Whatever industry you are operating in, or whatever type of business you are running, your business is going to rely on different aspects of technology in order to function effectively and meet the needs of your clients.
One of the biggest technology challenges that many businesses seem to encounter is the introduction of some form of new technology – whether that is the replacement of an existing system with a new platform, or the introduction of a new software solution that changes the existing work processes.
To help you plan for the introduction of new technology, and to help you ensure that you achieve a successful implementation, in this article we will take a look at some of the steps that you should be taking.
Understand the rationale for change
While you may have an instinctive understanding of how your business will benefit from the new technology, not everyone in your business will have access to the same information or insights that you do. Take a step back and document the rationale for change – what is currently not working, why will the new technology deliver value for the business, why is the new technology the best fit for your business, what will need to change with the introduction of the new technology.
Understand the user perspective
Not everyone in your team is going to respond positively to change, some people prefer to gradual evolution, not sudden change. Ideally, any new technology that you introduce should be accessible and intuitive for users, but think through in detail the training requirements that users will benefit from during the roll-out period. Plan the training that you are going to be delivering to support the roll-out – make sure that you allow enough time for training and testing before going live with the new system.
Try not to rush things
For a lot of people who are running businesses, once you have made a decision you want to move quickly into implementation mode, to unlock the benefits that you believe the planned changes will deliver. Effective implementation of change programs takes time, and you will maximize the benefit of a technology change if you plan effectively and bring your entire team and all users with you on that journey.
Communicate consistently and constantly
At every stage of the technology change program, you need to be communicating clearly with all stakeholders and everyone impacted by the change. Use tools such as Dynamics 365 Operations that is a great tool for communication. Ensure that you are communicating progress and status updates on a regular basis, and be consistent in what you are communicating – remind everyone why you are making the change, the benefits of making the change, and the next steps in delivering the change. Your communication should build ownership of the change process, and empower those involved in implementing the change to understand the value that they are creating for the business.
A successful technology change implementation doesn’t stop once you press the go-live button. Make sure that you have an implementation review process in place, so that you can continue to monitor the user experience post-change and make any adaptations or amendments required.