Whether it’s the new OS update on your iPhone or a new software stack for your business, technology adoption is a critically important factor that determines the overall success of your solution. Adoption is also where many solutions go to die. But armed with this set of tips, you can turn a rocky rollout to an efficient new workflow.
Meet them where they are. And have fun with it.
The first and last thing to consider with any new technology solution is the end-user. Who is going to be using that fancy new VoIP phone? What department will be diving into your new accounting software every day? By keeping these people in mind throughout the planning of new technology or solutions, the chances your solution is a better fit and adopted more fully are much higher.
It’s also important to involve these people when it comes to the implementation. Don’t just set a date where the new solution will be active and spring it on your staff. Make an event out of it. Cut out a day or part of a day for questions and training. You can even get creative and make competitions or games out of using the software.
By including the eventual end-users in the various steps of new solution implementation, you can seriously improve your adoption and staff satisfaction rates.
Consider your roll-out options
A lot of times, we feel like the best way to get from point A to point B is to do it as fast a possible. This is especially true when we think point B is better than point A.
There is a critical problem with this approach: point B’s success (in this case new software) is contingent on people being able to use it for it’s intended use.
That flaw is the reason to consider different roll-out options. When considering a new software solution for your company, suddenly switching from one platform to another — or in many cases, condensing multiple platforms into one — can have a notable impact on productivity. In general, there are two ways to roll-out new solutions
- One giant rollout where the new solution in its entirety completely replaces the old solution(s)
- Slow, methodical rollout where the solution may be released over time according to features to allow for full training and Q&A
Say you’re trying to condense your HR, accounting, and employee portal into one software. If you switch from what was three different platforms yesterday to one platform today, you’re asking staff to dismiss a sizeable chunk of their workflow and place one solution where it used to be.
In situations like these, you can often control the adoption rate by slowly rolling out features in a piecemeal fashion.
Maybe start with moving your employee portal over first so your staff can use it for a week and solve any issues. Then move on to the HR, and then accounting.
By moving over in a methodical fashion, you can control the education and training process while focusing on one set of troubles instead of three.
Have a plan to continually educate
Modern technology isn’t a static thing. There are constantly new patches, versions and features being rolled out to software and hardware alike. So even if your initial rollout and technology adoption were successful, that may not remain the case.
It’s critical for you to have resources available to train your staff when changes to their existing workflow do occur. This can — and should — be done in several ways.
- A resource library of simple FAQs to reference for self-training/troubleshooting
- A hub of videos or longer-form articles to explain more complex uses of the software
- A technology partner with experienced staff available for hands-on training
Two of these resources you can create in-house, but the third can be handled by your IT provider. They will have processes and staff available to train on any of the solutions they offer.
Make it easier for yourself
Technology adoption is a difficult thing to handle on your own. That’s why we recommend finding a technology partner (like KME) to assist with the technology adoption problem. We have processes and materials to train your staff fully with minimal exertion from your business. We help you determine the best rollout method, the amount of time to allow for training, and we have a resource library for self-help. Really, a great IT provider can handle everything in this article for you and leave you the bandwidth to focus on your business. Sounds like a win-win.