It has finally happened, my business case got the thumbs up, my stakeholders have all said yes, the decision to invest in some software to significantly improve the effectiveness of our marketing and sales teams has been made!
It is genuinely exciting......and actually, now I come to think of it, really quite scary. What do I do now, where do I start, how long have I got before the CFO wants to see a return on their investment?
Sounds familiar? Getting new software to deliver its promised gains is more than technical implementation and onboarding, its about taking the humans who will use it on a journey and getting them to change their behaviour and that equals a lot of hard work, done over many months.
It's a daunting experience - we know we take people through this process every day.
The team will go through 4 stages of competency as they progress through the onboarding process. It's totally natural. They may not be aware of these stages, but once they understand this process, the journey will become less overwhelming.
- Unconsciously Incompetent - Sometimes this is actually one of the best stages, you are flushed with excitement and enthusiasm, you don't really know the hard work that's in front of you.
- Consciously Incompetent - In our experience users hate this stage the most. They've started their learning journey and they can see the potential of the tool but realise just how little they know and how many of the businesses current processes need to adapt to take advantage of digital transformation. The trick here is to take it steady, don't rush this stage, acknowledge the feelings of overwhelm, offer to repeat training, keep tasks simple so they get some wins.
- Consciously Competent - this is a dangerous phase where it still takes a lot of effort to use the tool. It's here that we often see drop off. We use mobile micro learning to tackle the forgetting curve, regular check ins and seeing who is and who is not using the tool is key so that you can "train the gap".
- Unconsciously Competent - this stage is the best feeling in the world! The software has become second nature and you can harness its power without a lot of effort. Instead thinking time can be put into strategy, campaign design, experiments and analysis.
There are a few simple principles of change management that can be applied to smooth the journey from acquisition through implementation to success. Let's take a look at these.
- Communication (well no surprises there 😊)The different stakeholders will each want to know how a new system will benefit them and how it will make their job easier. Project managers should provide insights into how this will happen along with a timeline for the roll out and training schedules.
- Make it fun
Whoever is providing the onboarding must make it fun and applicable to your business in order to keep everyone engaged. Someone droning on and on about feature sets will not cut the mustard. You need to use different modes of learning (for instance mobile learning, gamification, interactive and collaborative touch points) to ensure behavioural change and team collaboration. When learning is fun knowledge retention increases. We use mobile micro learning to support virtual sessions, interactive team check ins and leaderboards to aid team collaboration.
- Be open to changing your processes
Be prepared to think about looking at a new approach to your business processes to ensure that the software works as effectively as possible. This can be a good time to refresh old and inherited business processes. Digital transformation isn't simply about automating your old processes.
- Use Project Management Tools
Good project managements tools (like Slack and Asana boards) will make sure that everyone involved is on the same page and has a clear understanding of what is going on at any stage of the process and allow you to track the user's progress.
- Don't expect to be an expert from the get go
To become an expert at anything we need to put the time in to make sure we get there so be prepared to do some extra work to speed up this process. Start small, pick a project where you can get a quick win. Shout about that victory from the rooftops. Be wary of trying to change everything at the same time.
If you and your team are aware of these points then your new software implementation and onboarding will run a lot more smoothly and you will be able to report on ROI to the Leadership team much quicker 😊
If you want to discuss your plans we'd be happy to chat. Book a time here.