Have you ever been tasked with ‘selling’ a new system within your organization? If you answered yes then what I’m about to talk about will probably be a familiar tune. Implementing a new system of any kind in an organization is a huge challenge. Beyond the technical hurdles (which can be significant), you have to account for the human factor and address one of the most difficult challenges with a new system rollout – Change Management. But worry not – in this week’s post I’m going to give you three great tips on how to get a high adoption rate when implementing your system.
1. Engage Early and Often
Want your people to embrace your solution? Make sure they feel a sense of ownership and that they feel they have a stake in it as well. Get your stakeholders engaged early on during the process. As an example: our organization is in the process of selecting a new PSA tool and have narrowed the field down to several candidates of which we doing comprehensive evaluations using real-world projects. To make sure that we have the support we need when we do move forward with a selection, we have engaged representation from all user groups who will be tasked with using our new system for feedback and opinions. We need these people to be part of the selection process (even if by proxy with their feedback on system usage) and by making these individuals feel engaged early on in the process, we’re giving them a sense of ownership in the successful implementation of the product, thereby naturally increasing the amount of buy-in that these individuals will have with the new system when it is ultimately rolled out.
2. Have Answers
One of the most common sources of frustration when rolling out a new system is the lack of knowledge on how to do normal business functions that have become routine in the old system. By being able to stay on top of questions from stakeholders and providing accurate answers in a very timely fashion, you are consistently removing roadblocks for users to embrace the new system. Nothing can kill a rollout faster than a vocal user who becomes frustrated because they are not educated enough. Stay on top of your users and make sure they have all the information they need to fully utilize the new system.
3. WIIFM (What’s in it For Me?)
Demonstrating value is the lifeblood of selling virtually anything. By proving to your users that the new system will bring value to them – maybe through higher efficiencies, more accurate results or increased reach – you are in fact selling to them. Nobody likes having change forced on them for no apparent reason which is why it is imperative that value be demonstrated and understood by your stakeholders. Maybe it’s a quicker timesheet entry to make your consultants spend less time on admin tasks, or perhaps it’s a fancy report that replaces three spreadsheets that your controller will like – by demonstrating the “why” in a system rollout, you are inherently getting your users to buy into what it is that you’re “selling”.
Rolling out a new system is never easy. It’s even less easy if you have resistance from your stakeholders. I hope these three tips today find their way into your change management toolbox as you prepare to roll out your own projects.
Want to know how we can help you and your team? Let's talk!