Are there any common obstacles one might run into when implementing peripherals?
The two most common obstacles you'll run into when implementing peripherals are lack of drivers and user resistance to the peripherals.
To tackle the problem of drivers, download the latest drivers for the peripherals you're about to implement, making sure you get the drivers for each operating system the customer's PCs use. Avoid beta drivers and unsigned drivers like the plague, unless there are no alternatives. In that case, get the customer's approval before installing the beta or unsigned drivers. Copy the drivers to a CD and a USB stick so that you can install them easily on any PC.
To tackle the problem of user resistance, involve the users as much as possible in the process of choosing and implementing the peripherals. To this end, you may need to encourage the customer to consult the users about their needs and wishes rather than imposing a solution from above.
Ensure that the users are clear on the benefits that the new peripherals will deliver, and schedule training to bring the users up to speed with implementation of the new peripherals. Plan a short follow-up session or visit so that you can deal with any problems the user has identified (for example, not knowing how to use a feature he needs) and assess the suitability to task of the peripherals you've provided. Encourage users to share tips and techniques they've discovered for the new peripherals, or circulate a tip sheet yourself.
This was first published in August 2008