6 Steps to Adopt New Tech Seamlessly

Have you ever introduced a new tool or software only to have few people use it while spending thousands of dollars? You know you need to implement software and new tech to improve your business, but you don’t want to waste money. Here are our six steps to prevent that exact scenario.

Full Transcript Below:

Cris:

What is the onboarding cycle going to look like for that particular group of users?

Andrew:

Using this new form of technology, whatever it is, it’s going to affect their day-to-day life.

Cris:

And so I think that’s also as important, is knowing who you need to run it by and who you don’t.

Andrew:

So getting that buy-in is super critical because, without it, you’re just kind of doomed to fail.

Cris:

All right. Today, we get to talk about the topic of basically some key steps you want to keep in mind when you’re adopting tech. And this could be custom tech that you might be building, or even if you’re just going out there looking for something off the shelf when you’re trying to adopt tech to your company or even sell it, these are some key things that you probably want to keep in mind. So, I figure we kind of go back and forth on this. What do you think is probably one of the most important things to start with, as far as steps to adopting tech?

Andrew:

Well, probably buy-in for stakeholders would be a good first one. So if the app is internal, they might be stakeholders within your organization. They might be people who are on the board of directors. They might be people who are actually using the app. They might be your accounting department. Really, there’s going to be a variety of stakeholders across different areas because using this new form of technology, whatever it is, it’s going to affect their day-to-day life and is going to affect the numbers, right?

Cris:

Sure.

Andrew:

So getting that buy-in is super critical because, without it, you’re just kind of doomed to fail, right? It doesn’t matter how great this new app turns out or what it does; if you don’t have that buy-in then the ROI is not going to be there and then there’s not going to be this just acceptance that yeah, this was a great thing or successful.

Cris:

Yeah, exactly. And you mentioned it, there might be a myriad of stakeholders. So again, knowing that you’re running that by the full gamut, not just maybe a couple people within the company or even just stakeholders within that particular department, unless it is a very software specific, departmental specific kind of a change. And so I think that’s also as important, is knowing who you need to run it by and who you don’t need to run it by.

Andrew:

Yeah. And to be fair, there’s always going to be a myriad of stakeholders, right?

Cris:

There’s always going to be, yes.

Andrew:

I shouldn’t say there might be. It would be the exception for there not to be.

Cris:

Another thing I kind of thought of was onboarding your users. So, this is the second point that I think is important because you need to first off identify the users that are going to be using this, much like you identify your stakeholders. And then really, what is the onboarding cycle going to look like for that particular group of users? Is it going to be something that’s going to take some time because you have both customer and admin users? Pretty much everything kind of does, but how large are those groups? How do you want to do that rollout? There’s training that might come into it, so on and so forth, but yeah.

Andrew:

Yeah, and documentation. By defining those user roles, whether you’re writing documentation or not, it allows you to make sure that you didn’t miss anyone when you’re doing the onboarding.

Cris:

Are there admin roles? Are there customer roles? Are there power users? Are there managerial-level roles? Are there people… Yeah. And so, just making sure you cover all that, and each of them is probably going to have a, should have, a different onboarding process than the other group, so cool. What else?

Andrew:

So, identifying key performance indicators or KPIs-

Cris:

Okay. Your KPIs, yeah.

Andrew:

… of the tech are really important. One of the things we do when we start a project with a client is to ask them, “Okay, what does success look like to you?” Because the project can be done on budget and on time, but if it ultimately doesn’t hit these performance indicators, if it ultimately doesn’t solve the problem, then it’s great that it was on budget and on time. So something we like to look at very early is, what are the key performance indicators? What does success look like? What are the things that we can actually measure and say, “yeah, we hit that mark, or we hit it 70% kind of thing.”

Cris:

Right. And what do those look like short-term for your KPIs? What is the initial launch of this product look like, or first kind of introduction of it to your company? Where do we want to be six months out? What is the year-long goal? Two years? So on and so forth. And tracking along the way, how do you know you’re actually performing?

Andrew:

And it might look like lower wait times by this much, or increased efficiency by that much, improved sales. It could be any number of things. Leads, whatever it might be. But there should be some indicators, at least one.

Cris:

Right. That we are on target and we are achieving. And if we start to get off of that path, we are no longer achieving and how we can redirect.

Andrew:

Yeah.

Cris:

That seems sensible. Now, I think this ties really well into obviously ROI, but it’s different-

Andrew:

That’s a good point, yeah.

Cris:

… because with your KPIs, obviously, you’re like, okay, what is defining that we are successful? Whereas I think more of, again, ROI, return on investment; that the product, how is this paying for itself? How is it sustaining itself over time? Again, it’s where the stakeholders and the money portion I think kind of comes in. So, understanding what your return on investment is and needs to be for that particular product, and how much time you have to actually return that investment is very important. You and I know, we’ve gotten into projects before where someone may not have the budget to get across the finish line on this particular product but they need it to do a certain set of things, and so the return on investment for them to build the product that they actually need to achieve their KPIs, those don’t line up.

Cris:

And so, suddenly they find themselves working on something that maybe we’re starting to hit some of these goals. And they’re like, “Well, this isn’t returning enough money for me yet.” And you’re like, “Okay. Well, we didn’t talk about that. We just talked about what success looks like, and success has a price tag but if you don’t talk about it, no one knows about it.”

Andrew:

And when you understand both those things too, the KPIs and the ROI you’re trying to get, there may be ways where we can adjust the feature set to make it fit within your budget and also get that return on investment.

Cris:

So, how do these all kind of lead to time? I think you probably have some thoughts on that.

Andrew:

Well, timeline is closely tied to budget and to cost because the more complex something is to build, the more time it takes. Oftentimes the more it costs, right? So understanding, I mean, timeline is a fairly simple thing to get to the bottom of. When we have early discussions with clients, a lot of it centers around, what is the thing supposed to do? What problem does it solve? What are the KPIs and ROI you’re looking to get out of it? What sort of timeframe do you have to deliver this first MVP, you’re minimum viable product? Or it’s essentially a pilot. And what sort of budget are we working with for that first thing there? So, those are all input parameters that help us determine, okay, this is actually what we can build that will address all of those things.

Cris:

Yeah. And you have to be realistic about those. That’s a big thing when you’re adopting tech, is to be realistic about, what is it going to take for this off-the-shelf software, that may have a lot of bells and whistles and answer a lot of things that I need but we’ve never used it before? So, we have to onboard our users and we have to basically do training and we have to… all these things went into it, but you have to be realistic of, how long is that going to take to implement actually into my company? And the way that we manage and run and actually motivate our people to make money, moving forward. Or you’re custom-building something that you also have to be realistic about the timeline of what it’s going to take to create something literally out of the ether and now start running your company off of that.

Cris:

So yeah, being realistic is so important because if you can’t be realistic with the project timeline and what it’s going to also take to implement, create and implement, you’re always going to set yourself up for failure, because you’re always going to feel like you’re not achieving because you think it should be going faster.

Andrew:

Yeah.

Cris:

Because I rarely ever have the problem where the client is like, “Oh my gosh, this is going so fast.” It’s usually, “Why is this taking this long?” Well, expectations were not set at the beginning on the timeline. Yeah.

Andrew:

And that’s really something we try to identify with clients. More internally is answering the question of, okay, does this person, is what they’re building, does it have a chance of being successful? And also, is it realistic? I need this in three weeks. It’s got to be… and we’re trying to compress four months of development in three weeks. Probably not going to happen, so being realistic’s important.

Cris:

Yeah.

Andrew:

So, how does training tie into all this?

Cris:

Training, obviously, I think we’ve kind of touched a little bit with it, but training is an important piece. Just because you build it doesn’t mean they’ll come. I’d say so. So, I think of training both-

Andrew:

We were lied to.

Cris:

You were lied to. I think of training both from the sense of your employees; internally, the admin side, all that. You need to make sure you set aside time to understand the new tool, be competent in it, and how to utilize it so you actually are going to be hitting KPIs and your ROI makes sense. But also training your users is something to keep in mind because you may actually have changed the way that you’re presenting your product to the world. And you also need to allow some of that implementation and training time, I think for customers to really learn who you are now, where you were, where you went, and where you’re going to be going in the future. And so, training and that time that it takes are extremely important.

Cris:

And if you don’t plan for it, you might confuse your people internally and you might also confuse your users; if you don’t plan on having good kind of parameters for: how are we going to get this information in front of our users? How are we going to get it in front of our admin staff? How are we going to make sure everyone’s comfortable with the new implementation tool?

Alexandra:

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday. I hope you enjoyed that conversation between Cris and Andrew as they kind of ran through six different steps that you need to take when you’re bringing new tech into your company. If you have any questions at all, go ahead and leave them in the comment section and we’ll get right back to you. And don’t forget to check out the description box down below. We have a bunch of really helpful links for you, and in particular, I want to highlight our free DevOps guide. It has a bunch of great information if you’re interested in a DevOps implementation. And of course, check us out online: bixly.com. It’s a great place to learn about all of the different services that we have, including a free 60-minute call with Cris. All you have to do is hit that button right at the top that says Start My Project Roadmap. Until next time, this has been an episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday.