Often times, change is among the most crucial components towards continued success. Whether this change is individualistic or collectively as a group of people, it is fundamental to realize when it is time. In this blog, we will focus on how to implement change, collectively as a group of people, for your brand. In the remainder of this post, I will explain the 5 steps you can take to successfully drive adoption through technology.
Step 1: Identify a Designated Change Agent
Once the right technology platform for your franchise brand has been identified, the next natural step is to begin the implementation of that technology.
Where do you begin? How do you start?
The first step you should take internally is to identify an individual or team that you can trust to hold the responsibility of managing this change. This way, you lose the possibility of implementation falling through the cracks because of a lack of ownership identified in the initial phase of the project. You will use this designated change agent or team to act as a liaison between the technology platform vendor and your corporate team.
Step 2: Create Buy-In on Corporate Side
One of the more critical parts of rolling out new technology is getting the initial “green light” from corporate teams. This is essential for you to have long term success with the product – otherwise, you may run into the issues of not having the complete product implemented for all of its functions. To gain the most advantage out of technology, often times it is helpful to implement your preferred solution for all of its modules and functionalities.
The way you create an effective buy-in here, is to thoroughly analyze the product, list its benefits and disadvantages and deliver a presentation to your corporate team as to how this solution will better overall franchise management processes.
Once it’s implemented, drive usage to your corporate team as frequently as needed. If you can’t get corporate buy-in you can’t expect franchisees to use the system.
Step 3: Develop Roll-Out Plan for Franchisees
Now, you’ve identified the technology you need and have gotten corporate to sign off on it, the next natural progression is to develop an effective step-by-step plan to guarantee franchisees are using the system. It is important to provide a thorough and detailed roll-out plan, with milestones along the way so you can assure consistency and adoption at all of your locations.
You want to do whatever it takes to make sure all locations are making the most of this product – and the first step in allowing that is to create a plan.
Step 4: Identify Early Adopters and Confirm Roll-Out Plan
Your plan is laid out – now test it out! Depending on the culture of your organization, ‘early adopters’ can change dramatically. It is very important to identify them so you can show value to your more resistant franchisees. Often times, corporate owned stores, long-time franchisees, franchise advisory board or even brand-new franchisees are great candidates for this. Through this, technique, three outcomes will come about.
- Early adopters verify the success of the program and the value it drives to them
- Early adopters approve that it is valuable but cumbersome to work through and need additional stages
- Early adopters do not see the value in this process
No matter what the outcome is, the feedback from early adopters allows you to further structure the roll-out plan to general franchisees and ensure that you are providing value with this program.
Step 5: Execute Roll-Out Plan
Now that you’ve shown value of the project and have streamlined the roll-out plan – it is time for you to get buy-in from the rest of your franchisees. In this stage, it is important to focus on group training, support and ensuring adoption by all users.
On average it takes 1-2 months for any behavior to become a habit. So, keep this in mind early on, and make sure there are long-term goals associated with the roll out process.