Many factors contribute to success and effectiveness of tech. Tech users, are usually not the developers. We, as users, generally don’t work on tech; our focus is its use. This means the only way we can get the most out of tech is mostly dependent on what we have control over.
I know I’m not the only one who’s got caught up in the hype and adopted tech with little thought. I’ve entangled myself and teams into something not not investigated well. Because I’m an early adopter, teams I lead tend to have the same lean. Team leaders need to be aware of their own biases and be mindful when adopting technologies.
One of the most important things in getting the most out of tech is understanding it. You cannot be effective with a tool you don’t understand. This doesn’t mean you completely understand everything about solutions you use. Commit to find out enough to get started and a growing understanding.
You cannot be effective with a tool you don’t understand.
Technologies and online platforms and tools generally undergo improvement over time. (It is bad when developers and manufacturers leave users in anguish with the antiquated. Need I say more?) That’s why you get new devices, software updates and bug fixes.
To get the most out of tech:
Key #01: Research
Research is particularly important with new tech. Sometimes manufacturers’ and developers’ communication is not the best. In attempts to make a great impression, release notes and intro videos can be misleading. Developers and manufacturers can oversell themselves. This is why you should go beyond their word.
Skepticism is healthy if your response is not presumption but investigation. Ask those who’ve used or are using the technology what their experience was. Other questions you might want to pose:
- Why did you start using x?
- Did it do what the makers said it would?
- What challenges did give you and why?
- What would you change about x for it to work better for you?
- To what extent would you recommend it?
Asking others shouldn’t be your only measure. Consulting others can be helpful in making informed decisions. They may bring up things you hadn’t thought of. Like I usually say, “Google is your friend…”
Once you’re using tech it is easy to get comfortable with what you already know and can do. Complacency can sneak up on you and rob you of even greater potential or opportunities. Being committed to understand the tools we already have could be the key to effectiveness we’re overlooking.
When was the last time you read release notes of a new update? When last did you tinker with new features and thought about how you could use them to get more of the tool you’re already using? When was the last time you buried your heard in tutorials?
Being a student of the technology you’re already using is one way to get the most out of it.
Key #02: Experiment
Labs are controlled environments where the apocalypse is not the result if something goes wrong. Create safe environments for to push boundaries of the tools you’re using. It’s dumb to try something for the first time on a Sunday, or whatever is ‘D-day’ for you.
Experimentation is about proving theories and discovering. Tinker; perhaps there’s an app or device that could enhance your current ‘ecosystem’. You won’t know how effective they can be till you try it out. Just don’t don’t do that in a live environment.
Consider having lab days with your team. There you could challenge them to set up experiments, solving current or anticipated problems. Are there things you’ve wondered about some of your gear? Well, what about setting aside time to actually find out?
Create safe spaces for experimenting and you’re on the way to get the most out of tech.
To get the most out of tech, spend time in research. Don’t restrict your research for only when tech is new. Commit to continue learning and understanding your tools better, even when you’re using them.
Create safe spaces to experiment and push boundaries of solutions you’re already using.