When you’re introducing new software or a mobile app to your employees, there’s going to be resistance and hesitancy. There are also likely to be bumps in the road with implementation. This can be true whether you’re introducing new automated accounts payable solutions, HR tools, or productivity software, just to give a few examples.
The more you plan ahead of time, the smoother your rollout is going to be. The smoother your rollout, the more likely your employees will embrace and utilize the solution, improving your return on investment.
Regardless of the specific type of app or software, you’re implementing, the following are tips for a smoother process.
Set Specific, Measurable Objectives
Before you even purchase new mobile or software solutions, you should have specific and measurable objectives in place. These objectives are going to help you create a roadmap to guide implementation.
Having a roadmap and a vision for what you’ll achieve with new technology will then help you get all of your employees on the same page from the top down.
You’ll be better able to achieve organizational buy-in when you have specific objectives and a plan.
Also, as part of this, you want to think from a team mindset.
Along with a plan, roadmap and particular goals for success, you want to make sure you’re providing adequate support for training. You also want to think about communication from start to finish.
Create a People-First Implementation Strategy
Don’t put the software or app at the center of your plan. Instead, make your people central.
When you’re introducing any new technology, to put people first, think about why you’re making the change, what you’re trying to achieve, and ultimately who you’re introducing the transition to.
You need to get buy-in from your people by letting them know why you’re introducing something new, and you need to be open and transparent with them throughout.
If possible, linking the why of technology implementation to an emotional component can be a people-centric approach. Also, as part of this, you want to center your planning on the needs of your users, as well as their anticipated expectations, fears, and concerns.
To integrate an emotional connection into the rollout and make sure you’re putting people first, you want to be able to show your employees how new technology is going to make their jobs and lives easier.
For example, if you’re rolling out a solution that automates otherwise monotonous tasks, you w ant to make this connection to employees about how it’s going to reduce the burden on them from outdated workflows.
Your communication needs to be timely and relevant, in addition to being to-the-point, precise, and practical from the start.
Your communication policy should include a summary of why you’re introducing new software and an outline of what the change management process will look like. You should be communicating with every department head, creating points of contact, and providing regular updates.
You also want to make sure you create a way for employees to provide feedback when they’re actually in the midst of the rollout. When they have a simple way to provide feedback, you can use this to refine your communication strategy and provide appropriate support to users.
Regardless of the particular type of technology being introduced, there are some best practices to keep in mind.
- First, know that your IT team is probably most familiar with the technical work required in the rollout. It’s the human impact of your project most likely to be overlooked.
- You should consider whether you’re taking a phased approach or the rollout is happening company-wide and essentially all at once.
- If you’re making a phased approach, do you know who’s going first and what your rationale is for that?
- How will your users and your customers, and any other key stakeholders be impacted, and how can help you help them understand what it means for them?
- Think about how you’ll address any concerns or complaints and how you’ll provide support not only during the transition but after the completion of the formal rollout.
- Think about whether you’ll need any third-party help with communication or training.
- Finally, you need to remember that everyone on your team will have varying levels of comfort with technology and change in general. Working from the assumption that many employees won’t have a high comfort level can help you most effectively plan for your rollout.
Assume there will be plenty of employees who want to know the bare minimum to do their jobs and nothing more and aim to meet their needs and build out from there.