Choosing a new technology, solution or partner is often a long, intensive process. As important as the decision is, the real work starts after it’s made. To get the full value of your new investment, you must have a thorough, well-designed implementation plan. In this blog post, I’ll share four proven strategies for integrating new initiatives into your current workflow. These strategies will help you avoid costly disruptions, user frustration and wasted resources.
#1: Connect choosers to users
In most cases, the people who make the decision to bring in a new product or partner are not the same group as those who will be ultimately applying the product or working with the partner. Before anything else can be successful, you need to bridge that gap with open communication. Clearly explain what is changing, why it is changing, and what you’re trying to accomplish with this change. Make it tangible and specific, so users fully understand how this change relates to and affects them. Most importantly, you need to make sure communication flows both ways to ensure continuity. This means posing the conversation as a discussion, opening up time for questions, and inviting feedback.
#2 Know what you’re shooting for
Establishing reporting measures and expectations is an essential part of initiating any new process, but it is especially critical when that new process or product requires a significant operational and financial investment. You need to be able to prove ROI and meaningful impact that ties to set goals. Set a clear procedure for collecting and evaluating all data, starting with a baseline measurement to establish your starting point.
#3 Train for competency > completion
We all know what it’s like to sit through a long, tedious training and ultimately get very little from it. Perhaps we were too busy to pay attention, the content felt irrelevant to us, or the training was poorly executed. To avoid these common pitfalls and better engage your staff, design training that is aimed at competency rather than completion. This approach includes:
- Carving out dedicated time for staff to train
- Temporarily adapting workload to encourage training focus
- Facilitating an interactive learning environment
- Running scenarios or simulations to test understanding and ability
- Regularly providing refreshers or ‘pop quizzes’ to keep staff current with the latest updates and changes
The point of it all is to draw your stakeholders into these initiatives and make sure they are well-equipped to get the most out of your investments.
#4 Integrate and optimize
Now that you’ve done the foundational work, you’re ready to start scaling. This is where the managers of the end users identify the “how” of it all. Process optimization methodologies (think: Lean Six Sigma, PDCA) are immensely helpful at this stage, as they guide leaders through key integration questions, including:
- What does our process look like without the new product or tool?
- What are the goals we are trying to accomplish with this tool or product?
- Where will the tool or product best fit into the current workflow?
- What red flags are we watching for?
If the answers to these questions are still murky, go back to the drawing board. The last thing you want to do is rush through an implementation and make unnecessary mistakes. Take your time to get everyone on the same page.
Our goal at MedeAnalytics is not just to hand you a powerful analytics solution and say our goodbyes. We’ll be with you through training, implementation and impact review. Contact us to learn more.
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