Business Best Practices

Goals

To obtain best practices on researching before making workflow changes, benefits of training employees, best practices for digital roll outs with large teams, and what not to do with software adoption with large teams for a final presentation.

Early Findings

Benefits of Upfront Research Before Making Tool or Workflow Changes

  • Workflows can help streamline and automate repeatable business tasks, minimizing room for errors and increasing overall efficiency. This, in turn, dramatically improves your business. Managers can make quicker, smarter decisions and employees are empowered to collaborate in a more productive and agile way.
  • However, developing a workflow in your business is no small feat. It can often be incredibly challenging, as it requires that you can see the big picture while simultaneously paying attention to the hundreds of small details that go into it.
  • Mapping out your processes in a workflow allows you to get a more clear, top-level view of your business. Even if you have a well-established set of business processes, do you really know if they are delivering you results? Are the processes as good as they could be?
  • In many businesses, there are tons of unnecessary and redundant tasks that take place daily. Once you have more insight into your processes, you can determine what activities are truly necessary. Identifying and eliminating redundant tasks has, of course, countless benefits it creates value for your business. Instead of wasting time on a useless task, your employees will be able to focus on what’s important, and what does contribute to the business.
  • Increase Accountability and Reduce Micromanagement - By clearly mapping out your workflow, everyone knows what tasks must be completed, who will be completing them, and when they need to be finished by.
  • Visibility of processes and accountability can increase workplace communication dramatically.
  • It is important to constantly find ways to improve the customer experience. Unfortunately, customer requests or complaints can be easily overlooked when you are relying on outdated manual systems.
  • Often, employees are chosen for projects based on who is available rather than who has the best skill sets to perform that job. Another reason why workflow is important is that it allows you to think about and choose the individuals who are best suited to perform the available tasks.
  • If you’re an SMB owner, however, setting up and optimizing your workflows might just be what sets you apart from your competition.

Benefits of Training Employees

  • You can easily attract high caliber prospects by setting a benchmark as a business that values employee training and development. It is one of the most sought-after benefits by job seekers. Other beneficial areas are:
  • You’ll be able to run your business more efficiently when you have a team that feels positively challenged and satisfied doing their job. They’ll have confidence while carrying out their duties thus boosting productivity.
  • Let’s face it, industry trends and innovations are ever-changing. However, with properly trained employees, you will be able to adapt better to these changes, therefore, giving your business the much desired competitive advantage. Ensure your staff are always improving and you’ll stay ahead of competitors.
  • The secret to retaining your employees is by extending continual corporate training to them. Let’s be honest, replacing employees is expensive. Therefore, lower your turnover with sufficient employee training. The fact is that training costs are far much lower compared to replacing employees.
  • Through training, your staff will have up to date knowledge that will increase efficiency in processes thus resulting in financial gain.
  • Technology is ever-changing but with regular training, your staff can competently use all the latest technology to full potential. They’ll be in touch with all the latest technology developments and as a result increase innovation in strategies and products.
  • Proper training, when done regularly, will help you identify skill gaps that may be existing within your workforce and help increase efficiency. Here is an infographic from Cognology to further illustrate this point:
  • Naturally, skills learned need regular practice and refresher courses to avoid forgetting them. Have a training scheme besides the one-off training for new starters. Improving the knowledge that your staff have acquired is beneficial as your business will have staff who bring more to the table.
  • The truth is hiring new staff is costly. A perfect option is to have your well-trained regular staff fill in internal promotion positions.
  • Now, of course you want to have the best employees, just like any other employer. And, with ongoing training, you’ll be able to retain your staff better. Moreover, you can easily attract new rising talents because most job seekers will highly esteem your company. According to important. Here is more:

Digital Rollout Strategies- Best Practices

  • Plan ahead and set objectives . The most successful implementations are those with objectives that are clearly defined from the outset. “Having defined objectives about what makes any implementation or conversion a success is really important,” says Robert Palmer, Senior Vice President at Kilroy Realty.
  • Understand how your new technology solution will connect with any existing systems (and the data they house) . From accounting software systems to leasing and asset management platforms and everything in between, there are numerous technology solutions that a CRE firm will require at any one time to aggregate critical business data. The most important part? Marrying these systems together to give your organization a single, complete and actionable platform.
  • The most effective communications plan is not just about announcing the change from a logistics or process perspective through a single email. The news of a new technology product needs to come from executive leadership and clearly articulate the positive benefits that staff can expect to gain from the new solution. Learning a new software takes time, and staff will no doubt ask, “What’s in it for me?” so it’s critical to focus your messaging on the payoffs the technology will deliver for the individual.
  • Get cross-organizational buy-in by involving your team from the outset . Engaging your ultimate end-users early in the process can help to facilitate adoption. For example, when considering a new software for American Healthcare Investors, Executive Vice President Wendie Newman created department-specific task forces that played a key role in the software review process, which helped keep the product on people’s radars and created buy-in even before the purchase was confirmed. Newman also offered live previews and demos to other employees in advance, ensuring future users were excited about using the new solution on go-live day, rather than being surprised.
  • Leverage your power users . Working with a specific group of go-to “power users” across all levels of the organization is particularly helpful in lifting adoption rates. What makes an effective power user? Choose employees who are approachable and passionate about the solution, with an understanding of why it’s important to the company.
  • Lean on your technology partner’s Customer Success team . Customer Success has evolved in recent years, with many companies now placing heavy emphasis on proactive support, rather than the reactive support style we’re accustomed to. In fact, when seeking out a new technology, look for partners that have over-invested in their Customer Success team as this will give you access to solid account management and support resources. These teams have helped to roll out software for hundreds, if not thousands of other customers any potential hurdle that you may face, they’ve seen it before and know how to solve it.
  • Continue the internal education post “go-live” date . Technology platforms are constantly evolving with updates ranging from entirely new products and features to small, but valuable, enhancements. This was one of Robert Palmer’s biggest takeaways after completing a technology roll-out. In order to maximize the system, he notes, it is critical to stay on top of the continuing education opportunities.
  • Help shape the product by partnering with your technology provider on an ongoing basis . “Pick your partner smartly and then help influence the product direction,” says Jim Whalen, Chief Information Officer at Boston Properties. In the modern era of technology, the concept of the “out of the box” solution has changed. As opposed to being a static installation that gets updated every two years or so, web-based software products are constantly updated with new and improved features and functionality.

Software Adoption Mistakes

  • Poor implementation process - As with anything, your digital adoption implementation needs a strategy to guide it. But too many enterprises rush into implementation without preparing for and planning execution.
  • Inadequate vendor support - When a new digital tool is being implemented, it’s really important that the vendor of that technology provides enough support.
  • Lack of communication is one of the most overlooked digital adoption mistakes. It’s central to any change initiative. In fact, it’s highlighted as a key component of pretty much all organizational change management models.
  • Not naming an adoption phase sponsor . To ensure successful adoption, it is important to name an adoption phase sponsor. This person is preferably an executive stakeholder who will be responsible for protecting the adoption budget, leveraging HR support, recruiting internal champions, and ensuring objectives are aligned with metrics. The most critical objective in this role is to ensure that there is executive-level support for the software solution across the organization to prevent any adoption roadblocks.
  • Too often companies will spend budget during the implementation phase, and will have nothing left to spend during adoption. Plan on spending half of your total budget (or more) on adoption activities to ensure success.

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.
Our initial research focused on the availability of information in each of the four topics. Based on this, we recommend continuing research by 1. Providing 8-10 benefits of up-front research before making tool or workflow changes. For each one, we will provide a brief description and any relevant facts. 2. Providing 8-10 financial benefits and business gains for training employees. For each one, we will provide a brief description and any relevant fact. 3. Provide 2-3 best practices for digital rollout strategies when adopting new systems and tools. For each best practice, we will provide a description and an example, along with any relevant statistics. 4. Provide a list of 8-10 things to not do when dealing with software adoption. For all four areas, we will provide usable statistics that can be used in a presentation.
Alternatively, we could provide a high-level overview of each topic, providing a minimum of five statistics for each topic listed in proposal one. Each statistic would have a 1-2 sentence description along with the relevant numbers.
A more affordable solution would be to provide a high-level over of each topic providing 2-3 statistics for each topic listed in proposal one. Each statistic would have a 1-2 sentence description along with the relevant numbers.