Bulletproof the Case for Adopting a New Technology
In the era of data, metrics, and a focus on tracking each activity, it’s easier than ever to see where inefficiencies exist. Advances in technology make it a no-brainer to assume that the best solution for any process issue is a new program or software package. The challenge for enterprise IT departments rarely lies in deciding which tech will solve the problem, but in getting employees to adopt the new tech to solve the original problem as planned. That’s where the bulletproof business case comes in.
Successfully managing the changes associated with a new enterprise tech roll-out is the work of a multi-disciplinary team, including communicators, IT professionals, and leadership from all levels of the organization. This team will carry the weight of creating a story compelling enough to get employees’ attention and convince them that this is a solution worth their time and attention. Employees truly have the power in this equation, as their adoption and implementation of any new system determines its success.
One crucial step in convincing employees that the new upgrade, software package, or app will be worth their while is talking to them about the new solution using examples that are true to their experience. For example, when you can speak to an employee about a problem in their day-to-day work experience, in the words they use to describe it, and you can talk about how the new solution will fit into their existing workflow and solve the problem, adoption is much easier to achieve.
But how do you figure out what problems employees see in their daily workflow? In my experience, the best way to do this is to spend time with them. I was part of the team charged with moving an organization from email and siloed shared drives to a cloud-based digital platform designed to help them “work out loud.” While my team and I could see the myriad of benefits of transitioning to a system like this, many front-line employees would simply see it as one more thing they have to learn when their bandwidth is already tapped. Knowing that the team had an uphill battle to gain acceptance of the new tech, let alone adoption, I set out to collect use cases.
After several hours of shadowing key influencers on the front lines, I had gathered several potent anecdotes to help our program succeed. One of my favorites was, “You know that massive spreadsheet that you use all the time, but it’s too large to email, so you have to come to work on your days off to finish working on it if you don’t get to it during the day? This system fixes that by giving you access to the spreadsheet from any device with internet access.” That’s a compelling, relevant, and relatable story that front-line employees will be interested in. It solves a legitimate problem in a process that the employee is struggling with.
The implementation team used change management principles to develop those deeply rooted use cases for every major department in the organization to ensure that if anyone was talking about the new tech, they knew how it would help make their lives easier. As a happy coincidence, interdepartmental relationships were developed or strengthened, creating a greater culture of collaboration across the organization – which played beautifully in the digital workplace platform.
Bulletproof business cases come from getting into the mix with employees and connecting tech’s capabilities with the opportunities for improvement surfaced from the research. And you might just make a friend or two in the process.