Neil Coleman is a Technical Producer and Post Operations Executive who has supervised production at The Jeff Probst Show and Harpo Studios. Neil submitted this article explaining that selecting a vendor is only the first step of a successful production technology deployment.
Bringing your company or department up to technological speed doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a problem, right? It’s so simple, install the new software, post instructions around the office, answer a few tech questions… voila, all good! Everyone’s now using the new system and all is well… not really. People aren’t using the new system as intended. Others aren’t using it at all. Things are worse than before. The only consensus is that no one likes the new technology.
Transitioning to new systems, workflows or even upgrading to a new version of software are like bringing home a new puppy. Planning, patience and persistence are needed to make sure that any speed bumps are smoothed out. If not, the risk of resistance and complication increase as employees stubbornly cling to the old ways.
Maybe everyone is still screening spots, clips, shows on DVD. Perhaps you’re still using an email chain to collaborate on a document. The solution exists but, for a myriad of reasons, people aren’t taking advantage, aren’t embracing, the new tools available. When implementing a new technological tool, the one ingredient that is critical to success is the end user’s willingness to adopt. A simple reason that terrific new technology tools fail is that people don't always embrace change.
The environment for introducing a new solution should allow for that obstacle and prepare for the inevitable resistance to what is perceived as “too complex” when “things are working just fine”. Quite often this means there should be a very simple set of instructions for adapting to the new technology. Anything more complicated should take place during one-on-one tutorials as well as the proverbial “help line.”
Really, what helps the most is the social aspect of supporting the new solution. Winning over one or two of the “refusniks” can help turn the tide. When employees see their co-workers successfully utilizing the new technology they are more inclined to make the effort. Especially if they can seek out instruction that does not intimidate but makes them feel valued. It really does come down to customer service.
After the rollout, check in with people, personally. Find out if they’re having any problems, show them how to resolve those issues. Make sure you are using the technology exactly the way those end users would be using it. Discover for yourself what, if any, issues might exist.
Keeping the end user in mind, someone who may not be as inclined to discover every keyboard short cut or cool feature, will ensure that the solutions put in place are just that, solutions.
Contact Neil Coleman on LinkedIn.