In stage 3 of your journey, you are deploying new technology. Now you are moving forward to make changes to your company. However, you’ll have to watch your step and avoid the pitfalls.
A study at MIT Sloan Management Review reports that 63% of managers believe the pace of technological change in their workplaces is too slow, with the most cited obstacle for digital transformation being a lack of urgency. They also express that the benefits of newly introduced tools are poorly communicated. With the need to constantly improve productivity often comes the pressure to find the correct technology and to have it integrated in a timely manner. But if we handle this process incorrectly, it can be disastrous.Inc.: Six Steps for Successfully Implementing New Technology, 2017-Aug-4 by Dan Ruch
Deploying new technology with clear priorities
Start by considering the most basic hurdles. What’s currently lacking and how soon do you expect to turn it around? What’s your timeline and productivity target? Don’t forget to rank your priorities. Remember, one misstep doesn’t equal total failure. If your users appreciate the new technology, and you can see the needle moving, take a sigh of relief and keep pushing forward.
Offer multifaceted training options
Some people need time in a classroom, others want a computerized course where they can learn at their own speed. Some people want a sandbox where they can experiment, and others want to know how to do it correctly from step one. Most people will actually flip back and forth between a couple of support resources. Today’s advanced technology platforms offer a range of training tools, so be sure to make them all available to your people.
Don’t let your employees feel like guinea pigs
Commit to improving your business processes with a certain set of tools. Then support your people in applying those tools, and don’t give up if things don’t run smoothly on day one. While it’s possible you may have a disappointing tool, assume your team can make it work. Be patient and encourage your people to show some ingenuity. If you backtrack too quickly, your team will feel like they were testing a tool instead of learning to use it. (Of course, don’t go over the cliff with a technology that doesn’t perform as promised. Just be prepared for everyone to be debilitated if it has to be abandoned.)
Open up special communication lines for the transition
Adopting new technology is always challenging, and sometimes exhausting. Customers and vendors may both complain if hitches appear. If your employees know that you have their back, they’ll defend you when things aren’t going perfectly. That’s why it’s a good idea to set up a special process for talking about the new technology. There, employees can share frustrations and record tips. For instance, you may designate existing resources, you may create a special Slack channel, or you may name one employee the “Transition Advocate.” Whatever you do, assume there will be issues and make a space where they can be resolved.
Celebrate the end of the transition when deploying new technology
Don’t slip into an endless transition. You’ll probably need a small team (3 people?) who decide when to shut off the old system permanently. No going back. The employees who still have issues with the new system should be directed to open job tickets with a feature request. The productivity improvements from the new system should be celebrated. Business technology is always evolving, and your business cannot afford to be left behind.
Learn more about the E6 Solutions holistic process for transforming your business.