How to Overcome Operational Challenges when Introducing New Technology
By Bhagwati Maheshwari, Practice Leader at VUE Software.
Humans are resistant to change. Once they find a comfortable way of performing a task, they dislike the thought of changing that process. A recent Novarica survey found that operational—not technical—challenges are the top concerns for CIOs. They are more concerned about their employees embracing and using new technology effectively to lead to a positive Return on Investment (ROI) than they are about procuring and deploying the technology. In the current business environment, successful organizations are forced to change constantly because technology changes faster than Moore’s Law predicted, fierce global competition, and as consumers grow more and more demanding, change management is extremely important.
5 Effective Change Management Tips:
Communication: Before a technological implementation, prepare your organization for the change by communicating with your employees early in the process. Communication is your most effective tool. Leaders should inform their employees of impending change, explain the need for the new infrastructure, show how it will benefit them and the company, and cite examples of organizations where similar change have been beneficial.
Ensure Employee Buy-In: To ensure employee buy-in, it is imperative that you generate interest and excitement about the benefits of the new technology. This can be achieved by involving employees who are trusted and respected by their peers in the demonstration stage of the process. Ask for their opinions on how the technology will impact their work positively and negatively; also ask for input on what would improve their current work processes. This involvement will foster a sense of importance. Knowing that management values their input will give them a sense of “ownership” that they will convey to their peers, which will ensure commitment. Employees who feel a sense of belonging to an organization will do whatever they can to ensure its success.
Reinforce the importance of the technology: Remind employees that the implementation will increase their efficiency and productivity, which in turn will generate increased revenue. Point out that to remain competitive in the current aggressive global marketplace the latest technology is a necessity.
Training: Poll your employees to find people who are excited and knowledgeable about the positive impact the new technology will make so they can be recruited to share their knowledge with their peers. Here, you may wish to use some incentive. For formal training, especially if the implementation is being conducted internally, ensure that more than one person is fully trained and will be able to train other employees.
Create a Digital Repository: Allow employees full access to training materials, best practices, updated information, etc.
Depending on your company culture, employee demographics, and personality types, change management can be either embraced or resisted. To ensure that your software investment delivers a positive ROI, we suggest companies employ an effective change management strategy as soon as the decision is made to introduce new software into your organization.