By: Damian Diaz on July 2nd, 2020
5 Best Practices For Planning and Implementing New Technology
Most people can agree that technology has a role to play when it comes increasing production and efficiency in almost any field, and marketing and creative production are no exception. While tech is the backbone of any marketing or creative production ecosystem, the constant change in the development of new technologies coupled with customer expectations in an ever expanding marketing landscape are evolving at a pace that is leaving many reeling to catch up. To stay relevant and build for the future, many organizations are rethinking how they use technology, people and processes to fundamentally enhance marketing performance to meet customer expectations. This requires strategic thought and there are five critical steps to pay close attention to when planning to introduce new technology.
No stone can be left unturned when choosing which technologies best fit your business requirements. While choosing the right tech is absolutely critical, it’s only half of the battle, a successful implementation and user adoption program are essential for any efforts to update and transform digital production. Understanding marketing production for stakeholders and gathering the business requirements for technologies can be a challenging task that can dictate the success or failure of a project. Solutions such as digital asset management, content management, marketing performance management, and work management are vastly different, and as a result, fulfill a host of varied requirements.
However, what does remain the same are these five critical points that organizations need to master during the requirement gathering process.
Embracing the Change
Once the decision has been made to adopt a new technology or even upgrade to a better solution, a period of change is signaled for the business. Let's face it. We are not always comfortable with change. This is why change management and communication to all stakeholders need to begin here and continue throughout the process. How to collaborate with my marketing team is also of great value.
Looking at the business requirements gathering process, we've outlined what you should be looking for to make the process most efficient.
1. Prioritize the requirements
One of the most common mistakes in the endeavor to adopt marketing production technology is not prioritizing the requirements. Typically some individuals, teams, and departments participate in this step, each viewing their own needs as urgent or most important.
Additionally, each of the stakeholders will use the technology differently, with varying levels of use and engagement. As a result, the prioritization of requirements based on these aspects is paramount. Especially important as the chosen solution can never meet all requirements of all stakeholders — not everyone is going to get what they want, and this too needs to be managed.
Invariably, this work completed by a neutral third-party facilitator is necessary, which leads to the next area.
2. Facilitate the process
All stakeholders involved in the process will invariably approach the project from a different perspective — which is fair enough; creatives have different requirements than account management, for example.
However, when it comes to managing the requirement gathering process, the danger is that if it is done internally, there will be some level of bias. Finance, for example, will push for cost-effectiveness and ROI, while the production team will prioritize workflow improvements.
An unbiased facilitator, such as a system integrator, can engage will all parties involved and all opinions will be up for consideration. They will also provide the much-needed insight, as well as an impartial point of view that will help keep the project on track and ultimately yield a solution that is fit for purpose.
3. Manage expectations
Once all the stakeholders have given their feedback and requirements for the new system, the facilitator needs to take the time to bring all parties together in the same room and go through the prioritized requirements.
The reason? Expectation management.
If users, who’ve participated in workshops and have given their conditions, realize their needs are not being met, there could be a lot of dissatisfaction or apathy regarding the project, which will ultimately spill over into the actual adoption and usage of the chosen solution. The facilitator can explain to all parties why specific requirements considered a priority.
Moreover, why certain things are more important for various stakeholders. Again, communication is essential as all stakeholders are engaged in the process, and as it’s managed by a neutral third-party, individuals are more likely to be on their best behavior and participate in the process. All this leads to more significant levels of understanding and positivity.
4. Understand the big picture
Stakeholders in the process need to know what the priorities are and why, in addition to how this new technology or solution will impact the company, their job roles and broader delivery of projects. For example, if the answer requires a lot of work by individual staff, in the beginning, they need to understand that, as well as what the financial pay-off will be in the end.
There is bound to be some resistance to change (as well as keen early adopters) but keeping communication flowing can mitigate any issues that may arise.
As mentioned, it should begin from day one. In this way, employees feel like they’ve been part of the whole process, listened to and involved, which will help build loyalty and ensure everyone gets the most out of the new technology.
5. Test functionality and plan for the future
When stakeholders gather their requirements, they no longer concern themselves with what users are doing today. They look at the long-term functionality of a specific technology or solution. And that’s how it should be.
However, one of the more common mistakes is to ignore the long-term outlook during the testing phase. Essentially, testing provides the stakeholders with the opportunity to understand the functionality and capabilities of the new system, while also thinking about what it could potentially do in the future.
This step enables people to see the different opportunities technology can bring to their roles and departments. This area also helps the company and solutions provider keep the project in check.
The requirements gathering phase of any project does ultimately reflect the success of that plan. By keeping communication open, engagement high, and expectations managed, you can achieve better buy-in from staff and minimize adverse reactions. Key to all of this is employing a neutral facilitator to take a point in the requirement gathering process and guide your business through to deployment and adoption.
To learn more about improving your digital asset management and increasing the efficiency of your processes, read our free guide: Future-Proofing Your Digital Asset Management and Creative Production.
About Damian Diaz
Damian Diaz has been in the Marketing & Creative Operations Technology space since 1999. With experience in marketing, sales, and the tech side of the business, I have watched the industry evolve from its infancy in print centric technologies to the enterprise marketing solutions we see today. As a Director of Global Marketing, it is my goal to deliver relevant content, events, and experiences to inform, educate, and entice those interested in marketing and creative operations technology solutions.