You did your research. You identified a need, explored all the solutions, and selected the perfect tool. So what is holding you back?
Managers have difficulty in introducing new software to their team for several reasons including monetary risks, time consumption, and a reluctant team. Skepticism in your organization can stem from all directions: your superiors, the people you manage, or, most commonly, the IT department. And it’s only expected that your new software proposal be met with some degree of uncertainty. It is a natural human disposition to oppose change even if it makes life easier.
While complacency may be in the interests of the IT department or for some of your colleagues, it may not be in the best interest of the organization. So how can you overcome these challenges to successfully implement your new tool?
Find support at the top
Find someone at the top to be your evangelist. If you can get your boss or your boss’s boss excited, the positivity can trickle down the organization. Studies show that support from top management through each step of the implementation is crucial as it unifies the leadership and decreases the amount of organizational resistance going down. This involves presenting a specific, well thought out plan that doesn’t leave your potential supporter to figure out the specifics for themselves.
Make sure someone owns it
Assign someone to the project. Whether it is you or your colleague, someone needs to be responsible for the integration. If no one owns it, the implementation is as good as being scrapped. Find a PiC (Person in Charge) who 1. works daily with the people the change will affect 2. can handle change 3. comfortable with technology 4. others view as helpful.
Your employees will be unlikely to support a change if it does not come with some incentives. Begin with a critical evaluation of how the software will benefit the entire business. This means thoroughly understanding the operations that are currently in place and why they need to change. From there, you can speak on a point-by-point lead conversation about what specific problems the software will solve.
Measure your progress
This creates a foundation of incremental updates that employees can be a part of. Set up phases for the implementation and evaluate the success of these phases. It is important to involve your employees in this evaluations, as their insights will be inherently critical, letting managers know the specific issues that need to be addressed before the next phase. These phases may include the overall pitch to the business, manager training, employee training, trial usage, and complete implementation.
Communicate it well through internal marketing
Alert your team, as well as leaders in other departments, earlier that a new tool is in the works of being implemented. Be fully educated on the effects it will have. If your presentation is poorly executed, it gives your employees to be even more skeptical. During the the early stages of implementation, it is also critical that managers have an open door policy for any questions the staff may have.
Mat Brogie is part of the founding team, and CEO of Repsly, the world's leading solution for high performance retail execution teams. Mat has spent the past 15 years of his career focused on bringing technology enabled business solutions to the consumer goods industry, having implemented solutions for tens of thousands of field reps at companies such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Pepperidge Farm and hundreds of others.