Before implementing any new technology, it is important to make sure that it aligns with user needs. Take time to understand the real-world situations when different departments would be using the technology and how it can help improve communications and drive efficiency. Would users be connecting from different offices over video, or need to share and annotate content? Once you understand use cases you can be confident the new technology will be used effectively. You can also tailor your training to include real-world scenarios of how different teams would use the technology. You should also outline the goals for the new technology implementation and how to determine success of the program.
Without a plan to get users familiar with the technology, you will encounter frequent issues along with hesitation or refusal to use the new solutions. You need to make sure the key groups identified early in the process incorporate the technology into their culture and help demonstrate the value of the program. These champions can help promote training throughout the rest of the organization. A detailed training program should be established that outlines what will be covered, the types of training events and who will conduct the sessions. Making training interactive and fun with games, incentives and different types of learning set ups will also help encourage usage and adoption. No one likes to waste their time in boring and unproductive training sessions. Make sure to offer training in different formats such as hands on real-world situations, virtual e-learning tools and instructor led classes. Don’t forget to consider how you will support the users as they become familiar with the technology, you should have an IT plan in place for frequent issues and questions that will come up during initial interactions.
Even after the initial training, users need quick references to help them understand how to use the technology. Putting together helpful guides or videos that feature example applications can provide quick access to the tools they need to get started. Keep all information in an easy-to-access location and provide ongoing training options for new employees. Make sure users know who to contact if there are issues and technical support is always available. If necessary, you can work with an outsourced managed service partner that has the expertise required to address issues with the complex technology and provide on-demand support to multiple offices. You can also train super users and provide ongoing training sessions to help ensure the technology is used as productive business tools.
Collaborative technology is not effective if it is not used or not utilized to its greatest extent. Put together user surveys to gain an understanding of how they use the technology, any issues they face and reasons why they might not be taking advantage of all the resources available to them. Consider implementing a Learning Management System that contains useful materials and tracks and reports on training programs. You can create standards to help create familiarity across offices and accelerate adoption. Also look into how to leverage the data from the technology to learn about system usage and common issues. These metrics will help you make more informed decisions regarding future technology implementations and user support. Providing ongoing communication and highlight successful example case studies of the technology in action will also help promote ongoing usage.