Technological transformation is crucial to businesses today, but it’s often more complicated than teams expect. Rolling out new technologies can be disruptive and hinder the project’s success if you’re not careful.
Some experts suggest that as little as 30% of digital transformation projects are successful. Follow these seven steps if you don’t want to be part of the 70% that fall short of expectations. It will be well worth the effort and help your company achieve its ROI more quickly.
The first step to a successful technology rollout is choosing the right solution. There are several options for every kind of technology in today’s booming tech market, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. Choose the best one for your team by carefully reviewing your needs and goals and researching available solutions.
A product’s features and cost are the most straightforward factors to consider, but they’re not the only ones. It’s also essential to ensure it integrates well with your company’s other infrastructure and software. Data breaches have reached an all-time high average cost of $4.24 million, so solutions must also be secure.
Once you find the ideal solution, you must identify the project’s key stakeholders. The technology’s success or failure most heavily impacts these people, so it’s important to get their support early. They can help provide more insight into the team’s needs and enable an easier rollout.
Involving stakeholders begins with convincing them of the project’s value. It helps to present promising statistics, like how top-performing companies increased their digital funding by 65% in 2021. Remember to get their opinion on any other decisions once you have their support.
3. Develop a Technology Rollout Timeline
Timing is a critical element of any technology rollout’s success. You want to adopt the new system with plenty of time before peak usage, but you also don’t want to rush it. One of the best ways to minimize disruption and optimize pacing is to plan your timeline ahead of time.
Break the rollout into milestones, beginning with the most essential workflows or systems to change, then slowly expanding to less critical areas. If possible, aim to hit significant milestones before hectic days to avoid complications. Remember to give yourself more time than you think you need to account for unforeseen issues.
Another helpful organizational step is to assign everyone a role before implementation. The human element is to blame for most project failures, and a lack of accountability and responsibility plays a large role.
It will be hard to accomplish anything on time if people don’t know what they’re responsible for. Before rollout begins, determine who has the necessary skills, access, and experience for each part of the process. Assign roles accordingly and ensure everyone understands their position to enable a smoother transition.
It’s also important to record everything about the project. Document everyone’s roles and responsibilities, initial goals, the budget, actual spending and time consumption, any issues that arise and their solutions.
This documentation will make it easier to resolve potential errors later in the project and future rollouts. A clearly defined record of everything makes it easier to trace successes and failures to their source. These records could also be crucial if your tech project involves regulatory concerns.
Similarly, you must ensure consistent communication through every phase of the project. Poor communication costs businesses $62.4 million a year in mistakes and lost productivity, so making improvements can lead to significant savings.
Explain the whole process and everyone’s role to all affected parties before beginning the rollout. Be sure to ask if anyone has any questions to ensure everyone understands. Then, carry that spirit throughout the rest of the project. Discuss each new phase with everyone, and let people know about issues as quickly as possible.
The more communication your team has, the less confusion there will be. That’s essential if you hope to keep disruptions to a minimum.
It’s easy to assume that the project is over once all teams and systems are using the new tech. However, issues could still arise, and even if they don’t, you can use the experience to inform future rollouts.
Review the rollout process, including any obstacles you encountered and how you solved them. This can show you where you may need to adjust the current system or how you can ensure a smoother rollout for future projects.
Technology rollout doesn’t have to be such a daunting process if you follow these steps. The proper preparation can make any project minimally disruptive, regardless of how significant a shift it is. Team members can then start making the most of the new tech as quickly as possible, leading to quicker ROIs.