Successful adoption of new technology means having your team realize the benefits of the new software and how it positively affects users and the company. What good is new software if you can’t get anyone to use it? It is essential to master change management when implementing new technology, which involves helping your crew adapt to the new technology.
Coaxing employees to use new tech tools is more about change management, understanding the processes as they stand, and what will change in each employee’s day-to-day life once the software is implemented. Change management involves getting executive buy-in, starting small, securing an advocate for the software, setting expectations and goals, and investing in continuing education.
Getting Executive Buy-In
The boss’s opinion is critical for the new workflows and big decisions that come with a software implementation. Their support can make the difference between a successful and a failed implementation. Executives need to say, “Just because we have been doing it this way doesn’t make it the best way, so let’s make it better.”
During the transition, the organization will push back and want to continue to do things the old way because it is more comfortable for them. However, if senior management is well-respected and believable, team members will try the new tools and accept the change.
Start small, then roll out to the entire team.
When applicable, start with a small rollout to identify difficulties and frequently asked questions before everyone gets involved. It’s more efficient to note specific things to cover during training instead of answering the same question 50 times.
When you start small, you want to start with people who are already tech-savvy, so they can see how easy the tool is to use and point out any challenges they see with the rest of the team. At the same time, choose one or two people with little to no technology experience who can work alongside the savvier team members and better understand how the software works.
Once these team members have adopted the solution, you can roll it out to larger and larger groups who can ask the trained members questions or advice. Even though this method may take longer to deploy the software, it will ensure that crew members understand how the software works and its advantages to their job.
Choose a team champion.
Choose someone on the team to be an advocate and expert on the software. This is the person who is the go-between for the vendor and the company, providing a precise contact point for any questions from both sides throughout the process. The team champion acts as an agent of change with practical and leadership skills. This person is a superb problem solver, great at networking, and comfortable leading with new ideas.
Change can be stressful, and some people will find it overwhelming while others embrace change. As a team champion, use those that embrace change to help bring along those who are negative. The closer the team champion is to the organization’s leadership, the greater the chances of success.
Set expectations and goals.
Adoptions rates may vary among team members depending on their willingness to learn a new tool. It helps the adoption rate set clear benchmarks that will help you measure your success throughout the process. Make sure everyone clearly understands the benefits of the new tool to your organization.
Rewards can help encourage adoption. Small rewards will encourage participation and can be effective. Offer a scale of rewards, such as a reward for setting up a user account or for completing a training module. As the workers continue to use the solution, give them a higher reward. Or hold a contest and reward the worker that completes the training first.
Invest in continuing education.
The key to making new software rollouts successful is good training. The vendor typically offers some training and involves several days of planning, implementation, and post-deployment phases. Each phase will create action items and conduct user testing until the entire software system is deployed.
Consider planning regular training to make sure the software is utilized in the most efficient way possible and that you stay up to date on the latest features. You can hold monthly workshops to manage customer training after the implementation is complete. Or offer virtual learning summits where the vendor will spotlight industry pain points and how the software can address those issues.
Ongoing online learning that can be consumed at the employee’s pace is another option. Giving each employee access to this learning environment will provide them with as-needed refreshers on performing specific actions with the new software.
Change management is essential because it helps team members gradually accept the changes with the new software. Most importantly, embed the changes within the company culture to ensure a rapid transition and quicker adoption. After all, putting new technologies in the hands of your workers can eliminate tedious, repetitive tasks and ensure that your firm stays ahead of the competition.
Lewis Frey is director of professional services at HCSS. HCSS Professional Services helps customers throughout the entire process with hands-on construction software implementation services and training. The group ensures product rollout is as seamless and frustration-free as possible using the groups well-defined and proven process that has helped thousands of companies successfully implement in less than 90 days.