As we’ve discussed on the blog before, delivering a successful human-focused solution relies heavily on flexibility and adaptability. But what should teams do about the fears concerning the implementation and onboarding process? What if your team doesn’t use the new software and systems? Is it financially viable to invest in the new systems?
While it may seem unusual to discuss these concerns with your consultant, being open and unpacking your team’s fears is the first line of defence to alleviate your fears and ensuring your team’s success.
We interviewed some of our consultants about common fears their customers experience and how they have facilitated in helping to alleviate them.
Not getting Value for money
Restructuring and implementing a new system can be a costly exercise – it can become even more discouraging if you are not getting the desired outcome and value from the product.
It is paramount to first determine what constitutes low value for you and discuss it with your consultant. If you are unclear concerning the root cause of the undesired results, make use of The 5 WHYs – an effective way to get to the heart of a problem. Developed in the 1930s by Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries. The method is remarkably simple: when a problem occurs, you drill down to its root cause by asking “Why?” five times. Then, when a counter-measure becomes apparent, you follow it through to prevent the issue from recurring.
We have discussed Q x A = E equation before, but to recap, if you increase quality but you don’t increase adoption, the gains in efficiency will likely be very low. To really benefit from the new system and see good results, you need a high adoption rate.
For Ben Jones, our Team Enablement Lead, cost and results must play a balanced role in the mind of a customer. What is vital for Ben, is to show the value of the system through a demonstration of what the platform’s capabilities are and how it will make the work-life of the customer easier. If you are unsure about the value of what you are investing in, ask your consultant to showcase the platform for you. By seeing what the system can offer, will make it easier for you to recognise the return on investment.
Expectations: The platform is not what the customer envisioned
Occasionally, some customers might be disappointed with the platform – perhaps their expectations don’t match reality or some unexpected software limitations have come to the fore.
According to Alessandra Conca, the WNDYR European Consulting Team Lead, communication is key. It is important to address your expectations with your consultant before onboarding takes place. This will assist the consultant in ensuring that your expectations are met, as well as keep you in-check in terms of realistic goals.
Discuss finding alternative solutions with your consultant and take the time to ensure they are understanding your needs and feedback. A skilful consultant will slow down, know which questions to ask to best determine why you are dissatisfied and will guide you and your team through the solutions and options they have developed for you.
Time pressures: If you don’t use it, you lose it
One of the biggest challenges for consultants is making the customer understand that the fastest way to learn, is by learning slowly. While it might feel like a lot of time and effort initially, in the long run, this approach is the quickest route to efficiency.
The main concern here is that customers pay for platform onboard to make your life and your team’s life easier, however, you and your team don’t have the time to learn the new platform. If you don’t learn the platform, you cannot use the platform and your adoption rate and efficiency will plummet. Discuss any limitations or restraints with your consultant to ensure that they keep you on track during the onboarding process; for example, when and how they set homework assignments.
Low adoption can also be caused by a lack of training or lack of clarity. If you are in a leadership position, ensure that your team feels empowered to discuss their concerns or confusion with their consultant. If you or your team are using the tool for something it was not designed for, your consultant would need to review the process and identify a different way for the team to work within the tool.
Alicia Alexander, WNDYR Project Co-Ordinator suggests that consultants should help their customers focus on what the tool offers for each individual and not just the team or organisation. Assist your consultant in building individual value along with middle and upper management value to ensure an increase in adoption rate.
Lack of Leadership Support
Leadership buy-in during adoption and implementation is vital to keep a team motivated and to alleviate a team’s fears. Without leadership support, chances are that the rollout of the new system will not be successful and the organisation will not enjoy a good return on investment.
Your consultant can assist in reminding your leadership that they have made the choice to invest in a platform, they have invested money and time (at least you or your team’s time) and that their commitment to the platform will trickle down to the rest of the team.
Ask your consultant to set up specific training sessions designed to appeal to leadership, such as visibility on projects, project pipelines, fewer meetings and asset management capabilities. This will help leaders better understand how they would benefit from the platform and the importance of their voice for the rest of the users.
The obstacle is the way
Although there are no lions in the work-place, change can be as scary as a predator. Since your onboarding journey is a partnership with your consultant, it’s important to remember that communication is key. Your consultant is there to ensure that you and your team come to grips with the new systems, to understanding the value of the platform, and to help get leadership onboard.
Our solution designers and implementation consultants can help you rethink the way your organisation does work. Contact Prasoon Ranjan, our Vice President of Customer Success, for case studies and to find out more.