Your company needs to adapt and change to keep up with the market. That means you need to implement new systems in the workplace from time to time, such as during organizational restructuring. But implementing change is never easy, especially when it affects your entire business.
In this article, we’ll go over ways you can successfully implement new systems in your organization.
Table of contents
- Successful system implementation
- Successful system implementation always includes people, processes, and technology
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Successful system implementation
Successfully implementing any system in your organization requires three things: a process, technology, and people. We’ll cover each of these aspects in detail and explain what you need to do to implement new systems successfully.
The first step to implementing a new system in your company is laying out a detailed process for how you will do so. This process should consist of the following three elements:
- Hard systems. Hard systems are all the “machinery” that will help you implement a new system successfully. By machinery, we mean the financial, technological, and operational systems you have in place that can support the successful implementation of a system. To ensure the process goes smoothly, you should first confirm that the hard systems are all aligned and ready to support the new system.
- Roles. The system won’t implement itself; you’ll require teams with specific roles in the system’s implementation. For example, you’ll need to assign someone to ensure the technical aspects of the new system align with your company’s infrastructure. You could place other team members in charge of education or finances.
- Structure. It’s critical to define a structure for the system’s implementation. The people implementing the system need to be aware of the entire process and the best way to roll out the system in the workplace. This may need to be done in phases so that everyone affected by the change can transition and adapt successfully.
It’s also essential to communicate with the system’s vendor about the details of the technology and its implementation.
You must go over all the steps involved in implementing the system with the vendor. Also, remember to ask the vendor about other companies that have successfully implemented the system.
Look for good case practices for how to implement the system that you can follow to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Although a thorough understanding of the technology is important, the biggest challenge of adopting new systems is dealing with the people who will implement and use them.
A survey of more than 1,500 executives found that only 37% of respondents reported that their implementations of digital systems were successful.
However, system implementations rarely fail because of issues with the technology or process. The reason why many don’t succeed is that businesses often don’t properly account for the main stakeholders of the change: their own people.
There are three main things you must do if you want your people to implement and use a new system:
Develop a communication plan
According to the study we cited above, organizations that clearly communicated their desired outcomes for their new systems were 3.5 times more likely to have successful implementations.
A workplace communication plan is essential if you want your employees to start implementing a system. The team that will be introducing the system will need to present:
- The main objective of the change. The overall objective of the change should be qualitative. The company must explain why the change is necessary and exactly what it will accomplish.
- The goals of the change. You’ll need to define quantitative, measurable actions that the company must accomplish to achieve the main objective of the change.
- What will happen if the status quo remains. This last point is something organizations often forget: What will happen if you don’t change? Your business needs to emphasize what will happen if it doesn’t implement the new system and settles for the status quo. Will it affect salaries? Sales? The company’s entire existence? Whatever the reason is, the team that’s communicating the change needs to explain it to all of the employees. Change is always challenging, but it’s almost impossible if those who are changing it have no idea why they’re doing so.
Resistance to new systems is inevitable in most organizations, but not all resistance is the same. The type of resistance you’ll face depends on the stage of the system’s implementation, and you’ll need to handle different kinds of resistance in different ways:
- Early resistance. Resistance that happens early on occurs when you haven’t gotten buy-in for the new system. If your people don’t understand why the change needs to happen, they won’t be interested in implementing it. A survey of more than 500 senior executives found that discomfort with change was one of the key challenges of implementing new technology in their companies. This is a communication problem, and the team in charge of implementing the system needs to improve communication with other employees so that they understand why the system is necessary.
- Late resistance. Resistance late in the implementation process is caused by a lack of training and accountability. All of the employees who are going to use the system will need to receive enough training to know how to use the system. Even after being trained, it will take them some time to get comfortable with the system. Accountability problems, on the other hand, happen when the structure of who does what in relation to the system changes. When the system changes, the roles in this structure change as well. Therefore, the team in charge of the process needs to communicate to employees what their exact roles are and what’s expected from them.
Be transparent and patient
Organizational change is challenging and always takes time. Even though you can sometimes switch systems overnight, people usually can’t switch their habits as quickly. This means that you need to be patient when implementing new systems.
Be transparent with your employees, and let them know how the process is going and if there’s anything they can do to improve it. Your employees will be the ones implementing the system, so ask for their help early on.
Successful system implementation always includes people, processes, and technology
Successfully implementing new systems is never a simple task, but with the right approach, you can do it successfully.
One way to make the process easier is using TestGorilla to measure your candidates’ and employees’ skills and create a more professional and data-focused company culture.
Why not start by using our Communication test to ensure your employees can communicate effectively about your new system? You can learn more by signing up for a free demo today.