I have been fortunate to work on some brilliant Technology Transformation initiatives, within various industries and there are many contributing factors to their success. The most important is to put people at the heart of the change. You need to approach your Technology Transformation as a human-centric change. This means seeing people—their values, thoughts, and experiences—as most important and changing long-term behaviours and core beliefs to achieve your desired results.
You need to connect with your user at every stage of the Technology Transformation. Starting with the strategic planning all the way through to measuring the success of the enablement. Prioritising your efforts on gaining a deep understanding of users and aligning the technology and business change to support them, will have the largest impact on the success of the transformation.
Technology Enablement is not a one-off initiative, it is a continuous conversation with the users.
Here are four steps you should include:
- Assemble your Champions
Clearly map out all the stakeholders that will be impacted by this technology transformation, detailing the sponsors, approvers and users plus all internal and external teams that will contribute to the delivery of the transformation. Then build a team with representatives from these groups – Assemble your Champions.
Building the right team is critical to the success of the technology enablement. This team needs to be engaged in the strategy, the design, the delivery, communication, training, implementation and measurement throughout the project – they need to own the success of the transformation. They are the team that will enable the business transformation from within and infiltrate at every level of the organisation. These champions will aid you in delivering a user-centred approach to the design, development and delivery phases which will result in higher user engagement, greater system efficiency, satisfied users and save time and costs.
- Deliver a Winning Communications Plan
One of the most critical factors to success will be your communications strategy. Changing the way that people work and driving increased productivity. It is critical for users to not only adopt new services and technology, but to really embrace it and a winning communications strategy will ensure this. Your communications plan should consider the various stakeholders and what information is critical to them, how they need to consume this information and the timing of when to provide it. This needs to be in play from the start of the project and continue after the delivery, to ensure its success. Here are a few ideas from previous transformations:
- Send out surveys to all users, giving them a platform to contribute to the design, collate the feedback from key areas that need to be addressed and use this detail to feedback into your design workshops. Get your Champions, project team and your 3rd party delivery team involved in these initial workshops!
- Send out a regular newsletter to the entire user group with updates. This newsletter can be used throughout the transformation to keep users informed on how the changes will deliver benefit to them. This provides a mechanism for ongoing feedback, sharing best practice, highlighting success, and providing details on timelines and actions required to build an engaged community.
- Provide regular updates throughout the delivery phase of the transformation by holding webinars with the Champions and being available for Q&A sessions.
- Set up some engaging roadshows, building the excitement of what is to come, reiterating what is in it for the users, providing a sneak peak of what the teams are working on, taking questions and feedback and making sure the users feel part of the transformation every step of the way.
- Training for Victory
We all know that training a user on new technology or business process is an important part of delivering a technology transformation, but for it to be truly human-centric in design you cannot leave this as an afterthought or approach it as a one-size-fits all initiative.
You have already gained a deep insight into the users’ requirements in the design of the transformation, now you need to translate how the technology and processes will meet their requirements. The training needs to be well thought out and you need to consider the various stakeholders when designing the way in which you deliver the training. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.
- Before launch build a detailed user guide, making sure the document is designed with the user in mind and not just a technical manual. It should detail the various scenarios the user will encounter and the step-by-step approach they need to take.
- Set up a channel on a company platform for users to ask questions and share best practise. Providing support for each other and insight to the teams on areas that require further attention.
- Build an easy to use and centralised Knowledge Site. Include videos and frequently asked questions. Keep this active and updated after deployment and load new content regularly – using your newsletter to promote the site updates.
- Run structured training sessions where the users get to work in a simulated environment, so they can learn the new ways of working and how to use the technology to support.
- Achieving success after the final whistle blows
Once you have delivered your transformation, it is important to continue with your human-centric approach to ensure ongoing adoption and true success. Keep consistent communication with the users, check in on the day of deployment, request ongoing feedback as to what is working and what needs improvement, provide updates on what the delivery team is doing with the feedback, provide further training or support as needed – it is an ongoing process. Monitor usage closely, understand how the users are engaging with the technology, what are they using and what are they having to work around. Set up reporting dashboards that can be shared with the business, showing usage, cost saving, efficiencies and delivery against the business objectives.
Technology Enablement must have a human-centric approach throughout to maximise user acceptance, engagement, and ultimately, the use of the technology to realise business value.