfalls. Today, I want to talk to you about the place of people in digital projects and share my experience on the importance of putting people at the center of projects.

First of all, the first reason is that these projects are made by men and women for men and women. I think that very often, at the beginning of projects, the fact of recalling the specific and human context that surrounds the business objectives of the project is something that allows us to have a common thread throughout the different phases of the project. Namely: what are the objectives of the project, what are the interfaces, what are the functionalities?

We have to ask ourselves what is necessary to design a project that meets the needs of the users: whether it is the technical realization to make sure that the solution that is going to be implemented works and meets the needs of the users.

The whole adoption process is really a very human process where you can very easily succeed in your project if you are good at listening or, on the contrary, miss the essential things and make the adoption much more complicated.

And of course, all digital projects, even if they are conceived and designed by intelligent men and women, digital experts for men and women. The fact remains that the initial version of the project is rarely a version that is adopted as is and that works. And in this process of continuous improvement or evolution of projects, being human-centered, user-centered, having the ability to understand what works and what doesn’t is key.

To what extent you respond to user motivations and to what extent you don’t respond to user motivations by integrating all of that into an improvement and adaptation plan, all of those aspects are fundamentally a human process. And I think that when we forget the human aspect and we are too focused on business objectives and only on business objectives. We end up creating applications or sites that are extremely functional, but which, in reality, do not work, or at least are not adopted by the users.

And so we always try to keep the human being at the center of this process throughout the construction, design, and definition of objectives to ensure good adoption or, in any case, to maximize adoption from the start.

More concretely, we will look for the human element at two levels. On the one hand, we will look for it in the people who will carry out the project to understand their intentions from the start.

We spend time in ideation workshops, we spend time really understanding what they want to implement and why they want to implement it, what their objectives are in an interaction process.

It’s a phase that is generally quite short, but which is often neglected. It also allows us to understand the dynamics within the teams, to understand what types of people can bring, what types of added value to the projects. It doesn’t always work the way you might imagine it on paper. And the fact of really listening to this internal team dynamic is really something that brings a lot of value to the projects.

The other dimension is the dimension that is really oriented towards the end users. Here, there are interview processes to understand what the problems are in relation to the project team’s business objectives. And then afterwards, to understand these problems and to translate them into interfaces that we present to them, to check with them that these interfaces correspond adequately and efficiently to the problems that we exposed earlier in the process and to be permanently, I would say, in this link between the strong conviction of the project team and the specific and real needs of the end users. That’s something that is the tension that we navigate and that we try to maintain at all times at the highest level of efficiency.

An analogy that also comes to mind concerning digital projects is the production of a film. You start out with the intention of telling a story, meeting an audience, making an impact and on the way. It’s a big job of adaptation.

In a design phase where we imagine the scenario, we deepen the scenario or, in a second phase, we gather teams to work on the project: we organize, we prepare. In the actual production phase, where we build the film, we take the images, we shoot, we manage the actors, we manage the different elements that we have to manage in a film. And then, in the construction phase, we put it all together to tell the story as we had imagined it. And finally, in the marketing phase, we present the team work that has been done, hoping to be closer to the story we wanted to tell at the beginning and hoping to reach a target audience.

Do you have a question about a digital or entrepreneurial project? Write to us at

Voice : Christophe Jouret

Production : Antidote.

Credits : Anais Digital.

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