Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

3 Must-Follow Tips For Successfully Implementing New Tech Initiatives

ARCHIVES
Image via VLADGRIN/Shutterstock.com

How do organizations encourage and sustain innovation in an environment plagued with words like sequestration, furlough, hiring freeze, debt default, government shutdown?  Often that innovation takes the form of forcing adoption of new technologies across the organization. Which isn’t bad, but it does create a monstrous challenge in the form of confused, overwhelmed and oftentimes resistant employees struggling to grasp these new technologies. New tech initiatives often result in mixed messages from management to employees, significant increase in absenteeism among employees and failure to implement the technology change initiative itself.

The pace of change in technology is dynamic and can be volatile. Your approach to implementation will most likely lack a “right” answer. Do we upgrade or wait for the next release? Is it time for a new communication system?  Would a biometric identification system be more efficient?  What percentage of weekly telework will maximize productivity and enhance employee flexibility?

What to do? Acknowledge the challenge and create a strategy to define the path ahead with basic concepts—concepts that may seem obvious but are so often overlooked: 

Walk the walk--talking the talk is not enough: Good or bad, employee perception of organizational change is critical.  With a change in technology, the role of employee perception is a significant factor in success or failure of the implementation.  Consider, for example, the implementation of a new travel expense reimbursement system that applies only to employees at the GS-13 level and below. 

If you innovate, don’t forget to educate: Innovation can embrace a “push” or respond to a “pull” implementation strategy. “Push” innovation refers to the introduction of a technology that we didn’t know we needed, like the iPad in 2010. “Pull” innovation refers to the introduction of new technology based on an identified need in the market from which innovation evolves. Both innovation strategies require education and training for employees, especially the lack of familiarity inherent to “push” innovations.

The end user has an opinion—ask for it: Technology implementation strategies often follow either best practice guidelines or “this is what we think you need programs.” Both are dangerous.  The end users work with technology regularly.  Soliciting direct input from the end users can be the difference between success and failure of the implementation strategy. 

Change is hard.  Technology change (for some) can be even harder.  In an environment plagued with uncertainty, the innovation challenge becomes a careful balance between an interesting concept that is absent practical application or the inadvertent dismissal of a tool that can be critical in the organization’s evolution.  The strategic integration of innovation supports employees with an eye toward growth. 

Image via VLADGRIN/Shutterstock.com

Dr. Victoria M. Grady is an Assistant Professorial Lecturer at The George Washington University in Washington D.C., Principal Consultant at PivotPoint Business Solutions and co-author of The Pivot Point: Success in Organizational Change.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.