Imagine you are changing a piece of technology in your business. You contact the appropriate vendor, negotiate the price and agree to a delivery date for the product. They arrive on the scheduled day, deliver what was promised, discuss the technology with your team and then they leave.

A few weeks later, you see your team struggling with the tool and results are being impacted negatively. You call the vendor up and explain your situation. You ask about the installation process and tell them the team isn’t entirely clear yet on the new tech, but all you get is a confused response explaining that they already held up their end of the bargain.

The mistake in this example is conflating two terms that seem similar, but are actually worlds apart–installation and implementation. It’s a large mistake, and one that snowballs into bigger issues down the road, but you would be far from the first to make it.

According to the dictionary:

Installation: the act or process of installing someone or something

Implementation: the process of putting a decision or plan into effect; execution.

Being clear on these terms allows your team to put the correct process into place, the correct people to lead the project, and have clear expectations for results.

In this example above, you could have a conversation with the vendor regarding long term training for your team. If they do not handle such requests, then you could reach out to another trainer or create the process internally using current staff. If you decide to go with the latter, exercise caution in not causing unrest amongst your staff.  You must make sure to overcommunicate what change is happening and how it will benefit the employees.

Taking matters into your own hands begs the question: how can you have more effective implementation? I would begin with mapping out what results you are expecting from this change. Are there any new metrics or productivity results? What part of your process are you changing? Do you have the old process and the new process written out so you can compare? You may be changing less than you think.

How will you train your team both short and long term? Lastly, how will you hold your team accountable so you can truly measure the impact the change has had?

Implementation is not a one-person job. It requires a willing team of people to make change. Remember, it takes time. Done correctly, the impact will be beneficial. If not, you will just be stuck with something installed in your business.

This July 24th and 25th, I will be hosting a 2-day workshop to help build the skills of those individuals who run teams. This topic and many others will be reviewed at this workshop. We are limiting it to 30 attendees so I can really work with each individual.

Tickets can be purchased here. http://bit.ly/2E8H25c

Glenn Pasch

Glenn Pasch is a Partner and CEO of PCG Digital. Glenn continues to author articles for multiple industry publications, blogs and forums as well as continuing his writing online at www.glennpasch.com.