How to Ensure Successful Technology Onboarding
High-performing businesses combine people, process and technology to create unique and valuable products and services. With the rapid pace of innovation in today’s technology sphere — everything from basic email and messaging to collaboration tools and cloud-based applications to the very networks that provide access and deliver these key business tools — the ability to “onboard” a new technology successfully has never been more critical.
Change is best received when disruption to daily activities is minimized, the benefits of the change are clearly communicated and productivity is optimized. This is especially true in legal organizations, where ongoing case work and frequent court-ordered deadlines result in resistance to change. Therefore, onboarding new technology must be managed carefully with buy-in from the user community most affected by the change.
This starts with forming a stakeholder group composed of a cross-segment of functional roles, including technical teams and end users. Stakeholders should be organizational leaders, must embrace new and innovative technology, act as agents and promoters of change, and have the skills to communicate with and on behalf of their constituents. These are the members who directly influence the success of technology onboarding.
And while the length of a technology onboarding project can vary from weeks to months, an effective onboarding program should, at minimum, be comprised of the following components:
Project Management: A well-defined and easily understood project plan and schedule ensures that all parties are working toward the same end goal. The project manager must keep at the forefront of all activities the end goal of gaining the user community’s acceptance of the new technology.
Communication Plan: A strong communication plan is key to keeping project team members and, just as importantly, senior management informed about project progress, status and any risks. The communication plan should include sessions, such as lunch-and-learns or brown-bag events, to evangelize the benefits of the new technology and ease the user community into the change.