Welcome to the third blog in our four-part blog series, leading you through the most important steps you need to cover when introducing new technology into your firm.
Whether or not your accounting firm is successful, future-proofing is becoming increasingly dependent on the extent to which you know how to use the right technology.
The introduction of new technology can be a fraught process with serious repercussions if not handled correctly.
In this four part blog series, we’ll discuss all the steps you can take to introduce new technology to your future practice. We will be following the four stages:
- Gather support
- The right technology choice
- A plan for a successful implementation
- Optimal use
After you have accomplished this, we move on to today’s topic: a plan for successful implementation.
A plan for successful implementation
› Choose a plan of approach and realise this plan as a project for the implementation of the new technology.
You now know where you want to go and you have made a choice for technology. Many IT projects however, still fail in the implementation phase.
This can have several causes. A project can be so unclearly defined that it becomes overambitious and unattainable, meaning that the project is doomed to fail from the start. Or perhaps they don’t succeed by failing to monitor and measure progress.
Parallel testing is an option to prevent problems. Instead of switching off the old system immediately after new programs have been purchased, you can run both systems side by side. If the new system shows teething problems, you still have the old one. At the same time, employees can get used to the new possibilities cautiously.
1) Project manager
You can consider appointing a project manager to guide the implementation of all new technology or programs. It can be a wise choice and there are many advantages of doing so.
He or she can fully focus on this to see the project through and ‘own it’. If it’s not possible to get an employee to lead the project full-time, an employee can also do this in addition to his or her other duties. A manager must continue to monitor the project and ensure that it remains a priority.
2) Involve employees
Whether you were able to free up a project manager full time or not, it’s best to split the project into smaller tasks where you always involve other employees. The advantage of this is that you immediately involve more people in the change process that you try to implement – especially end users and stakeholders.
3) Involve clients
You can also contact clients to be the first to test the new solution and to give their opinion. They know after all, what functions they want, what they are missing and what they find useful.
4) Create super users
Select a number of employees to test new software in the beta version. These people will become your “super users”.
This group of employees should be the first to be trained to work with the new system and you can use them and include in the entire project of change that you have deployed. Super users can also then provide their colleagues with support and user experience tips as soon as the new program is available for everyone.
This concludes the third part of our four-part series on ‘How to introduce new technology into your accounting firm’.
Stay tuned for our final blog in the series ‘Optimal use’.
To find out more about APS software, visit www.aps-software.com.