< Browse more articles

Change management is key to ensuring a smooth transition


When implementing any new technology, there needs to be internal buy-in and an overriding shift in culture to ensure new processes are fully embraced by those required to use them. 

This is certainly true when it comes to mobile technology. Waylon Kenning, mobile product manager at ‎Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, is a firm believer that police agencies transitioning into the mobile space should take appropriate steps to ensure their officers understand the upcoming changes and are excited about what’s to come before initializing this momentous step forward.

By simply talking to the “end-users”, such as police officers in the field, and preparing them for change in the early stages of implementation, you’ll be increasing their comfort level, managing their concerns and expectations, and showing them that you are not just committed to their individual growth, but the advancement of law enforcement in general.

After all, mobile technology is here to stay, and all evidence seems to suggest it will only become increasingly valuable as the technology continues to evolve. In other words, there is no escaping the inevitable move toward mobility…it’s how you embrace it that might makes all the difference.    

“Agencies today need to be committed and supportive of change,” says Kenning, pointing out that ICT needs to support police officers rather  than the other way around. “The officers need to know that the technology is customizable to fit their needs; that it is flexible, intuitive, and that anyone can use it whether they are 20 or 60 years old.”

Kenning stresses that while user acceptance is critical, achieving it can be challenging given the age ranges and personality traits of the officers within each agency.  That’s why when looking at change management, he recommends focusing on the benefits to each individual first – not the team as a whole.  This, he says, will help alleviate any doubts or concerns each person may be feeling about themselves and their own inadequacies (or perceived inabilities) with regards to new technology.

Kenning suggests prepping each officer with a discussion and a preview of any new systems and mobile devices being implemented. Questions and topics might include:

  • What are the current steps needed to complete a task?
  • How might the new technology affect or improve that?
  • How do they currently feel? Where are their pain points?
  • Sort out WHERE technology could fix those pain points.
  • Look at current policies and processes and explore what adjustments might be made.
  • Remind them that there’s often a difference between the documented way of doing things and the actual way of doing things (i.e. implementing data).
  • Encourage them to ask questions, learn more and explore the new technology on their own.
  • Seek out any concerns beforehand and try to address them in advance.

Click Here for a shareable infographic offering change management principles for mobile technology.

So, what should the takeaway be? Kenning believes that “with any new technology there’s always a learning curve, but the more things agencies can do upfront to prepare their officers for change and create a culture that embraces it, will only lead to better results for everyone.”  

If you’re interested in learning more about how to advance your police agency through mobile technology, download the e-book "Public Safety in the Age of Connectivity" created by PoliceOne.com and Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure. It explores how integrated communication systems make cities and officers safer.