Adopting a tool
Introducing a tool in an organization of software developers is not an easy thing.You need money, you need a detailed plan, but overall you need to see the new tool working and producing for your organization.
Get a sponsor or support from all shareholders!
So before announcing the change, get the support of the shareholders in your organization.
Not all of them are fans of changes, so try to have a sponsor with enough influence to make this change happen. I dont know if the guy should be the big boss, the most respected technical guy, a manager just promoted in a new position eager to change things. Decide for your self.
But don’t start without enough support from shareholders.
Get some profit!
Nothing works without a profit.
A new tools should bring with it some profit, either financial or in quality. No tool will be adopted if the costs for adoption are extremely high. The financial controller is constantly looking to figures, if you don’t. No tool adoption should have as a result a red bottom line.
If the costs of work are higher, than it should result at least an improvement of the quality.
Ensure a nice journey
Every new tools involves an effort of learning. It’s not possible to learn it over night, even Steve Jobs would demand so.
Invest in trainings and track the progress in know-how improvement. A good plan is not enough if you are not following it.
Sometimes the tool is not enough.People need practice, sometimes in a controlled environment where they are allowed to fail big time. Make this possible. Programmers need a sandbox to improve their skills, to make happen their learning curve.
Practice together with your team and note down the feedback. Don’t overreact when the new shiny tool is not perceived the same as you do.
Make the tool loveable!
People genuinely have different interests, hobbies, tastes. They are different. And they have to use the same approach. Even more, programmers are geeks and they like their own tool. Not necessary their own implementation, but
Before going to announce the change in the organization, you have to know what is the general mood. For instance, if you have very creative people, oriented to fashionable tools, please think a detailed approach about how to introduce a tool with a dusty interface.
If this is possible, let them propose the tool. You, as a manager, just define the main constraints, the objective that you need to reach with this new tool. Team will solve the problem and they will adopt easier the tool.
Doing this definition of the constraints, you need to be sure that you understand the needs. Double check with team members if the new way of doing things is solving the problem or is just changing the layout of activities.
Having this done, create the urge of adoption. Evangelize the benefits of changing the tool and underline hard the disadvantages in current situation. Get as many supporters as possible.
People don’t necessary love what they understand, but what is having a decent degree of charisma. Take iPhone and tell me what is understandable in the effect iPhone generated in sales. It’s more about what the user feels. Remember, we are speaking here about a tool. Tools needs nowadays charisma.