Things to expect when a new software is rolled out

I remember about more than a decade ago when we were rolling out salesforce.com in our office, there were so mixed feelings. The executive team was super excited with the anticipated boost in the productivity and efficiency of the sales teams but sales teams were frustrated with the amount of time they had to spend in front of the computer to enter the details.  They thought the time was being wasted, they should have been spending the time in calling or meeting the prospective clients.

This scenario is common.

The roll out team, which was led by me, was the master of the evils. For whole one week after the roll out, I ate my lunch alone but with lots of  butterflies in my stomach because there was intense resistance from the team.

If the reluctance from the sales teams was not making it harder, came the blow from the team whose main responsibility was to pull out the lists for a particular campaign and track them. They feared to lose their jobs. They were unsecured and constantly discussing their anxieties and creating a sense of disorder and disharmony.

But, twelve months later, all those hiccups were overcome and life became smooth again. From evils, we were slowly emerging as “innovation team”

This transition could have been shorter than twelve months, and our branding as “evils” could have been less dramatic if the following steps would have been planned:

Eliminate Fear – To fear is in human nature, especially fear of career and job can create a scenario of panic. The HR Managers must address all the fear and insecurities by having open sessions and discussion panels.

Training – Sales team was involved after the roll out was planned. They could have been evaluated and assessed earlier for their skill set and trained for the new role requirements. It is logical to give enough time to every team member so that they can absorb the change and be able to visualize the change. The more they will hear about it, the more visualizations they will have, the easier adoption.

Greater involvement in the roll out process – As they get involved they embrace the change as a challenge and whatever issues that arise, they like to handle it as a part of the team.

Get skill assessments – Teams that will be impacted must be trained for newer roles and positions before hand the rollout. This will eliminate the insecurities and negativities. This task must be planned and the skill matrix of the organization be updated. A good tool like BizMerlin provides the skill assessment tool and helps in planning the training activities.

Hire internally – HR Managers must float the new positions internally first so that the employees are given opportunities to change their career path if they feel uncomfortable with the changing demands of the role.

Generally, roll outs to a new software help to create better processes in the organization and also lead to enhancing productivity and efficiency. They are almost mandatory, so HR Managers must get ready to feel the winds of change when introducing a new software.

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