Doing business as usual can be blissfully comfortable. But customers are constantly demanding change. Introducing new technology can increase the efficiency of any business, but it requires the whole workforce to be on board. Before you come up with an ambitious proposal, there are plenty of things you need to consider before taking the big technology leap. So here’s a helpful guide to introducing your team to new technology!
Justify the changes you want to make
You cannot confidently propose new technology if you don’t have justifiable reasons to back up why your business needs a change. A good way to start is to identify the core issues your company is facing. Can they be fixed by new software, or do they relate more to the company’s behaviour and practices? Get your answers by organising focus groups or individual interviews with your employees, or send them an online survey if you have a large workforce. Gather your feedback, rank the resulting issues from most critical to least important, and use what you’ve found to justify new technology as the way forward.
Nominate a strong project manager
You will definitely need a competent and experienced project manager to help you make the change happen. The project manager can serve as your main point of contact and consultation with regards to your tech initiatives. Whilst acting as a stakeholder, the project manager needs to be someone capable of working with everyone involved – internal staff, customers and external consultants specialising in technological developments.
Research what’s out there
Having identified your company’s issues and appointed a project manager, it’s time to look at the technology that is available. Whether you do it online or through contacting physical vendors, look carefully at the features of each product on the market. But don’t solely look at the price tag. Ask yourself how the technology out there can help you solve your most prevalent issues, and what kind of training will be necessary. You should also consider what can go wrong, and how something can be detrimental to your company’s technological development.
Pilot the changes before rolling them out
Once a decision is carefully reached on the new technology of choice, it’s important to pilot the changes before simply implementing them. Internal consultation should come back into play here. Choosing the right people to pilot new technology can truly facilitate the implementation process. Ask the influencers in your organisation to test the technology and reply with detailed feedback. Getting the influencers on board early on is critical to the technology being adopted successfully.
Be prepared for initial confusion
“But we’ve always done it this way” – this is a phrase you will probably hear numerous times once implementation starts. Naturally, everyone fears change. This makes it more difficult to convince your employees that the technological changes you have in mind could truly benefit the whole business, including them. Instead of getting disheartened, stay calm and back yourself up with some strong statistics. Encourage your employees to at least try and embrace the change, and remain positive in your approach towards them.
Stop and analyse what has changed
Keep a platform for feedback readily available at all times, and be open to both positive and negative reception. Infuse the change gradually, as opposed to rushing in the new technology to start seeing immediate results. An effective business model, known as stage-gate, is extremely effective when introducing new technology to a team. Implement change one stage after another, and temporarily close the gate. This means taking a step back to look at the bigger picture and analyse what has improved or gone wrong in the process.
Now you’re ready to get technologic! But are you still unsure on how to bring in new technology and at the same time keep your team in the loop? There are 46 Business Consultants and 30 Management Consultants listed on www.yellow.com.mt who can help you push forward change in your business!