6 Tips for Successful Rollouts of New Processes

Implementing a new system is a time-intensive process, and your employees usually don’t see the effort and research that goes into selecting and developing that new process or technology. That’s why a change can feel sudden and often faces initial resistance, even if it is intended to save time and increase efficiency.

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When rolling out a new process or technology, you’ll typically encounter three types of end users: promoters, passive adopters, and detractors.

Promoters are the first ones to get on board, adopt the new system, and become advocates for the new way of doing things. Passive adopters are skeptical to begin with, but eventually adjust to the new process, usually with the assistance of promoters. Detractors are resistant to the change and will cling to the old process for as long as possible.

No matter which group your end users fall into, there are a number of strategies for successfully implementing a new process.

1. Identify Stakeholders

You need to have a thorough understanding of who a new process will affect and how it will affect them. Talk to those stakeholders to identify what other end users may be impacted – clients, etc. This step will help you anticipate potential resistance and pain points.

2. Create a Detailed Plan

A clear system rollout plan is critical for successful implementation. Create a schedule for the rollout process, including key dates and milestones, and share this schedule with end users. Don’t forget to factor in the phase-out process for the old system and check-in meetings to assess the new system.

3. Keep Detailed Records

Document everything – from the research phase to the rollout phase. Present a step-by-step guide that explains how to use the new process or technology. Present data and case studies that back it up. And take notes on any issues or pain points that arise. These notes can be used to create a troubleshooting guide.

4. Communicate

Communicating new policies and procedures is absolutely essential. Clearly identify the reason you’re implementing the new process and show how it will benefit the team. Keep everyone in the loop and listen to users’ input throughout the rollout process. Make yourself available for training and troubleshooting.

5. Sell Your System

Get creative with how you’re marketing the new process, even if it’s just within the company. Share success stories. Think about how you can present the new system in an engaging, dynamic way, rather than sending out a long email that’s bound to end up in the TL;DR pile.

6. Use Those Promoters

Rather than pushing a new process onto passive adopters and detractors, let the promoters pull them into the new way of doing things. Promoters are most likely to experience the immediate benefits of the new system. Encourage them to showcase those benefits and lend a hand in teaching more resistant team members. New hires can also serve as advocates, as their experience with the new process isn’t clouded by a history with previous processes.

Implementing a new process doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right planning, preparation, and a little elbow grease, you’ll see more efficient employees and a positive ROI.