Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The recipe for a successful new systems installation

My experience in installing information systems brought me to many places. I've installed systems to rural barangays, mid-level bureaus, and high level administrators. Sometimes not all users readily embrace change. More often it is the younger set that are more willing to absorb new things.

In the past, specially in the remote rural barangays, older folks are reluctant to switch to new ways of doing things. We therefore targeted the kabataang barangays, offered them computers in exchange for their statistical information. We also used that strategy to farmers and market administrators. It pays to heed the WII-FM (what's in it for me?) syndrome.

So I find great satisfaction in the smooth outcome in the series of upgrades to a higher database version. I'm currently upgrading the statistical database software in several units comprised of veteran employees in a government financial institution. I am pleasantly surprised with their good cooperation despite the few snags that got in the way. We are not upgrading their PCs. We are even asking them to maintain the old and new versions until everyone has been upgraded. In effect, many of them are doing twice the job. Although this project has been in the work schedules for the past several years, there is no new strong memo from the top to remind everyone of the change. Frankly, I was half-expecting tough resistance, instead, I saw professionalism.

It helped that they are told upfront of what to expect in the process. It also helps to be on call at all times, to guide them in every step of the way. It helps to have a better, more solid product replacing the previous version. That is the very reason for the change anyway. It also helps to have a change sponsors, people of stature who'll embrace the change willingly. Of course it helps that many of them are my good friends. Such good friends that they like my pasta putanesca very much.

Photo from http://13c4.wordpress.com/

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