It’s a common misconception that deploying the latest technology innovation into a business will result in immediate productivity gains and greater employee satisfaction. The old “if you build it they will come” adage – let’s throw this new shiny piece of tech at people and all our problems will be solved… Sadly, this rarely proves true, and often results in under-utilised technology, employee resistance and a shadow IT culture.
At Modality Systems, we know that technology alone will not transform a business or lead to productivity improvements. And it is a well-known fact that 70% of IT projects fail to deliver results or ROI because of employee resistance.
When looking at any business transformation or change project, many organisations fail to realise they are taking on far more than just a technology project. For the measurement of success of technology investments to change, we must fundamentally change our mindset to recognise the importance of people at the heart of every business.
People, Process and Technology - often referred to as the Golden Triangle when looking at any kind of business transformation project, but alignment of all three is crucial to success.
In this blog, I explore the principles of People, Process and Technology, and share my thoughts on how to overcome the common obstacles faced when these three key areas are misunderstood and unrecognised.
While technology can facilitate an increase in a business’s revenue and growth, change is hard!
Successfully realising the potential of any enabling technology is dependent on the adoption of it by your users. Technology has the ability to transform the way your business operates and can lead to significant business results. This ability, however can only become a realisation if users willingly change the way they work. And users will change the way they work only if they are aware of the benefits they will receive (we like to call this the WIIFM clause, ‘what’s in it for me?’).
The most successful technology implementation projects are based on a sound user adoption programme, one that first listens to and understands your users’ needs and requirements and brings users on a journey to adopt a new way of working. To alleviate any confusion, talk to your users frequently about the who, what, when, where, why and how of the change. When a user can relate to the change on a personal level and understand the value of the technology, they are much more likely to adapt and adopt the change more quickly. By building trust early, you not only help prepare users for what's coming, you identify early adopters. These early adopters, in turn, become your brand ambassadors for change.
Our first golden rule for success: Start with the Why. Put your users at the heart of your project – understand how they do their jobs now to enable you to communicate the benefits of a new way of working. Communicate the technology change early - and often.
The ability to define what outputs business processes are responsible for delivering is a crucial element of implementation success. Technology changes by definition often bring a degree of structure, within which existing processes can be made more efficient, improved to gain more benefits or even changed altogether.
Understand the current internal structures in your organisation and the non-uniform way that your users do their daily jobs – sometimes it is the most minutiae element of a key user's daily way of working that gets over-looked and can lead to a process breakdown later down the line, all because that user wasn’t consulted and their role/process was not fully understood. Innovative technology tools can help you to discover the way your users get things done, and where process bottlenecks are, without forcing them into the straightjacket of an inflexible process.
Our second golden rule for success: Allow your users to participate in the ongoing refinement of business process design. Any modern technology implementation or change programme should allow users to dictate process, not vice versa.
Why doesn’t technology innovation alone lead to an increase in efficiency? Invariably it’s down to substandard user interface design, confusing user experience or badly crafted processes. Hence the importance of aligning all three elements – People, Process and Technology.
Technology needs to be tailored for the people who will use it; focus on putting the right technology into the hands of your users in the right way and at the right time.
To improve technology adoption and usage, you first need to understand how your users are doing things and the current state of play in the business. Using real-time analytics tools and services will give you a holistic view of your businesses capabilities and allow you to not only manage business change with minimal impact to your end users, but ensure a smooth transition from old to new.
Our third golden rule for success: Work from the ground up - when evaluating new technology, start from the most basic level. What's not working, what can be expected to change with newly implemented technology, and how will success will be measured.
For any organisations thinking about making investments in technology, take the people, process and technology approach to maximise your chances of achieving both a successful implementation and the business benefits you were hoping for.
Louise Mahrra | Global Marketing Manager