Introducing an automated business process causes chaos in even the most well-run departments. Employees who mastered the old, manual system can feel alienated and unsure when new software is introduced.
What was once a job only they could do is now automated for everyone. This can make anyone feel threatened.
But these manual processes aren’t scalable. As the company grows, it’s impossible to hire someone new who has the expertise of these employees. Your most skilled employees become overwhelmed and overworked.
But for a company to grow, all processes need to scale so that multiple people can do them. As a business becomes more successful, every job done by one person becomes a department of many people. Companies look to automation and custom software to manage this problem.
In management’s desire to enable the company to grow, the very people they relied on for so long can be the ones who are most put-out by the new system. Instead of feeling proud of their accomplishment, they feel scared and unsure.
Managing the introduction of a new process can be challenging. In the flurry of technical details, it’s easy to forget the most important detail: the human element.
Have a definite, positive plan in place for existing employees. Let them know what their new roles will be, and work to get them excited at the new prospects. Making people feel secure can turn a reluctant, taciturn employee into a champion of the new system.
Managed well, the introduction of new software should be framed as the opportunity for a promotion and advancement for the existing employees. These employees become the next team leaders and managers. They become trainers, spreading their knowledge through the rest of the company. They hold the history of the organization.
At Burrows Technology we involve these expert employees in the software development process at every step. All requirements are run past them, all user interfaces are approved by them, and all user-acceptance testing is done by them. We assist your businesses change management efforts by doing everything we can to convince these invaluable employees to be cheerleaders of the new process.
Years after the new system is in place, they will be the only ones who know the answer to why things work the way they do. This institutional history is very important for smooth continuation of the business.
Change management is hard, it can be one of the biggest hurdles a company faces as it grows. But by facing it head-on and acknowledging the natural fears that change brings, by empathizing with the affected employees, a good management team can pull off the successful introduction of a new process smoothly and with great acclaim.