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 Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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