You have planned for the functionality to assist your business. You have set pilot and rollout dates, and have project plans – let the implementation begin.
But what about the humans?
A change in advice platform will usually span the entire business so it is advisable to consider ways that will facilitate positive change; creative ways that will get everyone working together to minimise business interruption and achieve business goals.
IRESS is focused on technology, but more specifically is very focussed on people and their use of technology. We have sought to share in this blog some of our lessons through helping many businesses implement technology change.
A team without a leader is like a ship without a navigator. The project will need a leader who understands the dynamics of the business and the goals of the technology change to help direct the business to achieve its objectives.
Create a vision of the future, clearly articulating what will be different once XPLAN is implemented, what the benefits will be for the business and each person. This vision should be your battle cry and constant reminder of why the business has undertaken the change.
Identify and develop a clear understanding of what the business need is and build this into a ‘North Star’ – something that everyone can follow for what is to be achieved. This North Star will be the guide that keeps everyone on course throughout the implementation.
In South Africa we have worked with firms with revenue growth in mind. In these cases, ‘identifying new revenue opportunities’ was their North Star and training ensured that each adviser and assistant left with pre-defined client searches to find new opportunities within their client database.
The ultimate success of your technology change will be how staff in your business deal with and adapt to the change. Ensure you have a solid understanding of each personality and their expected reaction to change so that risks can be quickly identified and managed.
Look for: the change makers (those with a ‘succeed at all odds’ attitude); the change winners (those who are proactive and positive); and the change causalities (those who may be negatively impacted). Develop a strategy to work with these people.
It is important to set a clear expectation that it will take time to learn the full functionality of the software and its capabilities so don’t try and do it all at once. Persistence, patience and perseverance is key as learning will be an ongoing process over time as the software develops and continually improves. Try and build a comfort level that the time they are investing will be beneficial and focus on how the company will provide the training and resources to make the project successful.
Learning often involves making mistakes and some people find the fear of making a mistake debilitating. Create a safe environment for learning, where mistakes are welcomed as an exhibit of effort and learning. Be alert to the different personalities and reactions to change and deal with the reactions expediently. Understand that people learn differently so it is important to ensure you cater for all learning style.
Experts say that it takes 28 days to create a new habit. Create a place where people can go for help and facilitate regular meetings with staff to discuss the change and implementation progress, in the context of how each person is dealing with them. By creating a 28-day ICU period will help people to overcome their learning challenges.
Managing change can be complex but critical in the success of technology deliveries. Approaching change positively and creatively will help your business transition well to reach its strategic goals
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