In the last segment, I wrote about tips to help you choose the next software platform for your business – no matter the business or the software. In this article, I’ll add to that list by focusing on what can / will go wrong and what to do about it.
Problem #1: Your Beloved Users Don’t Accept Change
What!? This can’t be – users not accepting change!? Obviously I’m being sarcastic as human nature often goes against change and rests in the status-quo. This fact rears its ugly head specifically when implementing new technology. Change is already hard enough but users, especially those without any real tech skills see technology as a three-headed dragon they must attempt to snare. But reality says that isn’t true because we use technology all the time without thinking about it. I think much of this anxiety around technology is because it impacts peoples’ work and they often take that very
As a technology implementer, it’s your job to remain cool, calm, and collected while many people moan, groan, fuss, and complain in your face. It can be very hard to do this but it is always best to keep the idea that technology is never perfect. We think we are superheros with some new software and forget it’s prone to flaw. Keep this in your users’ minds and perhaps they will see that we are all in the same boat together. Having buy-in from your users is also very helpful, if you’ve done that before launching.
Problem #2: The System Has “Bugs”
How often have you heard someone declare something “broken” when it just needs a small adjustment? This is what often happens when people use the word “bugs” in the software to describe their experiences with a new system. Users will often confuse lack of understanding and false expectations for “bugs”, sending the IT person on a wild goosechase. Now, with proper training and clear communication, much of this confusion can be avoided but technology is subject to imperfections.
As an IT professional, take every report of bugs seriously, but do not jump to the conclusion there is something inherently wrong with the software you chose. Ignore the emotional appeal from the user and focus on the problem at hand, regardless of what the user deems the the “problem” or the “solution”. Now that you’ve targeted the problem , lets say it is a bug or error that you don’t know how to resolve. This is where a solid relationship and good vibes with the software provider is crucial. They can help get the problem sorted or at least get he ball rolling. It’s not always an instant fix so it’s your job to keep your users abreast of the progress in finding a solution.
Problem #3: Each Department Wants it Their Way
Problem #3 exists in all organizations but the degree in which it disrupts business varies on the company’s culture and structure. collaboration-based organizations tend to have less of this as users are freely communicating and collaborating among departments. You don’t have to be a big fancy business to practice good communication and transparency – in fact it is even more important for smaller businesses to be on the same page and focused on the same goal. Organizations with weak leadership and / or mentalities of keeping departments isolated suffer the most as users aren’t united and have a adopted much of a “every man for himself” mentality.
This can be circumvented by again, remaining cool and calm when users are emotionally charged about the changes you just enacted. Most people just want the best for their respective department and can’t help that their work environment may not permit free cross-collaboration among teams. Proper communication leads to increased compassion among the departments as well as a more holistic view of the business’s objectives. As an IT professional, you may be forced to cultivate this communication in order to establish a standard operating procedure amount the departments and flush out any department-specific concerns.
With that said, if you’re going to hire an IT professional, it’s critical to find a company that can tackle both the technical and personal aspects of implementing new technology.