A version of this Implementing New Technology post was originally published on AcuScheduler.com.
From the bottom line view, the success of implementing new technology, whether it be a new appointment scheduling tool or a CRM, is driven by sustained Return on Investment and how quickly that ROI can be realized. Implementing new technology, especially when it changes employees’ day-to-day, is an undertaking that requires overall business operational understanding, as well as the ability to empathize with end-users’ needs. New technology and processes can cause some users stress, which can dampen your organization’s adoption rate, immediate and sustained ROI, and overall implementation success.
How can you ensure implementing new technology goes well?
For most of upper management and the IT department, the progression of technology transformation is critical to the organization’s success. According to a study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting, 63% of executives and managers said the pace of technological change in their workplaces is too slow, primarily due to a “lack of urgency” and poor communication about the strategic benefits of new tools.
Let’s address the issues, starting with the latter – poor communication about the strategic benefits of new tools. Like we mentioned, implementing new technology requires not only technical know-how and operational understanding, but also the ability to empathize with end-users’ needs. Once you can fully understand the end-users’ needs, you can better explain the technology’s specific benefits and instill with them a sense of urgency. Allow us to explain…
1. Understand your end users when implementing new technology
The best way to help your end-users understand the strategic benefits of new technology is to first understand their problem(s) and day-to-day process for yourself. Here are a couple of tips to better understand your end-users:
- Involve end-users in your new technology design development early on. Allowing them to be a part of the process will help you build a stronger solution, and also communicates that you care about helping them. If you can show them how the technology can make their jobs more efficient, that’s even better.
- Strive to look at things from their standpoint – for example, why does an end-user care if the new technology makes them more efficient? Well, for starters they will have less stress while accomplishing more, which in the long run will give them more leverage for a promotion and raise! Find what motivates them, and decide how implementing new technology will help achieve that.
2. Assemble your team – here’s who should be involved in implementing new technology
Winning buy-in from the decision-makers will ultimately decide the fate of your implementation, however, there are several more key team members you need to focus on when assembling a strong implementation team. Here are our recommendations for who you may want on your team:
- Internal IT expert – having someone on the inside who knows the ins and outs of your network setup, legacy systems, etc., could help provide the information necessary when implementing new technology.
- Internal project manager – implementing new technology can often involve multiple cross-functional roles and moving pieces. It could help to have someone on your team who is managing all these people and making sure your project sticks to the budget and timeline.
- Organizational subject matter expert(s) – often implementing new technology involves multiple end-users across the organization. Having a subject matter expert from each department or role involved will help to understand organizational processes and needs, and how they all come together.
- Professional implementation team – if your organization is like most out there, your IT department is likely strapped for time and pulled in multiple directions. So, implementing new technology often requires a professional implementation team, who can focus their time and energy on the implementation alone. They are able to work with your project manager, IT expert(s), and all teams across your organization to make sure the technology meets your vision and goals.
3. Measure success and plan for Phase II
The last key piece of implementing new technology is knowing how to measure your success and plan for the next phase of growth. What are the diagnostics and key performance indicators of your new technology? This is an important part of achieving the highest sustained ROI for your organization.
Want to learn more? Check out our blog, where we discuss measuring the success of your new technology implementation and much more.