When it comes to implementing a large-scale tech change, members of the IT team are probably driving the decision. But as an office admin, you are likely the one on the front lines, making sure everyone is prepared for the rollout and able to use the new system once it’s in place.
Use the following steps to help smooth out your company’s tech rollout. These tips may help you to keep your head above water during the process, too.
Do a Test Run for Yourself
Since you’ll be serving as the point person for your team, you’ll need to know the new system really well. Get up to speed on the technology by asking the IT team to sit down with you while you do a test run. Don’t hesitate to ask for multiple run-throughs to make sure you are completely confident before launch. Also, consider changing up your training sessions to help the process. Recent research from Johns Hopkins University found that taking a slightly different approach to each practice session when you are learning something new speeds up the rate at which you can acquire new information.
When you are trained, think about how your coworkers are typically going to be using this new system, and try to practice those scenarios yourself. Obviously, you and your coworkers can always ask IT for help, but consider creating a troubleshooting “cheat sheet” for common challenges, since you will be the go-to person when questions come up.
Create a Rollout Schedule
As an office admin, you know your co-workers well, and have excellent insight into which teams should be the first to use the new system. If possible, make suggestions on the rollout to your IT team.
In some companies, starting with a team that can act as an enthusiastic champion of a product can help to set a good company-wide mindset for a full rollout. However, if your teams are in constant communication and an upgrade will stall information sharing, an all-at-once launch may be the only option.
Provide Plenty of Training
When you consider training for the new technology, remember that people learn in a variety of ways. To accommodate these differences and make sure everyone can absorb the information, offer a variety of training formats.
For example, you can record training sessions, and make them available to team members who may not have been comfortable asking questions during the training. An online tutorial may work best for those who prefer to learn at their desks. Create manuals that include step-by-step instructions on using the technology for people who like to jump in and figure things out as they go.
Expect some team members to be caught completely unaware of the tech rollout. Some may have “missed the memo” because they are busy or distracted. Or perhaps others don’t know how urgent — and important — the situation is.
Keep up a constant drumbeat of updates in different formats to alert everyone the change is coming. For instance, include details in company newsletters, post signage and bring the topic up in team meetings.
Also, clearly outline the cutoff date for when the old system will be retired — but still expect people to be shocked when they can’t access the old platform after that date has passed. They will come running to you for help, so be ready with a quick action plan for how they can implement and understand the new tech.
Check In Afterwards
Get feedback from your team members after the rollout to see how the transition is going. Some may still be having problems they’ve learned to live with, but that you could easily solve. Provide any additional follow-up training that’s needed to help your co-workers make the most of the new system.
Consider asking your co-workers for suggestions for smooth implementations of future technology, too. To keep spirits up during the inevitable bumps in the tech change-up road, keep reminding yourself, and others, of the benefits of the new tools being put in place.