What to Consider When Introducing Emerging Technology
These days, studying and adopting emerging technology is now an essential part of any growing company. Companies often dedicate time and resources to learning how a technology might impact their work and clients, but they often forget to plan for rollout and adoption with their teams. Developing a plan that addresses team concerns, clarifies expectations for use, and helps them see the value of these new tools is essential to getting from a strategy to a well-adopted new practice.
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Include the user
People fear change when they don’t fully understand it. Companies can help their teams adopt new technology by keeping them in the loop.
- Explain how the technology works. Knowledge has always been the greatest tool to combat fear. When the team understands how the tech works, they will feel more comfortable using it.
- Give them a chance to respond. Letting them have a voice in the process will ultimately give them more ownership over the decision. When planning for adoption at scale, keep checking on those using the new tech!
Consider your workspace
Many of these technologies will change the way we are using our offices, warehouses, and plants. Make sure the team helps establish the ways routines and workflows will change for employees.
- Review current workflows. How will adopting this tech change the way the team interacts in their space? Does the workplace need to be updated to accommodate the new tech?
- Who else will this impact? Introducing new tools and solutions may passively impact other team members working in the same space. How does space and workflows need to change to protect their work?
Define and share use cases
With any new technology, the skies are the limit, but it shouldn’t be. Folks will feel more comfortable when everyone understands how to use the technology.
- Use cases should be clearly defined and available for the entire team to review. This is the foundation for maintaining accountability with the team. These boundaries will increase adoption and reduce the concerns from the team by keeping everyone on the same page.
- Teams should feel comfortable holding each other accountable. With clear expectations for how a new solution is being used, it becomes easier to address moments outside of the use cases.
Be responsible for security
The fastest way to lose all the work put into a successful launch is with a security breach. Companies adopting new technologies need to fold them into their company security plan.
- Decide who will own managing the equipment. This includes keeping the accompanying software up to date.
- Decide who will work update the network alongside our security team. New tech always presents new potential vulnerabilities to our systems.
Evangelize the upside of the new technology
Adoption is not a “one and done” event, but a period where the team will learn, adopt, iterate, and master new practices. Find key adopters. Keep them excited.
- The team will often reflect a leader’s energy, or it will positively affect them. Keep the excitement high while moving towards adoption. Remind them often of the benefits!
- Make sure early adopters are committed to the plan. There will often be hiccups when implementing a new technology. Keep positive attitudes in these moments and encourage teams to focus on a solution.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat The Vision. “Say anything enough and people will believe it.” It’s true. Keep the team updated on setbacks, solutions, and milestones. Give early adopters time to share their stories. This will make the vision feel more authentic.
Companies can put hours and talented people towards finding new technologies that will improve their business and the experience for their customers. Developing a rollout plan that considers users, space, and security set up an exciting, successful rollout that makes employees and clients happy.
Jim Coe is a project manager at Shockoe. His experience with ministry, education, and entrepreneurship provide unique insights into product development and adoption. Jim holds a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary and a BA in English Literature and Religious Studies from Alma College.