March 15, 2021

How to Ensure You and Your Team Adopt New Processes and Technology

Written By Charesse Spiller

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Working on your firm’s processes is a challenging but critical business task. At Level Best, we help guide our clients through organizing their processes, technology, and operation. However, at the end of an engagement, clients often have questions about what comes next – implementing and adopting new systems into their day-to-day.

Working on your firm’s processes is a challenging but critical business task. At Level Best, we help guide our clients through organizing their processes, technology, and operation. However, at the end of an engagement, clients often have questions about what comes next – implementing and adopting new systems into their day-to-day. 

It might feel daunting to implement new processes after spending so long getting them exactly right on paper, especially if they’re a drastic change from how you currently run your operation. Luckily, adopting new technology and processes doesn’t have to be a headache if you follow our tried and true system.

Implementing New Processes

Once you’ve nailed down your processes and have developed a tech stack that suits your business, you need to focus on establishing a roll out plan that fields potential pain points that your firm may face during the initial transition period. Initially, after the process development phase, you should focus your energy on setting up tech and documenting your processes in your CRM. Set aside time for the set up phase of implementation by blocking a few hours a week to complete predetermined set-up tasks. 

Once set up is complete, you can focus on implementing your new tech stack and processes in your daily operations by following five steps:

Step 1: Assign a Lead

When the firm is adopting new processes and technology, you should appoint someone to manage this project on behalf of the firm. Remember – this doesn’t have to be you as the owner! In fact, appointing an associate advisor or your operations manager to lead the charge can ensure you don’t become a bottleneck. If you want to maintain visibility to the implementation process, set up a weekly or biweekly meeting where the project-lead can brief you about where they’re at and any roadblocks they are facing. This will also help you to better delegate tasks within your new processes in the future – think of it as a trial run!

Step 2: Brief Your Team

Your team members will be the ones living out the new processes, and working with your improved tech stack, so they need to know what your new approach is, and how you envision it positively impacting the business. Consider setting up an on site or off site workshop that focuses on presenting your newly adopted methodology and offering hands-on training. 

Step 3: Identify Resources

Transitioning to new processes, or to using new technology, can be a challenge. Try to think through potential pain points ahead of time and identify resources that will help make this transition less bumpy. For example, most technology companies offer a suite of resources or even a dedicated client representative who can field questions for you and your team. Your project lead should also be able to answer questions from the team, and possibly create training videos ahead of time, to make this transition easier.

Step 4: Ongoing Training

Many firms think that offering initial training to their team in an off site or company-wide meeting will be sufficient. Unfortunately, until your team is using new processes or tech in their day-to-day, they won’t be able to ask insightful questions and ensure they’re following standard operating procedures. 

It’s wise to reach out to your technology vendors to ask what ongoing training is available (many companies do periodic webinars about new features or how to maximize their suite of tools). You can also do ongoing training sessions (weekly or biweekly) for your team in the initial 1-3 months of adopting your new processes and technology. This creates an open forum to continue to learn and ask questions.

Step 5: Create Milestones and Set Expectations

It’s wise to create milestones and set expectations to track progress for your team. If you’re unsure of how to create these, think through the different phases that new tech and processes will be implemented, and set hard dates or checkpoints in your team calendar for when each team member should be trained on. Here is an example of a 4-Phase Milestone Plan:

Phase 1 – Test new workflows and tech without live clients by 4/1.

Phase 2 – Train team members once testing is complete by 4/20.

Phase 3 – Integrate processes and new client work templates (including workflows) into daily practice by 5/15.

Phase 4 – Fully transition to new processes, tech, and workflows by 6/1. 

You can see here that from start to finish, your implementation process may take several months or an entire quarter to complete. Don’t rush yourself or your team! Set deadlines that are reasonable and take into consideration client workload and surge meeting seasons. 

How Can You Get Your Team On Board?

Many firms find that team members adopt new processes easily and without complaint, especially if they’re well thought out. However, sometimes business owners run into pushback from team members who enjoyed or preferred the old processes or tech stack. Setting up touch points ahead of time to gather feedback and understand pain points can help you ensure your employees are getting the resources they need to develop new skill sets and make the transition more easily. 

Additionally, involving them in the process of creating new workflows or adopting new technology can generate buy-in from the early stages of this project. Approach the change with a positive attitude and ask for input regularly – your team will feel like they’re part of the decision making process, and are creating processes and systems that will make their jobs more streamlined and impactful.

How Do You Track Progress?

This is where setting adoption milestones ahead of time can be helpful. At these milestone checkpoints, reconnect with your team or your project lead to see how things are going. If you’re finding that things are behind schedule, dig deeper to find out why. More often than not it’s because either the timeline was too short, or there weren’t enough resources provided to make training and implementation possible. 

You can also have your project lead monitor the new processes within your technology to ensure your team is adopting your new standard operating procedures. Track productivity through a CRM, or run regular reports to see what workflows are being launched, and if any tasks are past due.

Be Ready for Ongoing Work

Once you’ve done this initial process and tech stack revamp, it’s wise to audit your processes and technology at least annually to ensure they’re still meeting your needs. Involve your project lead in these conversations, and be ready to accept feedback and make small adjustments or improvements as necessary. 

Remember – this is a big undertaking. Our clients at Level Best seek outside perspective from us to ensure they are making the right decisions when it comes to revamping processes and tech. They seek a turnkey solution to help reduce the time spent on figuring things out and leaning into our proven processes to get things done quicker. If you are looking to better manage tech or processes in your organization, reach out.

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