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Document management systems (DMS) allow for a paperless office, automated workflows, reduced cost, robust security, and much more. With that being said, implementing a document management system also means changes within your business process and technical stack that, at first, may seem daunting to your team. Any process change within a business will have some pushback because some people don’t want change and prefer sticking to what they know.
You can’t just implement a robust DMS and expect your employees to adopt it seamlessly. You need to prepare your team and give them the proper tools and training required to use and understand the system. You could have the best document management system set up, but if your team isn’t prepared, the system is useless and can cause even more confusion than before implementation. In this blog, we will talk through some of the ways you can help your team adopt a DMS and have a seamless transition of systems.
System Selection and User Buy-In
We first need to start with the actual system selection of your DMS. Choosing the proper system will make or break your user experience and adoption. The system you select should be one that will transform your document management process, making it faster, more efficient, and just overall better than your old system or process. If the system installs a new workflow or drastically changes how a user does their work (and gets things done), the user MUST be convinced that the new system will help them do their job better or faster or easier. If your system does not deliver that, users will be turned off right away, and your DMS will not survive at your organization. If the user feels like the system slows them down so that they appear to be less productive, users will reject a system and start requesting a rollback to the “old and proven” way of doing things. This means that it is vital that management gets “buy-in” from supervisors and key users that the system will indeed provide the advertised benefits. This means demos for key people and proper training that stresses the ease and efficiency of the system. Gaining buy-in at both the user and management levels requires managing expectations.
Although choosing the right DMS is essential, you also need to ask your employees what they want from this system. Although upper management can look at buying a new system at a high level, it is the end-users that you need input from since they are the one’s hands-on in the system. Your users can offer several suggestions on how a business process can be improved. That is why user buy-in is so necessary when it comes to the adoption of your DMS. If you don’t listen to your users initially, you will find that your DMS will actually hurt your organization rather than improve it.
You always hear the saying “communication is key,” and it is, especially when implementing a new DMS to your organization. You got the buy-in from your end-users, but now you must make sure that the rollout is smooth. To achieve this, you need to communicate and see what is working and what isn’t. Users are laser-focused on the actual work they must do and how it impacts their career at the company. Most could care less about benefits like better document security, regulatory compliance, cost of implementation, or other “management level/corporate level” benefits that do not directly impact their job performance. Watch and listen to reactions from key users and supervisors during initial system demonstrations to gain a sense of what is most important to them, and be sure to address these topics in training.
Use what you learn from your key users and take that information to structure how you plan to communicate. Users will be more likely to participate and communicate when they hear that you took their comments seriously. Management recognition at the user or even departmental level for a smooth system rollout can boost morale and cement the perceived benefits of a DM system with users.
Employees tend to resist change without proper justification, and you will run into that when implementing any new system to your organization. That is why training is also important for user adoption. The system could be great and check off all your boxes, but the users will not be receptive without proper training. Training is valuable for rollout and ongoing use as well. It is unrealistic to think that there will be no issues after a couple of training sessions. Every system has some hiccups here and there; it is how you as managers go about addressing and fixing them.
Managers and supervisors should carefully monitor performance during system rollout to identify where issues arise that could be solved with additional training, changes to indexing screens, etc. Additional training will come as the system grows and becomes more and more valuable to your organization. Be sure to utilize your vendor as well. Many vendors, such as Mindwrap, have great resources and are responsive to solving problems as they arise. You also want to make sure that training documents and resources are easily accessible to your users; that way, when you get a new employee, you already have training in place.
There is no “right way” to implement a DMS. However, if you follow these tips and communicate with your users, you will be able to maximize user adoption. Here at Mindwrap, we have the proper industry experts who can help you with any more questions. Contact us today to learn more about our onboarding and training. Get started today and be up and running in no time!
Click here to download this blog as a PDF.