Another Ducking Digest?!
October 30, 2023: Mastering Post-Tech Implementation – Strategies for Small & Mid-Sized Manufacturers
Welcome to our weekly news show. We are doing a multi-part series for the month of October, talking about technology and how to buy, manage, and implement change management for small and midsize manufacturers. So, we’ve gone through many of the steps. Today, I’ve asked Lindsay to talk about what happens after you implement technology. So, the tech project is done, what do you do next? There’s a lot of change management, there’s a lot of learning, education, making sure that what you’ve actually paid for is leveraged and maximized as much as possible. So, we’re going to break it into a couple of segments today. We’re going to talk about how to make it stick, how to get people to use the technology, how to learn, realign, and then, one of my favorite topics, which Lindsay will close out, is the data piece – how to get the right data to present it to leadership. Thank you, Sarah.
Yes, certainly. We want to make it stick. Now, just a little bit of a tactical pause before we have that part of the discussion. We’ve got to look at how we got here and what was the collateral damage. Especially projects that last north of 12 months, you kind of get sick of people being stopped in the hallway and asked, “Is it done?” I start to loathe that question, especially on complex projects with many elements to them.
You mean, Lindsay, it doesn’t just take two weeks to turn around new software? If only. That’s hats off to any solution that can be up and running in a short period of time. Those of us who’ve gone through the other end of the continuum with an ERP migration, let alone an SAP migration, it’s a tough event, and it’s sometimes not successful. Sometimes it doesn’t get done. Sometimes there’s a little bit of reorganization along the way. Good to stop and take stock and say, “How did we get here? How is the organization feeling before we say, ‘Let’s have a party?'”
So, first things first, we want to drive broad ownership. We want to get it out there, into the hands of the people who use it, touch it, feel it, leverage it every day. Certainly, we want to have a celebration. We’ve got to be careful about the celebration. It’s got multiple facets to it. We want to celebrate the significance of the change. That’s a leadership opportunity to talk in terms of how we’re trying to leverage this technology in our organization. We continue to embrace and innovate. It may be difficult and uncomfortable, but it allows us to stand tall against competitors and in the face of customers.
We want to reward the superior execution. If the stockroom can issue a week of work orders without shortages on the production line, by golly, reward the stockroom. So, we’re looking to make it stick, especially on the user experience side. The user experience is disproportionately important. Whenever we can present clever infographics, whenever we can push the data rather than making someone have to come and remember how to pull it, it makes for a more friendly experience. And when we get that feedback, we need to act on it.
Getting data to the leadership team is a vital part. We want to publish a use case, share it with the world and see what kind of feedback we get. Leadership may have reservations about whether Lindsay and Sarah are the best people to lead this project. We need to reaffirm back to leadership that we are still focused on this, that we are not sitting back. We need to tell a story with the data, not just present a spreadsheet. Telling a clear and compelling story is essential.
Well, with that, we wish you a wonderful Monday, and we will see you all back next week. We’re not sure about the topic yet; it may continue our technology theme or discuss something new.