Implementing a new system or process into your business is always going to be a challenge. At some point we’ve all experienced challenges such as time, money, processes etc, but the real nasty one, the one we all leave right to the last minute, is telling your employees about the new process or system.

The first mistake we make is not giving employees the option to give feedback before we implement a new system / process. As managers, it’s very easy to say, “this system is great and you need to use it.” Ask yourself, have you really thought this through? Are you going to be the daily user of this process or system? Most of the time, the answer is no, your employees are.

The biggest problem here is not getting buy-in from your team before making the decision to change or implement a new system. Ultimately your team are the ones who will drive any system or process that is implemented, so it is imperative that they own the decision.

We’ve found following these 4 steps help get the buy in you need to ensure a successful implementation:

Step 1: Acknowledge

Before making the decision to implement a new or replacement process or system, you must clearly understand your reasons for doing so. Very often a new process is due to rectify serious issues in an existing process, so the first critical step is to actually acknowledge that the existing process is not ideal – particularly if you implemented in the first place at which time you would have thought it was the greatest but now have to acknowledge you made a mistake.

Step 2: Choosing the right process or system

Before you decide on what process or system is right for you, you need to work backwards. Understand your end goal, what do you want to achieve from implementing this process or system? Once you know this you will have far more insight into what options you have and can immediately eliminate options that won’t work for you.

Step 3: Benefits, not features

Everybody loves new features; we get over-excited about every feature a new product can offer us, but at the end of the day, the feature isn’t what’s important, the benefits are. In step 1 we understand what we want from our new process or system, the benefit is what gives us this outcome. Once your team have a positive experience to these benefits, they will understand the need for the new process or system and begin to drive it themselves.

Step 4: Owning the idea

The people that are going to use the process or system the most, need to own the idea and decide what to implement. By giving them choices that make sense to your business and choosing the final product, you will empower them with a system they believe will work for them. With this ownership you will see astonishing results when it comes to the use of the system or following of new processes.

What I have personally found has been crucial to my own success with implementing new systems, is identifying those 2 or 3 champions that love the idea of the new process or system. Having employees who are driving from the inside always helps make the implementation of new processes or systems that much easier.

Sam Thomas | Traffic Manager | Hero says ” It is imperative that you have a clear idea of what your ideal internal process is (or should be) and the vision for your business.
Armed with this information, it will ensure that all existing data (from the old system) is aggressively evaluated for its usefulness, before importing it into the new system.
The quality of your data will have a direct bearing on your company’s efficiency and earning potential.”

Catherine Mavrocoleas | Head of Client Service | Stretch Experiential Marketing says “Implementing a new system can be a big task for any size company. I find that ensuring that the processes & documentation are complete and concise before training really helps make this smoother.

Another method I use to ensure that the wider company gets onboard quickly is to choose some key staff members to help train the wider team. If they are 100% involved and onboard it will definitely help get everyone up to speed quicker.”

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