You just bought a new shiny system to handle various reporting tasks in the office. You think it’s the best thing since sliced bread with its various benefits for a better, more streamlined set of practices. A memo goes out to the whole company stating that from now on, everybody is using the system to create reports. After a week you check the reports folder and to your astonishment there is not a single document there; seems no one has made any reports.
This scenario is not unheard of when implementing a new system for everyone to use, be it a new reporting software or a new expenses software. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for this type of issue, but there are things that can be kept in mind to minimise the upheaval of new tech in the office.
- Don’t just say “It will save us money and time”. Try to bring out benefits that make the staff WANT to learn and use the new system. How does this benefit the individual employee? What specific tasks will be made easier or better? Are there tedious tasks that will be automated? Why should they put in the effort of learning the ins and outs of the software?
- Always make sure that there is a training plan available. Be it from the tech team or from someone who gets to be the designated teacher. Not everyone picks up a new software and innately knows how to use it. For optimal results it’s well worth spending some extra time in the beginning.
- It’s a business, and work has to be done. One major challenge when implementing new tech is the transition from old to new while still keeping productivity at optimal levels. There is not really a good solution to this, other that working in parallel systems. This will increase the workload, but it’s more or less unavoidable. Plan deadlines accordingly, and, if possible, integrate smaller groups into the new system one by one to minimise the impact. Here, select groups or individuals that you feel will be champions of the new technology – those people who are flexible, positive and open to new things.
There are plenty of other issues that can come up with implementing new systems, and it’s strongly recommended to have a Business Analyst go through all the processes and routines beforehand. You can’t expect to spend a week to replace something that may have been used for years, so be prepared for quite the time investment. Also take the scope of the system into consideration. For example, expenses software or expenses app will be quicker to implement than a large-scale CMS solution.