Five-fold Increase in Software Adoption for Deutsche Bahn
with Interactive Guidance

A Userlane Case Study


Safely transporting around 2 billion passengers per year to their European destinations, Deutsche Bahn remains the number one railway operator in Germany. Through advanced railway technology and numerous safety protocols, Deutsche Bahn is able to provide uninterrupted reliable and affordable transportation to all of their passengers.

Deutsche Bahn intends to significantly improve software utilization and knowledge retention for employees on different software platforms. For this reason, DB decided to implement Userlane’s interactive performance support internally to understand if the solution would meet their specific employee training needs.


With over 300,000 employees worldwide and 200,000 in Germany alone, Deutsche Bahn’s employee training efforts were substantially impacted by the high costs associated with training new employees, retaining existing employees with each new software release, and low software utilization on multiple software applications.

In order for Deutsche Bahn to achieve maximum operational efficiency, it is imperative to have competent employees and provide them with access to the most effective software training available. To do this, Deutsche Bahn needed to provide an employee training solution that could quickly scale to meet the needs and specific requirements of their technical operators.

Classic training solutions such as handbooks, video tutorials, and seminars are associated with well-known problems such as:

• Logistics
• Sustainability
• Flexibility
• Scalability
• Relevance
• Knowledge Retention
• High Maintenance Costs

Deutsche Bahn, therefore, decided to test interactive performance support with a pilot project to see the effects of in-app, on-demand interactive guidance on employee performance.

To begin the pilot project, Deutsche Bahn embedded Userlane on top of their Jira installation to test the effects of interactive step-by-step on-screen guidance on efficiency, feature adoption, software adoption, and productivity while also monitoring training costs and ROI.


Userlane is a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) and Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) that allows companies to implement on-screen interactive guides on top of any software application (proprietary or not) step-by-step and in real-time while they accomplish actual tasks in the corresponding system.

The solution is comparable to a navigation system for software that allows people to look for their “destination” (the task they want to accomplish) and be guided on-screen through each step of the process with arrows and speech bubbles that prompt users to perform tasks such as click, enter text, drag and drop, select, right-click, and basically any other interaction within any UI.

Userlane operates as an additional guidance overlay that goes on top of other software applications and allows anyone to perform tasks and follow processes within the desired software without any previous know-how or formal training. Upon beginning the study, Deutsche Bahn decided to test Userlane on their current Jira installation.

Jira is a software solution that allows teams to manage and coordinate projects and tasks. For Deutsche Bahn, as for many other companies, the main problems connected to this platform include the fact that:

  • Most of the users only use the basic features and don’t take advantage of the full potential of the solutions.
  • Customization makes every Jira installation completely different. Therefore, standard trainings or video tutorials might not be relevant for the current environment in which users have to operate.
  • Customization is linked to several advantages but requires users to dig deeper into specific functionalities that aren’t always intuitive due to the complexity of the system.
  • Implementing Atlassian Jira or similar software solutions require companies to train and retrain employees continuously and create training materials.
  • Since users only use a fraction of the features the system has to offer, companies often struggle to see a real ROI as they pay for a full-fledged solution. Users tend to use other tools (such as tables and spreadsheets, emails, other PM tools) instead of actually utilizing all the functions which are already embedded in the system.


increased software adoption at Deutsche bahn with Userlane


Goal of the study:

Finding out how effective Userlane is in guiding users in real-time within Jira. In order to verify this, it was necessary to establish if Userlane could be a valid replacement for formal training classes and tutorials.

The aim:

Measuring feature and software adoption with existing users with or without Userlane activated within Jira. To verify this, participants in the study at Deutsche Bahn were asked to complete specific tasks in Jira with and without Userlane’s interactive guidance activated.

To test the efficiency of Userlane based on prior knowledge, participants were previously interviewed to find out what training materials they had been exposed to in the past, how long they had already been using Jira, and how comfortable they were with executing different tasks within Jira.

Following this initial interview phase, the DB employees, who took part in the study, were subdivided into three categories: beginner, intermediate, expert.

For the assessment, all users, regardless of their proficiency level, were asked to accomplish specific tasks in Jira that they would need to accomplish on a daily basis. DB monitored how many of those tasks were successfully completed without any support. Subsequently, the same users were asked to attempt the same tasks a second time with interactive on-screen performance support enabled.


For Deutsche Bahn, the main goal was testing Userlane to see if they could improve performance, efficiency, and productivity while reducing costs and increasing the ROI for each software implementation. Specifically, their initial objectives to prove the validity of the system can be summarized using the following metrics:


Userlane’s interactive on-screen guides proved to be an effective solution for Deutsche Bahn’s training needs. Upon completion of the study, the participants yielded the following results:

1. Successful task completion:

As described in the chart above, beginners managed to accomplish only 26% of the tasks they were required to attempt without interactive performance support. Intermediate users completed 45% of the tasks (despite previous trainings), and experts 79% (despite declaring themselves fully proficient and having worked with the solution for a long time).

However, once DB’s employees were given access to interactive on-screen guidance and the virtual assistant provided by Userlane, they all managed to accomplish all their tasks in the system successfully. Participants proved to be up to 4 times more effective with Userlane enabled on Jira. The effect is particularly striking for new employees who were only exposed to little to no previous training. Despite the lack of formal onboarding, they achieved 100% feature and software adoption.

2. Software Acceptance:

3. Time to Competency and New Software Rollout ROI

Digital transformation requires companies to introduce new software solutions continually in order to improve efficiency, reduce costs, speed up processes, increase customer intimacy, and, generally speaking, create a better customer experience with minimum friction throughout each step of the customer journey. In order to achieve this, companies constantly review their infrastructure, replatform their operations, and introduce new processes that require quick implementation, rapid adoption, and a high level of acceptance.

The biggest obstacle to innovation according to Forrester is making sure that the entire workforce is on board with their digital skills and willing to accept change. Resistance to change represents one of the main obstacles to digitization. DB invests a considerable amount of money in updating their digital ecosystem in order to meet the ever-changing demands of digital customers. Knowing that beginners only take advantage of 26% of the features of a new solution and that even intermediate and expert users aren’t able to leverage the full potential of new applications either (79% being the best result for advanced users) indicates that employees, across the organization, only use 48% (on average) of the features they’re expected to use.

In this case, since feature adoption with Userlane reached close to 100%, DB realized that through performance support, they can double the ROI for each software implementation by ensuring each employee is fully operative and productive in Jira from day one.

This also means that interactive guidance has an immediate effect on time to competency by allowing anybody to accomplish any task in the application from the start. When it comes to new software applications, resilience to change derives from the fact that users are forced to relearn how to perform their daily tasks in a new environment.

They have to learn new processes by attending courses, watching tutorials, or reading through manuals. This tends to create frustration when they can’t accomplish their goals because of the lack of assistance. Interactive performance support proved to be a valid solution to all the problems Deutsche Bahn encountered connected to change management and software applications since the vast majority of users felt confident in using a new system and weren’t experiencing any frustration at all.


After the week-long study, Deutsche Bahn determined that the reason for the overall increase in software utilization was due to the implementation of interactive guides on top of Jira. The study results exceeded Deutsche Bahn’s expectations, with almost 85% of participants agreeing that Jira was easy to learn with Userlane as the only means of external support.

Following the pilot project and study, Deutsche Bahn intends to implement Userlane on software applications to improve the overall training efforts and to ensure that all users will benefit from the positive effects of on-screen guidance and performance support, regardless of their software proficiency

Software utilization rate increased from 20% to almost 100% in a very short space of time, and executives in the department in which the study was conducted viewed these results as extremely promising and concluded that Userlane is an appropriate software training solution to meet their specific needs.


Userlane is a software adoption platform for large organizations needing to increase the speed of software adoption and utilization among employees globally. Userlane transforms software adoption by guiding users in real-time through any browser-based process. Operating directly within the live application, Userlane enables employees to master any new software and feature updates instantly without previous knowledge or formal training.

New Userlane release. Segmentation and language management for digital adoption.

Userlane is the fastest and most flexible way to deliver contextual in-software guidance and support for all digital products. Large organizations have increased the usage of their software by up to 80% and cut the rollout period of new technologies by 50%. Userlane delivers real-time guidance at less than 30% of the cost of traditional training solutions such as manuals or in-person training. Userlane increases the adoption and usage of any software within an organization, and thereby drives knowledge transfer and retention.