Tech implementations can be a pretty routinely operation depending on the level of experience of your software provider, but not all software is the same. Regardless of your company or project size, there are always a number of things you can take into account and keep an eye on when it comes to ensuring your tech project is as seamless as possible from your side, and that all parties involved are on the same page about the incoming innovation.
Start with Strategy
The first step is to review the proposed implementation in the sense of how the new technology ties back to the needs of your workforce and your customers. Will the new interface work well with clients of all ages? How much training will your employees need to use the specific tools pertinent to their jobs? Do the changes address all existing gaps, or is there something else that should be included now so it’s all taken care of at the same time?
Even though this seems like a questionnaire, this is the time to ask these questions. Innovation is all about going back to the drawing board and making improvements in every area possible, and it’s better to stall the implementation so that the process can be done all at once, instead of doing multiple runs to include smaller features later on.
Prepare Your People
Do you know what the best way to avoid employee resistance to technology is? Communication. Many studies have cited poor management as the number one reason employees quit their jobs, coining the phrase that “employees leave managers, not companies.” Put yourself in the shoes of your employees who know that new technology is coming, but they don’t know much about it other than it will change many processes in the company. Wouldn’t you fear your stability and job security long-term? One of the biggest causes of high job turnover is implementation of new technology, done wrong.
The best way to tackle this issue is to address it head on. Have one-on-one talks whenever possible, hold all-hands meetings, coffee corners, fireside chats, send written announcements, etc. However your employees consume information best, that’s how you should approach them. This is a time for complete transparency and to listen to feedback. If your employees are afraid, reassure them. Have the software developer or account executive come in and share the ways in which their job performances will improve, and remind them that they were hired for a reason and they’re not replaceable, and this will give them an opportunity to elevate their contributions to the company.
Test 1, 2, 3
Trials, beta testing, grace periods – take advantage of every opportunity along the process to ensure there are no bugs and the software is settling in properly with your existing bandwidth capabilities. Before you go live, you need to post disclaimers on your website, application, social media pages, etc. to let your customers know that you’ll be improving your services. Get a focus group if you can so that you get feedback straight from the horse’s mouth. Implementing and testing go hand-in-hand, and if you don’t set some time for a beta phase, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Bonus: Trust the Process
Innovating and implementing new technology can be extremely nerve wracking, especially when your customers and employees have a certain level of expectations from the process. If something doesn’t work the way you planned it right away, remember to give yourself a grace period to work out kinks and allow for people to get used to the new system. Change isn’t easy for anyone, and most people reject it at first, even when it’s an improvement. Patience and time are key elements for you to remember to stay calm and trust the process.
Make sure you’re working with a software provider that will be there with you every step of the way, can accommodate for personalization needs, and doesn’t disappear after the go-live. Do your due diligence and choose a provider that can bring your vision to life, and everything else will fall into place. If you think Lagash can be your partner in innovation, contact us to get you started on your journey!