The challenge of embedding and integrating technology
Both requirements and solutions dance on a fast-moving floor. Keeping in step and getting it right is a challenge, especially when both tech options and our needs rapidly evolve.
Even so, you have developed a vision and a roadmap and have deployed the right solutions – great – but did it deliver the promises you hoped for?
This is the challenge of embedding your technology. Ultimately a deep adoption is key to deliver on your investment and avoid a perforated promise. Your new tech will give you that revolution but afterwards there is a new country to govern with new processes and skills to be developed. Poor deployment will, of course, undermine adoption but so will assuming it was successful. How are you measuring your success and are you listening to what is happening on the ground? Do you have performance information on hand, quality measures and good governance in place? Are you finding new solutions did not kill off or replace all those processes as envisaged?
A tech solution is not a destination but a ladder that also enables smaller incremental steps. Each step may mean tackling a process iceberg (with its deep unknown depths) which has manifested into a stubborn resistant point to new adoption. Does the tech meet the needs of the entire process or not? If not, be quick to review, quick to respond, quick to re-engineering the solution, or the process itself.
Previously identified problematic areas (the ‘known unknowns’) are often deferred to later stage of a road map. This may be practical in the short term but deferment can allow a problem to solidify into a problem island. In addition, unpicking and re-working a new solution, that was on the face-of-it assumed to be successful, saps energy and motivation from other roadmap deployments.
Anticipate some failure into your plan and allow for some unknown issues and flexible responses, this helps define realistic expectations and avoid spinning the win later. Holding firm against compromising success markers is essential but also recognize there are many steps to optimum integration and adoption.
New solutions provide new opportunities for people. From the outset did you trust and empower your people? Outside consultation help to define requirements and configure tech solutions but your own assets are best placed to implement change – and embed them into your organisation as part of best working practices.
Success is often dependent on people changing their habits – if a habit is hard to break then maybe the people’s needs are not fully addressed. For example, data cutover from old to new processes may leave operational gaps in the business, forcing old processes to partially remain. Meet your resistance points head on and do not go around them.