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

Image via VLADGRIN/

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/

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.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


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