Technological advances are certainly changing everything about the way things are done in the world, whether that’s a good or bad thing is a matter of personal opinion. For project managers however, it is simply not possible to avoid incorporating technology in the workplace, just as it’s not possible to go back to smoking in the boardroom or writing letters instead of emails (in a professional setting at least).
Working with technology on the whole however does deliver an enormous amount of benefits including greater speed of communication, increased productivity and increased insight into how your business is working. One of the big problems though, is trying to keep your team up-to-speed with the rapid change of work processes, the integration of new tools and of course, what to do when it all goes wrong.
Preparing your team for the unpredictability of technology
Create an action plan
Most things work better when there is an organized structure in place and getting comfortable with technology in the workplace is no different. Creating a simple action plan, which outlines the decision process about integrating a new technology, how it will be used and how team members will be instructed on using it gives everyone a clear picture of what effects new technology will have. It also reassures team members that they will be given time and training to adapt to changes.
Make onboarding the first prep step
While it can be presumed that any new recruit to your team would have a decent knowledge of working with technology, it’s not always the case. Your onboarding process, when you introduce someone to how things function on your team, is thus the first chance to inform them of what particular tools you use and how they work. Walk them through the basics and keep their competence in mind for the first few weeks. Job-shadowing for a day or two might even be necessary if there is any particularly complex system they need to get up to speed with.
Be open to dialogue
The incorporation of new technology in the workplace can raise many concerns, such as whether people who are slow to adapt will lose their job or what will happen to those whose previous work would seem to be replaced by the technology. As a manager it is essential to be able to listen and respond to these issues, whether they are valid or otherwise.
Make constant training a key pillar of your management philosophy
In IT-based professions it is almost an expectation that people have a personal interest in keeping up with the latest technologies in the workplace, this can’t really be expected of other professions, however. To derive maximum gains from the technologies you introduce, such as online ordering or booking or automatic stock replenishment, you will need a team that is fully aware of how to get the most out of them. For this reason, having a constant focus on upskilling and training will help your team give more and ensure you are getting the best ROI possible out of technological investment.
While many new technologies can be unpredictable and take time to get used to, the value of project management software is undoubtable. Through the automation of processes and the ability to gain project insight at a single glance, Clarizen has been making a positive change to businesses around the world. Check out one of our demos to find out how.