4 Tips For A Successful Technology Implementation
We are big believers in using affordable technology to improve efficiency, ensure compliance, and ultimately help school system HR departments recruit, select, onboard and retain the very BEST employees. While adding or changing technology systems is often a daunting task, laying a strong foundation before the implementation begins significantly increases your chances of a smooth transition. Here are some tips to get you off to a great start!
- Set Objectives. Discuss your desired end-goal(s) and what you want technology to accomplish for you. Think about topics like system functionality, who might be responsible for what once the process is re-vamped, and when you want to launch. Think about what resources you might need to ensure everything is in place to meet your objectives within a realistic timeframe. Your technology vendor should fully understand and agree to your stated objectives.
- Select your Team and a Point Person. Put together a team that can meet periodically to make decisions during implementation and designate a point person who can make sure changes are happening as planned. Getting buy-in from your team is critical. After all, it is your staff that will ultimately execute the new process day-to-day. Their involvement in analysis, design, and implementation ensures they understand and own the new process. The ideal point person is organized, responsive and able to learn/understand technology quickly. This person may ultimately have the responsibility of troubleshooting and helping your end-users – and will need to know exactly where to go for additional help. Hopefully, the relationship your point person builds with your chosen technology vendor during implementation will bolster their confidence when it’s time to “go live”!
- Map Your Current Process. Prior to implementation, it’s extremely helpful to gather with your team and map out each task or activity in the process and who is responsible for it today. Not only will team members get a better understanding of their colleagues’ roles, it will also bring bottlenecks and inefficiencies into view. Don’t be surprised to find steps in your processes that are done out of habit and no longer serve any real purpose! Once those problem areas are discovered, the work for process improvement can begin. Remind your team that this is a chance to help build a process that works for everyone. An open mind and willingness to explore new ways of managing processes and use of technology is crucial to your ultimate success.
- Gap Analysis. Now, you can revisit your stated objectives and see exactly where and how your current process may be missing the mark. Thorough gap analysis will help you identify ways to streamline and simplify process architecture, workflow, decision points, information requirements, data entry, process ownership, technology enablement, people interfaces, communications, etc. In essence, you will be outlining the “to-be” process once implementation is complete. Remember, your new process might include new roles, changes in responsibilities and utilization of new tools – another reason you will want your team actively involved in this exercise.
Whatever you’re trying to accomplish with technology, clearly seeing where you are vs. where you want to be is the best way to set yourself up for success. While no implementation is ever perfect, it’s worth the effort to lay this groundwork before you begin. The beauty is that by the time you go live, you’ll have a clean, current process map that you can continue to improve upon as upgraded technology and new needs arise.
Clear Concepts Consulting Group is an expert in HR Process Auditing, Redesign and Technology Systems for School Districts. Check out the impact a guided Process Mapping and Gap Analysis exercise had at Fayette County Public Schools in Georgia:
Assistant Vice President, Technology
Clear Concepts Consulting Group
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