Five best practices to improve technology adoption
Your organization has pulled the trigger and decided to implement new technology—congratulations! Making your business more productive and effective is important, but if the adoption of technology is slow or isn’t embraced, these benefits may never be realized.
With any new technology, companies have the best of intentions, building a plan for how it will be implemented and used in the company—but it’s more than that. You need to consider how you will get people to actually use the technology in the way it was intended. You know the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”? The same goes for adoption—you can provide someone with software as an example, but you can’t force them to use it.
How can you get the team to rally around new technology? Below are five best practices to navigate change management.
1. Know your “why”
Adopting new technology is not to be taken lightly—it is a big deal. Typically, the goal is to remove a pain point or improve some aspect of the business. People are more likely to adopt something new if they can see how it helps them to better achieve their day-to-day goals and objectives, making them more productive. Keep in mind, when implementing new technology you are disrupting the status quo. Change can cause frustration and resistance. If the “why” is not addressed upfront, and you don’t have full buy-in and commitment by all parties, it can lead to delays, slowdown of projects, and eventually create employee and customer satisfaction issues—both of which you cannot afford. Know and explain to all stakeholders the ”why” behind the new technology to help drive user adoption.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate
How many ways and times can you say it? Achieving user adoption of new tools requires communicating with impacted stakeholders early, often, and consistently. At Deltek, we call this “socializing.” Socialize (communicate) your “why” with leadership and all impacted parties, along with a detailed plan for implementation, testing, training, go-live, and post-go-live help.
Socializing your “why” and “how” for the deployment of new technology requires audience segmentation. Not all participants will need to hear the same message at the same time in the same way. Get to the core of what and how the technology will improve their work. People are more likely to embrace new technology if they understand how it helps them achieve their day-to-day goals and objectives.
3. Don’t skimp on training
It sounds easy, but effective training is anything but. Watch online training videos and, magically, you’ve adopted the new technology. If only it were that simple! One of the biggest risks to adoption of new technology is lack of sufficient training and time to devote to training. People need to see and play in the software specific to their work processes prior to go-live.
Create a training sandbox environment where employees can get their hands on the new software and express any concerns ahead of go-live. Keep in mind, everyone learns differently. Consider offering various training methods to reach every type of learner: electronic, classroom, hands-on training labs. Various training options give users a choice and will expedite technology adoption.
4. Identify a champion
Many companies are so focused on deploying new technology that they fail to have a change management plan. As part of the plan, having a champion will significantly improve your chances of adoption. The adoption champion is on point with the new technology, engaged and interacting with users at all levels of the organization. An internal champion can communicate and engage with their peers in a way that outside consultants cannot, giving your adoption strategy the best chance of success.
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5. Monitor and measure
Once implementation has been completed, do not assume things will run on their own. Monitor and measure adoption and usage to fully understand its effectiveness and where you may need to change your strategy. Introducing new technology in an organization impacts everyone, so listening to stakeholder opinions and concerns, and being open to the potential of adjusting your strategy, is important to achieving your “why.” Not only does offering opportunities for feedback make everyone feel part of the change; it also gives you valuable insights into what is working well and what may need to be revised.
When implementing new technology, if you want to be successful you need to plan for, identify, and address change and implementation challenges early, and gain the buy-in and commitment for adoption. Driving engagement, enhancing organizational efficiencies, and improving user adoption enables you to maximize your return on investment.
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Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. More than 30,000 organizations and millions of users in over 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management, and collaboration. This includes more than 11,000 architecture and engineering firms, representing 80% of the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 500.