Implementation of a New Technology
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Successful introduction of a new technology to a company can be a stressful and difficult thing to do. This is because employees are comfortable with how they carry out their daily operations, and anything that seems new and complicated to them may face rejection. For this reason, some companies are reluctant to introduce new technologies to their workers for fear of wasting money, and time on something that will not be adopted (Ode n. pag.). However, with the benefits that come with new technologies such as increased efficiency, reduction in labor costs, better working conditions etc, managers of organizations should not fear familiarizing their employees with new technologies. This paper focuses on how a new technology can successfully be implemented in an organization, including the project plans, implementation plans and training plans involved, and the support strategies to be employed.
Conducting a research before carrying out any project is extremely significant. From research, important information is discovered that will help in the implementation process (Simon n. pag.). Prior to implementation of the new technology, a research should be conducted on the costs required to introduce the new technology, and how it will impact on your company.
A research on the time required to accomplish the implementation process, as well as the resources that will be needed is also vital. No one would want a technology that will become irrelevant to the needs of the company in the near future; therefore, thorough research should be done to find out how long the new technology will remain relevant. Analysis of the research information is required to help in decision making when designing a project plan.
A project plan details the goals and objectives of implementing the new technology. This information will help you in explaining to the employees how the company will benefit from the new technology. Also to be included in the plan is the time frame required for the entire implementation process with a step by step explanation on how the project will be implemented. This will act as a guideline on what to do at what time, so that the project does not take longer or shorter than expected. A budget with all the resources required including equipments, purchase and installation of software applications, training fee, logistics etc should be drawn to give the management an estimate of how much the project will cost, so that they can decide whether it is feasible or not (Simmon n. pag.). Of equal importance, is inclusion of the roles and responsibilities of each person in the project plan; this will help avoid cases of disagreements among people who are scrambling for the same responsibility. The project plan should also contain the expectations, assumptions and the ground rules that will guide how the project will be done (Ganly n. pag.).
Once a thorough analysis of the benefits and the risks involved in introducing the new technology to a company is done, and decision has been made to go ahead with its implementation, it is important to involve all stake holders that will be affected by the technological changes. The support of the employees cannot be ignored as it determines whether the implementation of the new technology will succeed or not (Simmon n. pag.). As much as the upcoming introduction may be exciting to a company’s management, not all workers will feel the same way. Some of the workers may not be flexible enough to agree to change their routines, while others may be feel that the new technology might affect them negatively i.e. through job losses or reduction in the number of working hours.
Meeting with stakeholders
Because of the tension and confusion among your employees over the issue, as the manager of the organization, it is important to set up a meeting immediately with employees to clear up any doubts that they may have (Paula n. pag.). In the meeting, the reasons why the new technology should be implemented in the company should be explained to the employees. Telling the employees the benefits of the new technology to the organization is not enough; create excitement among them by stating clearly what they stand to benefit if they agree to adopt the new technology for instance, letting them know that the new technology will enable them to spend less energy and time to perform their tasks.
The employees should be given all the information they will require to fully comprehend what the technology is about. If possible, a video should be shown to them to give them an overview of what to expect when the actual technology becomes operational. Openness is very important; during the meeting with the employees, the manager should be as open as possible with them, informing them about every detail of the technology. This will enable them to be conversant with the new idea, have a broader perspective of the project and ask questions where they feel they do not understand. It is expected that workers will be thrilled, anxious, uncomfortable or disappointed because of the upcoming change. Despite this, the manager should ensure that he tells them what is required of them for the implementation process to be successful (Simmon n. pag.). For example, if the training will be done eight hours daily for two weeks before the actual launch, the message should be conveyed to employees in a clear and understandable manner. It is also important to ask employees to be dedicated in order to learn the new technology; this will help them adjust to the new working conditions and environment.
Proper training of staff prior to the actual launch of a new technology is important (Simmon n. pag.). A seminar, workshop or a class room-based training for the employees should be scheduled. As a manager, it is possible that you may not be conversant with everything to do with the new technology; it is advisable to seek the services of specialists in that area to teach the workers how the technology works. Give each and every person a training manual before the training commences so that they have an idea of what they will be taught. Explain to your employees the benefits of working with the new technology as opposed to the one that they are used to, and how the technology will ease their work. This will motivate them to want to know more about the technology. Workers at the lowest rank in the management of the company are the ones who are bound to reject or find it hard to adjust to the new technology (Mehrmann n. pag.). More time should be dedicated to them until they fully understand how the technology works. It is easier to penetrate to the top, once employees at the lowest management level accept the technology. For those who have difficulty in comprehending the technology in group training, a one-on-one training with them should be arranged so that they are taught slowly until they are at par with their colleagues.
The training should be made more exciting and lively, by allowing employees to actively participate i.e. through asking simple questions or calling on them to help you demonstrate something. This makes them feel part of the training thus, it is easier for them to open up and ask questions freely and understand better. As much as the management may want the training to be completed quickly to save on time, and money, it will be needless to rush if only a few employees will benefit from it. It is proper to let workers set the pace of learning to enable them understand better, as well as, to find out which areas they do not understand that requires review (Simmon n. pag.).
As a motivational strategy, incentives should be introduced, that will see the employees who successfully put into use the new technology to achieve the set objectives, rewarded. This will be a win-win situation for everyone; the company will gain from the implementation of the new technology, while the employees will commit themselves to learning in order to win the price. If it is possible that the training can be rehearsed or practiced, the staff should be encouraged to do so, so as to feel more conversant and comfortable with the new technology. The actual implementation requires that the project plan be followed strictly. The implementation process should be monitored to know the progress and success of the technology.
Lastly, support strategies should be established by the management, and the planning team to reinforce the new technology. This will enable the technology to remain relevant in the market thus, enhancing the company’s competitiveness. According to Carcone (n. pag.), the strategies include; feasibility studies on the lifespan of the new technology, when it will become irrelevant, and the necessary upgrades needed incase there is market competition. In addition, a support team should be set up to monitor closely the performance of the new technology, after which they should report to the management on the necessary adjustments required.
In today’s business world that is marked by technological changes and competition, companies must keep themselves abreast with the latest technological innovations in order to be a head of competition and remain relevant. However, introducing a new technology to a company can be so stressful to the point that some companies prefer not to risk doing so for fear of rejection. For a successful implementation of a new technology, every company should take the initiative to prepare their employees adequately and properly for the changes through communication, training and support.
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