Changing corporate technology? Train people!
Having a hard time implementing a big technology change in your organization? It’s a people problem. It’s always a people problem.
If you want to ensure that your bright new idea succeeds—the project that you unabashedly describe in your presentations as a "digital transformation"—be sure to bring the users along from the start of the project and train them with the requisite knowledge before the product launch date is announced.
IT professionals think in terms of technology: What can they accomplish with some kind of technology transformation? They see a streamlined workflow, a better tracking system, or immediate notification of system downtime. Yet, technologists may discover that the people who are affected by those improvements are often reluctant to operate in the transformed environment. In response, IT leadership may think in terms of overcoming user resistance when there is a slowdown in project progress.
However, it would be wiser to consider the challenges that occur when people confront change and include that step in the initial project plan. That is, if you’re going to yank the rug out from under employees' feet, make sure they know it’s coming, why you’re taking away a perfectly good rug, and why you believe the new floor covering will make them even happier than they were before.
Any large IT transformation impacts people who work for or with the company. (If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be much of a transformation.) The more you change, the more users must learn new processes, roles, and tools. If you don’t explain how the new system can benefit them, you cannot achieve the expected outcomes.
Think about how a digital transformation will affect employees early on—in the initial design process. These are the people who must deal with the application’s new user experience and respond to customer problems when things don’t work. If you don’t serve their needs, how can employees serve the organization’s goals?
Work toward understanding
When users don’t understand the tools, are confused by new business processes, haven’t been asked what they need, and aren’t on board with changing what they already know, it stalls the project and prevents the organization from making the improvements that genuinely create an appreciable benefit.
In short, any new technology introduction would be better if you explain it, train people to use it, and manage expectations.
Within the workforce, there is also a new generation of workers. They demand new methods for professional learning and career development. Traditionally, training has been delivered in live, instructor-led training or live consulting initiatives—and sometimes that has meant important user communities were left out.
Organizations can no longer afford to send all of their people to live training. Aside from financial costs, there is an impact to employees being out of the office. Moreover, the acceleration of technology change and scope of change requires large numbers of people to be supported throughout the process.
We took that to heart. In HPE Digital Learner, HPE's new training platform, we organize community engagement, project communication, and learning information. We realized we needed an approach to help customers be successful with technology transformation. We want your people to be front and center in transformation planning. I hope you'll take the time to explore it.
This article/content was written by the individual writer identified and does not necessarily reflect the view of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.