It is fairly typical of companies to want to start seeing fast results from recently deployed technology. And although adopting new technology can be a boon to your business, it needs to be done with consideration.
You’ve made a new technology purchase, changed a process (or changed quite a few) and now you’re ready to take advantage of the time savings and business optimization ROI that you’ve been promised.
So often we measure our success, or the success of our teams, based on KPIs, outcomes and measurable statistics. While these metrics are important and valuable, putting too much emphasis on desired outcomes of a project can undermine the journey to success.
Not long ago a manager on my team came to me for help around a challenge she was facing with her front-line staff. She was getting frustrated because a new tool and process was presented to the team and they just weren’t “getting it”. They would forget the process and enter information incorrectly, or they would ask her questions about things she had already covered. They would find work-arounds to a new process and grumble about wanting to do things the “old way”.
She felt like the project was a failure and expressed concern that all the time and effort she was spending on re-training and coaching was taking away from her “actual work”.
I could sense her growing frustration. So, I posed a question. “What if I told you that this time and effort spent WAS your actual work?”
I went on to explain that the pain, hard work and frustration – the difficult transitional period – was all part of the process of change management. This was work that was critical to her success in her management role. The change pains weren’t a failure; they were expected – an necessary effort that goes into every successful organizational change.
Once she was able to see it more objectively (It’s not you, or anything you’re doing, it’s just what change management “is”), I could see her visibly relax and start to feel more encouraged.
At the core, implementation and user adoption are built on a foundation of progressive goals and effort, which build in difficulty over time and require a lot of patience and reinforcement. Change management necessitates leadership that is tenacious and persistent. And it is hard work. But, it’s the job.It’s important to remember that by the time you see those measurable changes, the work is
complete. You’ve created new standard for your team. A new standard that you’ll now be challenged to outperform.