There are many considerations that have to be addressed when examining the technology or tool that your organization plans on implementing. So how do you support change in an organization? Begin at the center of it all, with its people.
When your organization makes the decision to start down the path of a strategic vision for it’s technology infrastructure future, you’ll be faced with a flood of questions:
- Where do we start when it comes to implementing new software?
- Why isn’t what we have good enough?
- Why do we need to invest in technology?
- How can we ensure that we will be successful?
- What’s the right technology for us?
While these are all important questions, they start with the technology and end state in mind. In order to be successful, an organization must begin by examining its people, then be open to critical thinking about their processes, before moving to implementation. Without these two components, the technology is at risk to fail due to low adoption and employee buy in.
This is the first part of a three-part series, which reviews the critical components that make a digital transformation successful: people, process and technology. Keep reading:
Build your team: Addressing critical roles
The first question that an organization must ask is “Are we ready for this change?” A software migration and adoption is a heavy lift for an organization of any size, and for it to be successful, a number of important roles need to be employed. While not necessarily required to be filled by a dedicated full-time staff person, these roles identify a specific perspective of the project that need a person who is focused on it through that lens.
No project of significant scope for an organization can be successful without a champion at the senior level. Someone who supports the technology roadmap, is a driving force behind the implementation, provides the strategic vision for the organization, and communicates why this initiative is important. While not required to be hands-on through the process and understanding the minutia of the project, they must understand the positive impact the project will have on the organization and be able to communicate that impact to its staff. Think of this person as your biggest cheerleader for all those involved.
Uber-organized, deadline driven and detailed oriented. The Project Manager is the primary interaction point with your implementation partner in planning and executing the project timeline. They are ensuring that the meetings are scheduled at times everyone can attend, the right people are in attendance at each meeting, taking notes on action items and assigning parties who are responsible for next steps with deadlines. This is your enforcer, ensuring that deliverables are being met and decision are being made by everyone involved.
The technology lead, your captain. They are learning the ins and outs of the system and becoming your super user for all aspects of the platform. During implementation they are gathering business requirements, assisting to translate those requirements to the implementation partner and taking the lead on the build out of the solutions. They are also taking the lead with a team of staff during User Acceptance Testing (UAT) to ensure that all systems are working as intended and identifying any bugs or hurdles prior to go-live. After go-live, your system admin transitions into your system owner for day-to-day maintenance, troubleshooting and enhancements.
While your System Admin will have a keen understanding of finance as it’s part of the larger system picture, having a key stakeholder from the accounting or finance department with a solid background in GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) is crucial. From the start, this individual is the expert on financial procedures, revenue policies, and should be included in every phase of your project as finance is embedded in nearly every business unit and process.
Salesforce Business Analyst
While your system admin is focused on the system as it sits today, your Business Analyst role is writing the playbook - planning forward on how the system is going to evolve and grow to meet future business needs. In some orgs, this can also fall within the purview of the Executive Sponsor. This individual will have a keen awareness of business operations, understand current challenges and always thinking about how to use the system to reduce friction points in the future.
Departmental Experts/Super Users
Each of your departments are going to use the system in different ways with respective interests and value propositions. Be sure to provide these folks (your fan base!) a forum to become your feedback loop on the successes and challenges with the system. Regular feedback from finance, camp, program staff, early childhood school, membership, administration teams and others will provide the critical information about adoption and user experience that will help you to evolve your system going forward.
No technology project can be successful without first talking about the all-stars who are going to manage the initiative and drive its adoption. With these critical roles established as your line up, your team will be well on your way to a winning rollout.
At Traction Rec, we love to work with great teams and have fun while we do it. Creative team names, themed shirts and public recognition of the efforts make the long days that much easier, so have fun with it.