“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change, or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between we fear… it’s like being in between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.”
There are real barriers to the adoption of technology within traditional industries. Standard approaches are difficult to change, even when they’re inefficient or the benefits of adoption are obvious. But many organizations are learning that there is a real threat to their existence by continuing with tried and true methods just because “we’ve always done it this way.”
The issue isn’t the technology. It’s the change it forces on individuals, departments and companies that are already swamped with other responsibilities. Especially in today’s market.
Some significant contributors to successful technology implementation include:
1) Creating the awareness for change by focusing on the benefits. Users won’t buy into the change without truly understanding why you are asking them to take on more work when what they are currently doing is getting the job done … sort of. There is too much going on – several projects on the go, oil prices are really low, a global pandemic! Yes, adopting technology involves implementation effort upfront but the benefits include complete insight into your business and the ability to identify and implement efficiencies that would save you significant money and time. Costs can be verified and audited with ease leading to fewer disputes. So, while there is work upfront, its short-term pain for long term gain.
2) Make sure your leaders are supportive of the change. Before moving ahead with the change, it’s important to ensure that the right people know about the change and are supportive of it. Prosci, a global leader in change management, noted in a 2017 study, that the number one contributor to successful change management was active and visible executive sponsorship throughout the lifecycle of the project.
3) Communication. Communication. Communication. Not only do users need to know the benefits and reasons behind the change but making sure that your communications are relevant, transparent and timely is very important for technology adoption. Two-way communication is important for small O&G companies that perhaps don’t have the internal resources or expertise needed to implement a formal change management program, making it especially important for the company providing the software to have those skills. For enterprise level customers, who likely have project and change management expertise in house, assigned Account Management is a good way to manage the adoption of new technology.
4) Create bridges, not barriers. There are few things more frustrating to some people than new technology they can’t figure out. Make it easy for your teams to adopt the change you are advocating for by ensuring that proper documentation, training and supplementary online resources are available for reference. A strong reference knowledge base is very important to adopting change.
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