When you’ve reached Stage 4, your team has begun utilizing new technology. Data is flowing in, and more importantly flowing out. You’re at a crucial moment in adoption. Are you sure the new technology is actually helping your people and your business?
Questions we ask our customers
1. Do you have all the data integrations that your business processes need?
The more easily your data flows from your existing systems into and out of a new application, the more likely your people are to appreciate it. If the data becomes damaged or unformatted during import… your new system is probably doomed! At E6 Solutions, we know how to engineer a smooth data flow.
2. Are you taking advantages of all the free resources available to support your new technology?
These days most technology vendors have onboarding, tech support, educational videos, webinars on advanced features, community forums, and more. The team who implemented your system may have relied on one or two of these, but all the users in your company need to know about everything available. Each user has their own learning style, their own pace for acquiring new skills, and their own habits.
Depending on the technology you selected, there may be a substantial ecosystem of education providers. Those education vendors prefer you buy their services, but they almost certainly have a selection of free samples you can try. Make sure your employees benefit from the general knowledge about any technology you’ve recently adopted. Are there user groups?
3. Do you have a mechanism for identifying emerging champions, such as a contest?
As your team begins utilizing new technology, a few people will emerge as leaders in understanding how it works and what it can achieve. Those champions can inspire the rest of the team. Some companies will run a contest to encourage users to gain recognition and rewards. Sometimes one or more of your champions will just start helping other users, becoming de facto trainers. Whatever the situation, you need to watch for these champions and reward them. If some of your users are negative about the new technology, your champions may be able to help you uncover the causes and best solutions.
4. Have you set up checkpoints that will allow you to communicate early wins to your workforce?
When planning to install a new technology, we all ask ourselves “When will I know it’s worth it?” Surprisingly, smaller, early wins may be more energizing than the big end-of-the-quarter milestone. For instance, if an important piece of data is suddenly easier to find… that’s not yet a profitable thing, but it’s a relief to all the users! Ideally, the implementation plan should include early checkpoints. Even if it doesn’t, you can ask your users to help you find them as they’re adapting. Encourage them to try and share as many good discoveries as they do their natural frustrations with a new tool.
“Building checkpoints into the project plan will ensure that your goals and expectations are being met and that any questions are answered in a timely and responsive manner,” says Kenny Trinh, founder of NetBookNews, a resource for laptop and tablet news and reviews.
Trinh, who was CEO of an education technology company before leaving to found NetBookNews, says a common problem is a new software going live without historical data—but with checkpoints, all stakeholders can know how and why each decision was made in the implementation process.Capterra Blog: 3 Must-Do Things to Ace Your Software Implementation, 2020-Apr-30 by Taylor Short
5. Are you helping your people personalize the interface and build custom reports they like?
Today’s technology platforms are committed to delivering a great user experience. One of the key ways they do that is by making the interface more flexible and the reports more easily customizable. Once your users have begun to personalize their interface and build new reports, they will feel invested in the product. If you have a training staff, they can check in with users and help them personalize their application screens. Building custom reports is often a responsibility of ‘power users’ who may need a little more technical support at first. Be sure that you show your appreciation for their efforts and achievements.
6. Are you reporting out the data as soon as it comes in… so you can be sure it’s working for you?
Finally, and most importantly, don’t wait to start running reports when you have ‘enough data.’ Run reports early and often, even before they are not yet due or actionable. You may not be able to make a decision based on partial data, but you’ll get an early warning if any part of the data is flawed or inconsistent.
In conclusion, there are many little things that you can do as you start utilizing new technology which can ease your journey. At E6 Solutions, we know all the tricks!