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  • May 09, 2018
  • by Trevor Carlsson

The success of any technology solution implementation within an organisation depends on how staff interpret and accept the technology and its functions. In the case of mission-critical systems like field service management (FSM) solutions, a strong and carefully thought out change management strategy to win the buy-in of the users is key, as they will ultimately determine the value and adoption of the technology.

You may be running your field service operations on Excel spreadsheets, in-house developed solutions, or on-premise scheduling solutions that haven’t been upgraded in many years. Though new technology would likely make operations more efficient and cost effective, it’s difficult to undertake and adapt so much change. Typically, staff tend to grow accustomed to current processes, and so you may have some staff that are likely to resist new technology if not introduced correctly. 

But many organisations have made this transformation—some as radical as going from paper to fully automated systems. While it's no simple feat, successful implementations are accomplished through a clear change management strategy and deliberate actions to get employees excited about new technology.

1. Sell it Internally

Prior to selecting a solution for your business, it's important to work with your team to communicate the long-term benefits you are trying to achieve for the business and how new technology will positively affect them within each department. It's a good idea to involve your FSM software supplier in this education process, and to work together to sell the idea of change and the key areas that will make their lives easier. 

Internal emails, presentations and weekly meetings are a great way of selling new initiatives. It's important to ensure a 'positive' tone, and encourage questions and ideas from your team to instil further buy-in and a sense of involvement in the business decision. 

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2. Appoint System Champions

System champions are the go-to members of your administrative and field team that know your FSM solution like the back of their hands and can lend their knowledge to others to inspire better adoption of the solution.

In selecting system champions, look for tenured staff who adapt best to change, understand the value of better processes and technology, and are willing to provide support for other team members. 

Once on board, this team of champions can be your ambassadors for the change. They’ll be better equipped to deliver the message because they have personal, real-world experience. Plus, other employees can trust and relate with them.

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3. Involve Staff During Rollout

No one enjoys massive change. Implementing an FSM solution without warning is going to increase time to adoption and may cause some resistance. Employees appreciate visibility into the organisation, and generally want to know sooner rather than later if there are going to be any major changes.

Make an announcement early on and be sure to involve your system champions in this process to communicate the pain points the new solution will be addressing. it's a good idea to include them in design workshops and user testing groups as well, to ensure they represent their respective departments and can pass back information. Coordinate webinars and demonstrations and get your vendor involved to answer questions, and represent the solution.

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4. Start Small and Identify Key Wins for the Business and Customers

Be sure to communicate success to the rest of the organisation throughout the initial stages of adoption —no matter how small it may seem. Even a small win can draw a lot of attention. Once word spreads about success with the new solution, more groups will be willing to join in.

Examples might include: 

  • We spent 50% less time on administration this week!
  • My jobs takes half the time to complete now as I don't need to write everything out and just use defined drop-down options in my app!
  • Customers have provided positive feedback on the new reports we have provided them
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