Rolling Out New Technology: Six Steps for Getting the Job Done

Is your company making a major technology shift sometime soon? Don’t wait until you’re ready for the rollout to start winning over the employees who will be impacted, advises Didier Bonnet, a global practice leader at Capgemini Consulting. Failure to win broad support within the company, Bonnet says in a recent Harvard Business Review article, often means that applications aren’t used effectively.

Here’s what Bonnet recommends to do to avoid failure when adopting new technology:

  1. Do fewer things, better.
    In Bonnet’s words, “Focus on the initiatives that you believe, once adopted by the business, will create real value.”

  2. Plan and Budget for Adoption from the Start
    Figure out how you’re going to get the bang out of your technological buck – and what it’s going to cost you in terms of expenses for training and communication. Be sure to factor in your organization’s culture (i.e. a more tech-oriented company may want to just grab-and-go with new technology vs. another organization may require more formal training).

  3. Lead by Example
    Don’t just impose new technology, show your employees how to use it! Here’s a link to the Information Week article Bonnet cited when he wrote about how Coca Cola rolled out its internal social collaboration platform.

  4. Engage True Believers
    Identify the influencers, the natural leaders – and that won’t necessarily be the folks in charge. Draw on the more tech-savvy among your staff and enlist them to take the lead. Once they’ve mastered the new technology, they can train others and spread their enthusiasm.

  5. Align Rewards and Recognition
    People need incentives. Becoming adept at a new technology and teaching it to others could become a goal in an employee’s bonus plan. For example, a “mentor” could set a goal of meeting with ten employees who need extra help with the new technology. Proficiency with the company’s technology could also become part of standard employee evaluations.

And we’ve added a suggestion of our own to Bonnet’s list:

  1. Be Sure to Communicate with Your Users
    The people who do the work are often the best source of ideas about how to do it better. Ignoring them is simply asking for trouble. So, open up the floor for regular feedback at scheduled intervals. A direct line to management lets everyone know they’re being heard.

Finally, make it easy for your users to get help if they need it. Remote support software can simplify the support process and really smooth out any kinks in a rollout. Just make sure that your support technicians know what’s coming and have the opportunity to become proficient with the new technology themselves.

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