Introducing new technology into an organization can be a difficult and time-consuming task. “Enterprises cannot effectively implement technologies such as the Internet, Intranets, extranets, group support systems, and knowledge management without drastically changing the way business operates” (Regan & O’Connor, 2002). The employees of the organization must accept the new technology to create a smooth transition. Employees are defined by the culture in the organization which is predominantly influenced by the leaders. The leaders are responsible for communicating all aspects of the technological changes to their staff.
“For each new technology introduced to an organization, there will be stages of implementation that include resource development (budget), evaluation, selection, installation, training, pilot projects, mini-implementations, and, finally, full implementation” (Learning Point Associates, 2010). Throughout this process, communication is vital. Communication of changes should include project plans, implementation plans, training plans, and support strategies. Project Plans
Project plans should be communicated through a project team. The project team should include a group of multidisciplinary people that have the knowledge and skills required to properly introduce the new technology. The individuals that comprise this team should include someone who helped develop the technology, the person responsible for the installation of the technology, the person responsible for the operations of the technology once installed, and someone from the management team for the organization implementing the new technology. This group will be the decision-makers for any concerns that arise through the communication and implementation process.
The project team is responsible for developing the plans to implement the technology smoothly. Their communication to the individuals of the organization should be prepared in advance with all possible questions already analyzed. If any individuals of the organization have questions or concerns, this team should be available to address them. The project plans should be communicated with milestones, flow charts, and other tools that allow the necessary individuals to understand the time-table of the project implementation. Visual aids and progress reports should be available for anyone who is affected by the change. Possible communication styles could include email updates, bulletin board postings, and meetings.
Unlike project plans, implementation plans need to be communicated to all individuals that are impacted by the implementation. This allows the employees to be prepared for the change and understand how to transition smoothly. The employees need to be informed of what changes will occur during implementation, what areas of their jobs will be impacted, and what they can do from an operational standpoint to manage their position effectively while the transition is occurring.
“The people implementing developed technology also have to cope with the day-to-day business as usual while they prepare for the transition to the new technology. They, in effect, have to do two jobs” (Learning Point Associates, 2010). The employees need to understand what their responsibilities are during the implementation process. This is the prime opportunity to share the benefits of the new technology with the employees to keep morale up during the change.
Communicating the implementation plan should be done verbally. The easiest way to do this is to have an employee meeting with all impacted employees. The project team should be available for a question and answer session at the end of the meeting. Having a smaller meeting with a few of the top performing employees before the full-employee meeting would allow the project team to assess potential concerns.
Employees are naturally...