How often have we heard that some new technology is ready to be implemented? Systems have been checked, user acceptance has been looked into and the environment is ready to deploy! Yet, capabilities have barely been understood, workflow streams are not in place and new roles and responsibilities have not been suitably discussed. This situation is all too familiar.
Today, an organisation that is operationally ready to provide services has the right people at the right place at the right time, working with the right technology in accordance with the right processes and procedures. Readiness is a fundamental part of ensuring your project success.
In this series we guide you through the steps we have found successful in ensuring operational readiness for data-driven transformation. The series is broken into three articles- this first one dealing with the most vital part of a project: People.
Build appetite. It is so important that everyone is pulling in the same direction when going through change. When we deployed our Space Finder tool in hospital theaters, an artificial intelligence solution to help operating lists run more efficiently, we find that using data to demonstrate the need for change, rather than intuition and anecdotes, is a powerful way to build consensus.
Embrace innovation together. Change requires people to be brave, innovative and sometimes to make mistakes. In our experience we have found that people find it difficult to start working in a new way until there is wide-spread adoption of the new technology. Be supportive to each other throughout the process.
Build Trust. Work to establish a culture where people have confidence in the inputs and enablers to the system. For instance, when implementing Space Finder, we make sure people trusted the inputs (waiting list, theatre activity, etc). If not, regardless of the power and greatness of your product, the team will find it difficult to trust outputs - resulting in low usability of the tool. Validate it with them.
Communicate. Create an environment of open and wider communication, where the proposal to move to a new software and its strategy have been communicated and bought into. This will help to build the trust and alignment needed to work through the change.
Learn together. In order to deliver on the aims of a new product, your team must have the skills, competencies and capabilities required in handling technology driven changes. Involve your team in proposals – their assistance and understanding of the situation and organisation will be exceptionally helpful in overcoming common hurdles.
Train & upskill. Provide all team users with adequate training and support to understand and use new technologies, with opportunities for questions and answers.
Lead openly. Adopt a management leadership style that is participative, focused defining the interactions among the leaders in the organisation and how they are perceived by those that they manage.
Preparing for change as an organisation isn’t easy, handling uncertainty in a time of limited time and resources. Ultimately, being ready for change has to come from within your organisation, where each business owner should be involved and accountable to make their team operationally ready, while establishing the governance to deliver success in the long-run.
If you are in the midst of a system implementation and have not planned for readiness, perhaps it is best to follow an old Turkish Proverb: ‘’No matter how far down the wrong road you have travelled, turn back’’.