Your Next Tech Implementation Will Fail...
It’s a sad truth that in all likelihood your next ‘Tech’ implementation will fail.
Either you won’t get the full value it can deliver, or it will end up as ‘shelfware’ unloved and unused.
We’re going to look at some of the reasons why this happens, and more importantly what you can do to get full value from your technology.
We read a lot at the moment about ‘Techs’ at the moment, it seems to have become a bit of a buzzword. And there are a lot of them: FinTech, MarTech, InsTech, RegTech, etc.
They each refer to new technology driving finance, marketing, insurance, and regulatory compliance respectively. Many companies are adopting these solutions as our lives move increasingly online.
So, why do many companies fail to realise the full benefits of these new technologies?
Before we get into that it is important to acknowledge that this is far from a new phenomenon. Technology implementations have been failing ever since we started messing about with technology.
I’ve seen this in every sector I’ve worked in.
And no buzzword is going to change that. Because it’s not about the technology itself. It’s about how we use it. Which is why some companies succeed and others fail. Some put in the work needed to get the best from their tools and technology, others don’t.
Look at F1 racing. Twenty drivers, ten teams, meaning there are ten identical cars on the track. If it was all about their car, the tool they have to do the job, you’d expect both drivers to finish one behind the other quite often. A combination of work, talent, and experience mean they don’t. Some are better at extracting all the value the car has to offer.
Let’s make you more Hamilton, less Rosberg; more Vettel, less Webber.
Part of the fault for all this failure lies with the technology companies, or at least their marketing departments. They promote the tool as the solution to whatever dysfunction your business is suffering from. And while it might very well be the solution, it’s never as simple as installing or signing up and doing a bit of user training.
This is where the fault switches to the companies themselves. They’re looking for a simple solution. Most people don’t like complexity, they want the answer to be simple. We see this in almost every aspect of the human condition. So, they install the shiny new tool, train the users, and wonder why they still have a problem. Everything should work perfectly now, right?
Ask yourself this question: When your company last made a change, a new tool, or whatever, did everyone fully understand where you started from?
I don’t just mean there were some KPIs that everybody could see.
I mean you had a complete picture of what was happening; who was doing what, who was impacted, the details of the technology being used. What the journey of change would look like, and how all of that would look once the change was made.
How many of you can honestly say ‘yes’ to that?
I’d bet most of you said ‘no’ or ‘sort of’
If you don’t know where you’re starting from, how can you expect the journey to be successful?
Start From Where You Are.
This is a fundamental concept in change management and it is probably the most important.
You have to do your due diligence on the current situation. This assessment forms the basis for your tool evaluation. It will highlight all the business needs - where the tool can provide value.
Even the best tool has zero value if it is not aligned with business needs.
Something that rates five stars with one person might rate one with someone else. Not because it's bad, or doesn’t work, but because it doesn’t meet their needs, it provides them with no value.
You need to define what success will look like.
Again, this is not just what the new KPIs will be. It’s how teams will use the tool, how the new process will work together with existing processes.
Fail to plan, plan to fail…
This is one area where you can’t wing-it…
I’ll leave you with a few final thoughts.
Marketing will always hype the next great bit of tech, it’s up to us to see if that is going to really make a difference in our organisations.
New ‘tech’ isn’t a miracle cure. It takes work to ensure it is successfully deployed and that you get all the possible value from it.
Tools are not a panacea. You have to consider the mix of people, tools and process.
Do you have the right mix?