Implementing a new IT system for your business can be a daunting task. Many people find it difficult to initiate and cope with change, as well as to agree with colleagues on what the best way forward can be. Yet, it is important for every modern-day business who wants to maintain a competitive advantage within their market to implement and continuously improve upon their systems and processes. This challenging task requires buy in from all employees but must be driven by managers with a wholistic view of the business. Here are a few important points to take note of when implementing new systems:
- Communicate effectively between all stakeholders. Communication is imperative as there needs to be a uniform understanding of why the system is being implemented and how the perceived value of the system will be derived. Communication will also help to ensure a smoother, less disruptive implementation process
- Understanding user-requirements. When implementing a new system, it is important to discuss any and all requirements that a user might need to ensure that they can use the system effectively. This is best done through continuous discussions with many different types of users. Even if a system solves all of your internal problems, if a user finds it difficult to use, or too cumbersome, then they will not want to use it.
- Create a contingency plan. There are always risks which can be realized when implementing new systems. It is important to identify all of these risks, rank them in terms of severity and likelihood of occurring, and ensure that for each risk there is an adequate contingency plan in case something goes awry.
- Train users and offer support. To ensure that users get the best value out of the system, upskill your staff with training on how to properly use the system. Not only will this help ensure the system is operated smoothly, it also helps to boost the confidence of the users as well as increases their morale. Support will also be necessary in case users need additional help post the training period. For this, you can either higher a new dedicated support staff or upskill one of your current employees to assist others.
It is important to remember that systems implementation can be an iterative process. There are always new technologies being released and better ways to optimize processes. Thus, it is important to keep your eyes open for any new opportunities that might come about and keep your ears open to any feedback from users as to how they believe the system can be improved.