It is not always easy to introduce new digital solutions in organisations. A lot of questions can arise: Have you thought about internal communication? Have you taken the governance problematics into consideration? What about the reluctance of the teams to accept a change in their working habits? It is only expected that your new software proposal is met with some degree of uncertainty.
Thanks to our Product Experts team, dedicated to customer set up and training, we have accompanied dozens of companies in their digitisation projects. We have helped improve the working methods of Finance teams at Louis Vuitton, EDF… Here are our best practices to overcome the challenges of your digital transformation and implement your new solution successfully.
Explain the key benefits
It is a natural human disposition to argue change, even if it makes life easier. To help your teams embrace the transformation, the first advice our Product Experts give is to clearly demonstrate the benefits of the change and let your teams feel included in the process. Give meaning to the whole process: lay out the reasons why that change must occur and what is in it for them. For example, explain how this new technology will allow them to spend less time on dunning tasks like copy-pasting, compliance checks or even paperwork and more time enjoying their core job.
While passion is important, quantifiable data paints a much stronger picture and can be used to demonstrate the need for change within the organization. Do not forget to present a roadmap that shows how you plan on getting there: what are the actions planned? Who are the main stakeholders? What is the timeline of the project? That way, everyone starts on the same page.
Choose the solution that fits your specific needs
A digitisation project lead by genuine needs will have more chances of success than a top-down project. We recommend that you conduct a user needs study, to make sure the solution you choose meets the expectations of the users.
To maximise the adoption, the system you choose should be easy to pick up by technical and non-technical users, so everyone can be successful in a short period of time. Look for on-screen training, clearly labelled buttons and tool tips that help you solve any issues on your own as this will help drive user adoption.
Do not forget that digitisation does not necessarily mean more tools; sometimes, it is best to focus on features rather than tools. Make sure to get the best out of your existing solutions before you buy new ones – it will also be easier for users to understand additional features than to master a whole new software.
Your teams can save up to 10 hours each month by making the best out of their daily work tools (Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word).
Name Ambassadors and Super-Users
The change process, especially at the beginning, can often be challenging and unpredictable. Identifying and selecting “change ambassadors” will help support the change process and keep it running smoothly. In our experience, Ambassadors should be individuals with charismatic personalities who are widely respected among their teams, with strong communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills. They will be the referent people for the project, making sure that everyone in the team is onboard and that the stakes are clearly understood.
Besides, you may also want to identify Super-Users of the new solution. The Super-Users are administrators of the solution: they have extended authorisations on the tool allowing them to modify, add or delete data when the other users have a read-only access. They ensure the compliance of the data by updating it when necessary and making sure the data is always up-to-date for the users.
Ambassadors and Super-Users may or may not be the same people, depending on the organisation of the teams and the governance you set up. In any case, make sure these issues are solved before the beginning of the implementation to avoid any ambiguity.
Do not leave out the training
Even when the software is easy to use, it is still important to involve the teams with hands-on training. Our Product Experts team systematically train users to help them discover their new features and how it may change the working habits. Our customers typically appreciate the care taken in bearing their particular needs in mind; we always adapt our services to their requirements!
Training generally takes one hour at least to have a 360° vision of the solution. You may also consider video-training as it could save time and give every user a chance to complete training at their own pace. Make sure the training sessions are fit to each user category: Super-Users will obviously need more details than senior management, that may not be users but could still benefit from a global understanding of the solution to have a greater perception of its value for the teams.
Train Ambassadors and Super-Users first, then allow them to set a positive and encouraging atmosphere while guiding other employees. Once training is complete, issue training material and user guides to the teams so that they can refer to if in doubt.
Our Product Experts can assist you with your projects and even train your teams to Microsoft Office through our Office Academy. Contact us to learn more!
Communicate, communicate and communicate
Communication is the key to any successful project. Ideally, it should flow from top to bottom: a study conducted with input from 288 organisations found that employees most want to hear messages about change from their CEO and their immediate supervisor. Managers can provide more details regarding how the change affects their team members.
Do not hesitate to use internal communications to broadcast information about the change: you could consider an internal newsletter, an announcement banner on your corporate social network or even some kind of internal event: for example, corners in the hall of your building where people can come and ask the questions they may have. In our experience, a face-to-face will always be more efficient to onboard people than a digital communication!
Finally, communicate on a regular basis during the entire project set up and take feedback at each level of the roll out to make sure the teams feel included in the process.
Give it time
It would be unrealistic to expect the teams to adjust to the change right away. Make it clear that there is a learning curve, and that the process is open to questions, concerns and suggestions. Teams may get frustrated as they change their daily work habits: remember that being flexible and collaborative will help you perfect the change even if you take a slightly different route to your goal. Keep in mind that with the right communication and nurturing, the teams will adopt quickly and productivity will shoot through the roof.
Finally, collect feedback regularly, especially from the Ambassadors and Super-Users that will have a wide understanding of the users’ stakes. Give this feedback to your provider: in our case, we collect customer feedback and make it into a future development. Not only will you be able to see your suggestions being acknowledged but you will also be able improve your productivity at the same time. Even if the solution fully meets your expectations, plan a business review one year after the implementation with the provider to see the extent to which your goals have been achieved.