Something that is often forgotten about when bringing in new systems is the way people work will likely be impacted.
This could be as simple as moving a cloud storage provider from Dropbox to OneDrive and people needing to share a new link. Or even, introducing a whole new electronic way of working with system designed workflows, triggers, rules and outputs.
The ‘people’ aspect should never be forgotten – it’s what can make or break a successful project and implementation of a new system.
The dangers of implementing change
Change…no one likes it.
Nobody comes to work each morning and says, “wow, I hope my whole day and way of working is different today and I have to learn new things and processes.”
Change brings uncertainty. It opens the door to more risk while people learn and adapt to it. It can also bring in a level of uncertainty or fear to staff. I remember looking at an eTMF a few years ago and it was commented that a few colleagues were worried that their manager could now see an audit trail and would be looking at metrics for how efficient they were.
These things on their own can be dangerous but a change in process usually means you will see all of them and more.
So, what can you do about it?
Mitigating the risk of change…in 3 steps
For successful adoption to occur, you need to take people along with you on the journey.
If you go down the avenue of setting everything up and then passing it over for your team to get on with it, then it’ll likely not succeed.
Below are a few things to think about:
- Understand that every person is different and responds differently to other styles and forms of communication.
- Keep it concise but frequent. Let those who are going to be impacted know what is going on from the offset. Create a communication plan where you inform your teams of what is being planned, you don’t have to detail everything but once things get moving share with them the plans.
- Provide regular updates – there’s nothing worse than hearing something early, then silence for months.
- Make sure you continue to promote activities going on behind the scenes.
- Try to make the communication exciting! Promote the good stuff. Talk about the benefits everyone will see and highlight the concerns that others have spoken about and how this solution will tackle that.
- Don’t hide the bad stuff! Although you can’t necessarily share everything, delaying or hiding bad news can cause more trouble than being transparent and clear.
You want people to be excited, the best thing to happen is that people start approaching you and asking for more information.
2. Training Material
- If you want someone to use your new solution then you need to make it easy for them – good quality training material is essential.
- Things need to be simple – pictures, diagrams, videos, anything visual is always usually best (although some may prefer different formats).
- Keep it concise to keep them engaged.
- You won’t get everything right, even the best executed plans will have issues so don’t worry, give yourself a break.
- Take user feedback and incorporate it into the next revision. I have never seen a roll out that didn’t have a second phase, or at least a 1.1. Feedback is great and fresh eyes should always be welcomed.
- Following on from the above, stand your ground when you need to. Sometimes you will get feedback that isn’t helpful but by politely challenging these concerns and providing them with a different viewpoint can help. Helping them to understand this and highlighting benefits further down the line really helps.
Change is difficult but taking it slowly and listening to feedback is crucial. An often missed element of any change is being clear as to why this is happening – getting this in early can be crucial for success.
It’s worth remembering that at the end of the day, success is down to the people using the solution and they need to be thought of as a great starter.
Listen to your team, use the resources around you and speak with others who may have implemented a new solution elsewhere in the company, they often have some really great feedback.
If you’d like to chat to us about implementing a digital archiving and preservation solution, please reach out to our friendly team here.
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