So, you’ve decided this is the year to grow your business with that new technology system you’ve been investigating. But, how? The implementation process can seem overwhelming. You must calculate return on investment, determine long-term sustainability, and establish comprehensive training. Often, employee adoption and acceptance can be the biggest challenge of all. While successful implementation is different for everyone, it will always follow a similar pattern. Start with the big picture in mind and follow these four key steps:
Both your existing systems and the proposed changes. Even if you already have an idea of what you want, it’s important to fully consider the problem this system intends to resolve. Ask questions about how the system will best meet the needs of your team. How long this solution will be effective? What are the short- and long-term cost implications?
During this stage, involve the experts in a formal evaluation of your current technology. Whether it’s your IT team or a trusted technology partner, an expert will identify areas of improvement. They will offer detailed knowledge about solutions. Rather than scrapping existing systems, there may be applications that supplement your offerings to achieve your end goal. The key is integration. This can potentially minimize training needs, reduce costs, and make employees more likely to adopt.
With all affected parties across your organization. The end-user needs and experience should be central to your decision. How will this new system enhance or interrupt your current process? Is this new system easy for your co-workers to learn and implement? Sustainable adoption of your new system is critical to success. Your IT partner can provide research and case studies to illustrate potential outcomes. But, nothing replaces active outreach within your workforce. Involve key stakeholders by asking for their input and considering their needs. When their suggestions are incorporated, a sense of ownership is created within your company. Thorough collaboration like this will ease introduction of the new technology.
Often, clearly, and company-wide. How you handle this step can make or break your success. Show solidarity and transparency about how and why decisions are made to generate acceptance. Work with your technology partner to make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. Be clear in your communications about timelines and set specific expectations of your employees. They want to know what’s in it for them, how it will make their jobs easier, and potential impact to customers. Identify early adopters of the system who can serve as peer leaders in using the system and help guide other employees.
Everyone! Training programs are not one size fits all, so know your team. Offer many training sessions and supplementary materials to accommodate differences in learning styles and ability levels. Build the new technology into routines as quickly as possible. On-site support staff, online training modules, or a dedicated hotline will make employees feel supported through the changes. A trusted technology partner will offer best practices for training and will customize the implementation process specific to your organization’s needs. Establishing a responsive and comprehensive training program sets up your team for sustainable success.