Episode 113

Connecting Your People & Tech for a Streamlined Rollout

May 3rd, 2023


In today’s episode, I’m sharing how to create a positive experience for your humans when rolling out a new tech tool or system.
We dive into:
  • How to avoid resistance and pushback
  • What testing is required before the rollout is complete
  • Change management with your humans
  • Creating seamless transitions with documentation

Connect with Nicole on Instagram @theartisansolutions 
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For more detailed shownotes and full transcript of the episode, click here:


Welcome to Take Control with Nicole, as business owners we experience first hand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go.

Hello, I’m Nicole Smith, COO, Operations Specialist, and Systems Designer from The Artisans Business Solutions, and welcome to Take Control with Nicole. Today’s episode, we are going to continue on with our fabulous theme of clever systems design. And in particular how when we’re really connecting our people and our tech, you can create a beautiful and streamlined rollout and integration into your business operations and make it just a normal business as usual activity. So, let’s start off with what actually is a system. So, as we’ve discussed in the previous episodes, we’re talking about business operational systems. So, if you think about marketing, operations, admin, finance, tech, all of these areas are in your business are the day-to-day activities that support you to continue to operate and function as a successful and efficient business.

As part of all of our systems, there are many elements that connect together to create that beautiful ways of working that are unique and customized for your organization. So let’s think about our people, our tech are all the bits and pieces in between that when they are designed in a beautiful, streamlined way really creates the most impactful experience for you and your team.

Today, I really wanted to share a recent experience that is not so unusual for system rollouts, and how can we mitigate some of that potential risk or cause of failure, when we have selected and invested as a project team, all these beautiful hours to plan and get our systems up and running. And then we find that we get to the place of integration, the place of implementation, and it all falls over onto its side, because our people are not yet connected. So, what is it that we’re talking about when we are leaning into that streamlined rollout experience? Now, as I mentioned, when we are at the early stages of designing a new way of working, if it’s a major shift or change in our operational ways of working, there is a little bit more investment on planning our project all the way through from discovery, through design, create, and then that connection piece at the end.

This sort of plays more into play when we’re in a bigger organization, say, a corporate even of 20, 50 100 plus people in the business, there’s more moving parts, there are more humans that are involved from a daily operations point of view that will be involved in the early stages of decision making, structural, how we want those workflows to be working, the operational areas within the systems themselves, what tech are we using? Who’s going to be doing what, what’s that experience that we want to create for our humans? And then at the other end, is the connection phase.

So, this is where we’re actually developing and launching, going live, on this new system and supporting our humans to really connect into this new way of working that when change management is maybe not handled in the most beautiful of ways, we can see some resistance, push back. So, not so positive experiences from a project delivery point of view, resulting in people feeling like they have not done enough that they feel like there’s a lot more pressure and push to get this thing rolling.

So, the recent experience that I’d like to share is we’re in the middle of a rollout for one of our clients where I’m their virtual COO, and I was brought in to facilitate and support the rollout of this particular system. Now this company is a national business, they have employees, contractors who will be utilizing this new way of working. And so, there’s again, as I mentioned, lots of moving parts. We’ve also got our internal humans, who will be managing the data that’s flowing in and out, that all then flows through to actually support the payroll process for our humans to get the pay each and every fortnight.

What we identified early on is, first of all the data integrity. Now these particular systems are connected with other systems in the business. So being able to identify early on what those connection points are, and how and where the switch overs happen, what data is coming through, at what point and what do we really need to identify and know and be aware of, that can potentially impact or break or stop or delay the streamline process from completing through when we go live in a project like this. From a system point of view. We’ve done our checking, we’ve tested that the functionality is live, we know that our humans have been trained and supported and provided with all of the documentation that they can easily refer back to. And now it’s about supporting our people to understand and connect in with this new way of working.

Now, as I mentioned before, when we have many humans in our organization that are now supporting to use this new way of working, you can find that when our humans are not doing the work, doing the actions, pressing the buttons activating in this new way, the project itself can seem to feel like it’s failing. When we actually step back and have a look from a technical point of view, the system itself is up and running. We’ve designed it in a beautiful way. We’ve got all of our documentation ready for the connection point of view, we now put that energy into okay, this new system’s live.

Why is it important that we use this new system? What is the impact when we do not press those buttons? What happens when we do press those buttons? And how can we actually make things easier from a front-end point of view? So that when we get to our deadlines of must be this system. All of these things need to be action by set date to go through for a seamless payroll cycle. What can we do with the front end to support our front-end users to utilize this system in the most efficient way?

Now, change management, if it doesn’t matter what size organization. So if you’re sitting here thinking, Nicole, that sounds fabulous, but I’m not at that stage. I don’t have 100 employees and no way I ever, I am a business of two, I’m a business or five, I’m a business of 10. All of these same things apply. It doesn’t matter how many people in your organization, if we are introducing something new, and we have not yet invested the energy and space and time to create a beautiful change experience, our humans will start to feel a little resistant on doing this new thing.

They may not have connected like you have as a business owner, why we are choosing to transition from this way to that way. So being able to really understand and support our humans on that journey is part of it. And this comes down to communication. As part of the project I was mentioning, we have been communicating over the months leading up to go live date, giving them enough information. So they are aware of what will be happening, what and how it is impacting their daily operations, where their responsibilities lie, what information that they need to be aware of on how to actually action, this new way of working. As we got closer, we were confirming dates. as of this date, this will happen. As of this day, this will happen, and this is your contact if anything is not working as you are anticipating it’s to be worked. This is our change management process.

Hello there. I’m just interrupting this episode as I would love to invite you to come on in and join us inside the Members Lounge. My community have shared with me that they joined initially because they really wanted to discover the power of ClickUp. They wanted to be able to design, build and connect their ClickUps within their own individual businesses. However, once they were inside, they really discovered how the power of looking at the foundations of your operational areas of your business. And designing those really to set you up for success is such a powerful element. And guess what else? We have a fabulous community inside so once you’re in, you’re never gonna want to leave. So come on over, have a look, go to my website, theartisans.com.au and pop up to the Members Lounge button at the top. And we look forward to supporting you as you discover how fabulous it is when you’re confidently striding down easy street, see you inside the Lounge.

This is our, if something, your payroll has gone through, and it is not matching exactly as you expect. This is our payroll query process. So there’s lots of things that we can start to implement. And as I said, without, size is irrelevant in this, if you have one human who doesn’t feel like they’re part of the journey or doesn’t understand how and where their role plays in this new thing, you will find that there’s this resistance, it might not come from a place of I’m not doing it, it comes from a place of I don’t understand how I fit into this experience this new way of working.

So, when we are looking at rolling out systems, understanding all the bits and pieces, how are people fit in, if we allow ourselves some time and invest some space and energy to actually think about this in a broader way, take a step back, not a ‘you’re doing this, because this is what I’ve decided’, from this is a business decision that is going to support this, this this, this is your role and how you’re important in this process. This is your support path. Here are the documentations and training plans that are going to support you to be able to really connect in with this new way of working. And we are here to listen and hear back with your feedback and be able to work with our systems to transform and design. As we evolve our business going forward, we might get to a point, if you are a business, I’ll say one or two right now, and you’re transitioning to grow your team. As you go, these things and these processes, these systems will continuously evolve with you and your business as you go.

So, a couple of things to support you with your successful rollout, some action points here, we want to firstly identify what our deliverables are, who our ideal customers are, and include them in your project brief. So, I briefly mentioned at the start there, we want to be really clear and concise on what we are actually creating here. Who is involved? Who was part of that transformation project, where and what are our deliverable dates? So we have a project plan in place, if you’re a project manager, you’d be like, Oh, yep, let’s do it. If this is all new to you, and it seems a bit daunting, that’s what we can come and support you with as well come on saying hi. Being able to go through and have these all clearly documented point of reference will support you again, and your project team and your CEOs, if you’re reporting in a bigger organization, your management structures, so we can report upwards and sideways and downwards. All the relevant information will be all housed in that project brief.

So, again, we’re going to be identifying the people and the tech involved. So, if we’ve got a shift in the way that we’re managing our financials, so our financial planning, we might be in QuickBooks, and we’re moving to Xero. And as part of that we’re transitioning all of our payroll over to Xero. And as part of that we’ve got people who are submitting timesheets. So, we’re now going to be using our Xero timesheet function so that as a payroll officer, they can go in and approve all of those things. So part of that will be identifying all of the stakeholders involved in the process, what tech is involved, and how those roles and responsibilities connect in together. What and again, we’re adding it to the project brief. So because when we’re doing this, we start to see that momentum coming of what is actually needed, at what point what pieces of information and training, documentation and data points that we’re needed to collect as part of this overall implementation and rollout. The other final thing is really connecting in with your project team. So, working alongside on the internal business stakeholders, we’ve also got an external expert from the tech from, the actual software developer, we have a weekly connection call. We’re all involved for the key stakeholders to communicate what’s going on where we’re at, what do we need, who do we need it from, by when. Of course, we’re all managing it in ClickUp, because it’s fabulous, and it’s a fabulous central location to manage any of these big project deliverables.

It’s really an amazing experience when you are communicating with your project teams. We’re really clearly able to identify any gaps and potential risks in advance of them actually becoming a blocker or something that’s really going to stop and pause that momentum of delivering that project.

There we go. That’s a lot. I know. And this is a world that in my previous world, this was just business as usual. I was talking today to my members lounge crew about some of the data points that we’re extracting from this, this custom database, and really identifying going forward, now our system is live, we’re now moving into reporting zones. So, we’ve got all of this data flowing in and out, hundreds of lines of things collecting, who’s doing what when, what are the shifts looking like all of these things. And from that high level CEO management standpoint, we want to be able to really design some reports that can be produced by a click of a button from the system.

If you have ever used customer design databases, you’ll be aware that there’s the possibility is endless. But we need to be able to provide a clear scope of what we’re looking to create, how do we want that reporting experience to be exported from the system or created at a dashboard, or however it looks, and I have just been in my element playing with all of the data in Excel and being able to really shape how we want this data to be presented for our management team to again be able to make executed or not executed? What is it acknowledged data? Words, I gotta remember, I’m getting excited, data from a knowledge point of view, decisions from a knowledge point of view. So, they’ve got that data to back up those decisions going forward. Getting all excited about data. There we go. Welcome to the dorky, geeky, world, if Nicole love it so much fun.

Well, thank you so much for joining me on this exciting adventure of being able to really connect your people in tech for streamlined rollout. As I said, I’ve been talking at a sort of a corporate level here. But when we are looking at any shifts and evolutions of your business operations, these micro-moments of change management, being really aware of planning at the front end to support what we’re looking to create, when we’re looking to create it, who’s involved, what techs’s involved. And of course, we’re going to create those beautiful documentation for your training library and your SOP library right there. So whenever anybody new comes into your business, they can click and collect that piece of evidence, that piece of training, and be able to really just glide on into your business and usual ways of working. Well, thank you for joining me today. And I hope you have the most fabulous rest of your week, creating clever systems for your business by now.

Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on social jazz? If not, please come on over. Say hi, I’m on all the platforms at the artisan solutions. So I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of course, share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week and until next time, see you then.


Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.