9 Steps for Implementing a New Technology Plan In Your Business
1. Identify your goals. It will be advantageous to plan a quick meeting to assure your team is on the same page with what you want to accomplish. State what you would hope to achieve, describe your end result in terms of how you define what success looks like for the project.
2. Establish your needs. Record all of your requirements for the project. If you’re not certain of what the project needs are, do some research; talk to colleagues and team members that will be directly affected by the project, or do some reading on the particular type of technology you are looking to implement.
3. Consider improving processes. If your project will change the way your team members do their job, take the opportunity to improve or change your processes, rather than “building a cathedral” to the way you’ve always done things. When possible, try to standardize your processes to best practices and reduce inefficiencies.
4. Explore your options and make a decision. Remember, you are not the first to go through this process. It is important to explore your options by talking to other organizations to find out what issues or complications they encountered, so you know what to expect. If your technology project involves selecting software, create a list of three to five systems that sound like they might be right, and schedule demos from the vendors. In advance, it would be beneficial to send the vendor a list of specific examples of functionality or processes that you need, this way you can get full benefit of seeing what their system has to offer rather than letting them dictate what you see. Compare all these options against your needs and wants in order to determine what system best meets your criteria.
5. Implement and Configure. The first step of the implementation process is to get everything up and running and working in its final location. Software projects often need to be configured or customized tailor it to your organization’s needs. Do you need to set custom options? Do you need to create or hide custom fields or settings? Depending on the configuration needed and the type of technology, you might be able to do this yourself, or you may need someone with more intimate knowledge of the system to do this for you.
6. Data Migration. If you’re dealing with a legacy system with extensive data, you’ll need to think about how you will be moving that data from the old system to the new one. It takes a detailed level of knowledge and understanding to extract the data out of the old system, to manipulate it, and then migrate it to the new system. It also takes time. It may not be a smooth process, so you may want to consider working with a consultant to complete your data migration.
7. Define Usage and Support. You will also need to define how your team supposed to use the new technology and who is in charge of supporting it. Take the time to ask yourself “what will the team members be able to access?” If your team is handling data on a daily basis, you may also want to ask, “what standards are involved to make sure the data is entered consistently?” If you define these answers from the beginning, you will be able easily manage any potential usage and support issues.
8. Train Your Team Members. You can’t assume that your team will automatically be able to use the new technology effectively. It doesn’t matter how advantageous the technology is for the organization; if no one knows how to use it then it serves no purpose. The training could take a few hours or several days. Regardless of the time, it is important to make sure your team members understand how the technology impacts their job.
9. Circle Back. At the end of technology implementation, take a look at what has been done and confirm if you met your implementation goals. Create a timeline or an on-going process to track how well things are working for your business operations and your team. You may also want to check in with your team on an ongoing basis to make sure that everything is still working as planned.
Joycelyn Brown is the principal and founding partner of IPS Legal Group, P.A. Joycelyn specializes in creating comprehensive, growth-oriented intellectual property and technology strategies for startups and growing companies who are developing emerging technologies.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice or instruction. Every legal question calls for a different legal answer, and the above might not be applicable to your situation. Contact IPS Legal Group, P.A. today to discuss your unique business needs.