Critical steps for technology changes

New technology roll-outs can lead to difficult change management processes. Here’s how your organisation can be ready for the ‘Go Live’ date.

Upgrading your organisation’s technology systems can be a struggle. For example, changing your office’s IT systems from Microsoft 7 to Microsoft 8, or installing a new payroll system, has the potential to fail miserably.

Arlene Wherrett, managing director, APAC at Bluewolf, argues that this doesn’t have to be the case.

“There are a number of change management elements that are essential to a technology rollout,” she said. “Using some or all of these five practices throughout the process allow for a better end result for the employee, organisation and most likely your customer.”

1. User acceptance testing: This is one of the most vital practices an organisation should undertake before going live. This gives you a chance to apply test cases and evaluate functionality in terms of desired outcomes before launching the roll-out business-wide.

2. Dress rehearsals: As with show-business this is the first time all the elements of the rollout come together. It allows all facets to be evaluated side-by-side to ensure any major system miscommunications can be addressed prior to Go Live.

3. Pilots: The pilot is the first time the technology is tested in a real-world situation. In essence one business unit goes live for a period of time while the rest of the business continues to use the old system to refine usability before rolling out company-wide.

4. Phased rollout: After the success of your pilot phase, the Go Live is gradually rolled out by business unit, while the old system continues to operate side-by-side.

5. Post Go Live support: Crucial to the success is the support post rollout. Both technology and behavioural change support will be needed during the first days, weeks and months of using the new system. A comprehensive post Go Live support function will benefit the uptake of your technology rollout no end.

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