Chances are if you’ve rolled out software in an attempt to enhance your team’s productivity over the last few years, you’ve experienced little more than a trade of distractions. There are so many tools, so many solutions, so many innovative ways to maximize ROI with your human capital. Each one is also a way to create distraction and inundate yourself with too much information.
An organization’s technology will help set it’s cultural habits. If done well, tech provides a common expectation and common ground for working. But, there is no single piece of technology that will make everyone work the same way.
The Problem with Solutions
No one on your team wants to change they way they are doing their work. We all operate under the assumption that “we’re doing it right, and everyone else is doing it wrong.” The problem with most solutions is that they are trying to fix a frustration with an existing tool. Getting too much email? Try a new email client. Getting too many instant messages? Try a new collaboration tool. Not sure what your team is working on? Look for a new project management system. These are all problems that address individual needs but often ignore the company goals.
Keys to Successful Implementation
Here are some things I’ve learned from implementing technology:
Rolling Out is the start, not the finish.
I’ve been a fan of Transformers since I was young – when Optimus Prime says “Autobots, roll out!” he doesn’t head back into their mountainside headquarters – he’s heading out crush some Decepticons. After hours of configuration, testing, and prep, it is easy to confuse the kick off party for the victory celebration. Any organization’s employees will struggle with certain aspects of any tool even after they have been shown how to use it. This is where things begin.
Some people are very averse to change. Getting team members, organization leaders, and other key players involved early and getting their help during configuration and roll out can make or break future utilization. There will be problems, and the more people invested in success makes fixing problems easier.
The buy-in of your team is important to advocating for any tool, but it is also important for fixing issues and decentralizing support in a small team. It’s easy to assign one person responsibility for a tool, but it’s hard to break the habit of finger pointing to one person if things aren’t working. Get your team involved and set up a usergroup; you may find your original implementor learning more from this team than vice versa.
Learning From Users
A mistake I personally have made in the past was being overly protective of a piece of technology. It is important to realize that you can’t possibly know the insides and outsides of every piece of technology, and while in many organizations having a champion and owner on a product, I’ve found it important to realize that the individual can’t be personally responsible for a product’s success, it has to be everyone’s responsibility.
We’ve launched many different internal communication, project management and team building solutions in my time at Raidious. Some were more rewarding than others. All of them had unique challenges and offered unique glimpses into how to successfully deploy a company-wide tech solution. Making life easier for the team at Raidious is a big part of my role, and the amazing work delivered by our team daily is a constant reminder of how important and effective the right tools can be.