For any technology implementation to be successful, it is critical to understand your users and involve the right stakeholders from the start. Neglecting these key factors often leads to poor adoption rates, wasted investments, and frustrated employees. As a leader overseeing a transition, being aware of your audience is just as important as the technical facets.
Your teams are busy. Sourcing, interviewing, vetting candidates, talking with prospects and working with existing customers are all essential duties they perform to keeping your lights on. Learning new technology, especially technology that is part of their core job function, takes time. Follow these tips below to ensure a smooth transition.
Understand Your Audience Before Disrupting Workflows
First, take time to evaluate if people are currently using your existing systems correctly or to their full potential. Often legacy processes and “bad habits” become engrained over time, even if they are inefficient. Change inherently involves some level of discomfort. Understand valid concerns around modifying proven ways of operating. However, address the reality that systems evolve, and some processes need realignment for optimal results.
While addressing the concerns of influential team members is important, balancing a few voices against the overall business objectives is key. What satisfies a limited group may not be the best choice for the entire organization. Communicate the reasoning behind changes that impact workflow and day-to-day habits.
Convey Benefits While Developing Strategic Training
A core component is driving employee adoption by conveying the benefits of new tools. Many avoid using new technology due to fear of the unknown. Combat this by clearly communicating how the updates will make their work lives easier, not harder.
Strategic training incentives demonstrate the organization’s commitment to success. Create competitions rewarding teams/individuals for hitting adoption metrics. Structure frequent live training sessions with Q&A time. Develop self-paced eLearning modules allowing users to learn on demand. Identify “super-users” who become on-site experts supporting peers.
Before full implementation, pilot changes with small volunteer groups. They test functionality and provide feedback to avoid major issues down the road. Take time to fix what doesn’t work smoothly before expecting company-wide usage.
Understand common adoption barriers like complex UIs or migration missteps. Survey users to pinpoint their pain points and brainstorm solutions like developing cheat sheets or simplifying menus. Analyze usage data to see where employees struggle and address these hurdles through added training and clarity around expectations.
Involve Stakeholders But Limit Voices
Involving knowledgeable team members in the vetting and selection process increases buy-in for chosen solutions. They provide insights on aligning new tools with existing workflows. However, beware of too many voices hampering decision-making. Strive for diversity of opinion balanced with efficiency.
The same principle applies when defining implementation plans. Someone familiar with daily operations will best foresee challenges around transition timing, training needs, and support requirements. But limit voices to key stakeholders able to view the big picture beyond their own team’s preferences.
Data integrity is also vital for transition success. Regularly check for inconsistencies or gaps, which become magnified through migrations. Clean suspect records to avoid propagating errors, and confirm required fields are populated and formats are consistent. Leverage data exports and migrations as opportunities for a fresh start rather than dragging legacy issues forward.
In summary, technology changes impact people as much as process. Invest time to understand user perspectives, involve key stakeholders, and maintain clean data. With care taken at the start, your organization will be well on the way to adoption success. For more about best practices for new tech adoption, listen to this podcast.