Tweet it: '4 Principles For Managing Technological Change'
On a recent trip to Shanghai China, 100% due to my own failings to invest some time in learning even the essentials of local language and customs, I found myself lost at times.
Even accomplishing simple tasks like a taxi ride across the city required some extra thought and preparation.
It was only on getting some pointers from some trusted colleagues, and our patient local partner, that I quickly gained some momentum and after a few days ventured solo into the busy Metro and was navigating around from this point with no issues.
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This experience is perhaps a very simple analogy for the struggles some of our clients have faced before coming to Deltek. Because technology as an industry has its own complex language, customs and practices. Clients are putting a great deal of faith in you when they partner, in order to bring about technological change that will impact the organisation and guide decisions for years to come.
Our mission is powering project success for our clients and we have a strong focus to establish deep client partnerships. Given that the pace of change is quickening within our industry, it’s never been more imperative to understand the organisational language, strategy and focus of our clients in order to make transformations succeed.
Partnering with leaders across the professional services industry has allowed me to identify four key principles for managing technological change.
1. Maintain Collective Focus On The Future Business Strategy And Model
Starting the project by reviewing the organisations current processes against industry best practice that will be used to manage the new rhythm of business, and accountability, is paramount.
From our Deltek perspective, if your ERP solution is industry-specific best practice and provides the ability to interact across the business then you will be in a position to create greater, effective alignment and implementation of your strategy. Many of a company’s most important processes and solutions are those that cross business units, connect departments and create fluidity.
If you look outside the existing silo’s, remove whatever is generating complexities and simplify processes, you will find yourself on-route to a high performance organisation.
2. Don't Underestimate The Impact Of The Change & Get Full Team Buy-In
Without proper motivation, people tend to underutilise new technology.
When new projects are rolled out, inherited habits and dated processes can sabotage the true value of project benefits. Aside from a faster implementation period, Deltek places huge importance on adoption because it allows employees to fully embrace their new solution and process. This makes it far more time effective, lowers risk due to fewer errors, and improves cost effectiveness.
Starting early by training key business owners to coach others and providing 24/7 dedicated emergency support all ease the transition for our clients. And yet beyond this our partnership with clients on adoption must encompass the real value of the new business process and intrinsically connect it to and be consistent with corporate strategy, to effectively mobilise the transformation across the firm.
"Without proper motivation, people tend to underutilise new technology."
3. Limit Your Software And Process Customisations
A common mistake is investing in customisations that add little value when best in class, off-the-shelf solutions incorporating best practice processes, can achieve your organisation’s goals.
Initial desires for customised features, are often grounded in the past, and it is our mutual responsibility with clients to ensure they fade very quickly. The cost to build and support should always be assessed against a hard business value. It is quite literally high maintenance.
Find a partner that has a pure focus on your industry. Because our solutions solely support project based professional service firms, we mobilise existing clients with newer clients to form user groups of customers of similar size. They share business issues as part of the Deltek community which helps us direct them to try other options that have already been successful, are less expensive and risky.
4. Establish Effective Project Controls Tailored For Industry Success
Scoping the project properly at the outset lays the groundwork for risk management and the identification of business critical issues to implement effective controls. The importance of these are often not emphasised enough at the outset, and if they are, can frequently lose momentum.
Controls need to be established in partnership and revisited along the journey to support you at all stages of your implementation cycle. Efficient operational controls minimise risk and maintain integrity of information especially during day to day interference activities and conversions.
Deltek like to explore key time scales, create plausible scenarios and develop action plans based on our client’s most favourable outcomes. Continual monitoring means we can test the company’s strategic direction and incorporate risk management into our strategic analysis. We want our clients to have a clearer view of the future. And that’s because as a partner who has worked on similar projects for similar companies we are rarely taken by surprise.
We can add unique expertise to methods and risk mitigation strategies that are already working for the world’s leading global project based organisations.
"Scoping the project properly at the outset lays the groundwork for risk management and the identification of business critical issues to implement effective controls."
Choosing The Right Partner
All anybody wants to know when they enter a partnership and in return for their investment, is whether everything will be OK. And we want to know this very quickly.
Which is why choosing the right partnership, and correct SaaS solutions that have industry specific capabilities, are user friendly and adaptable to future needs is paramount.
I might add, that you want to combine this with partners who have achieved notable success with your own peers and deeply care about the projects risks and successful outcome.
At Deltek we are not trying to be all things to all people. We only serve project based organisations and our clients are everything. It’s a big bold statement but one I can get behind, from my years of experience here. That said, having faced the issues I discuss here we know how to expertly overcome them and keep projects moving by managing relevant risks.
Not everything can be perfect, I accept that, but what matters most is that our clients trust in our partnership, can communicate with us, with active support to overcome any issues. On reflection technological partnerships can often feel like a brave venture when in reality should be a safe course.
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