19 Ways Industry Leaders Overcome the Challenge of ERP User Adoption

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It’s no secret that a modern ERP solution is the way of the future for business management.  Digital transformation has become essential to support people working remotely and to compete in a global, connected economy.

Since everyone knows the benefits, then why is user adoption such a challenge among many businesses? Shouldn’t everyone be excited to embrace such an exciting change?

In many cases, a combination of factors leads to employees dragging their feet during ERP implementation.

To help you tackle this challenge, we’ve consulted multiple industry experts to give you some valuable insights. Notice these 19 pro steps you can take to make user adoption across your company as smooth as possible.

Download: 19 Brilliant Ways to Promote ERP & CRM User Adoption

  1.  Build an inclusive software selection team:
    • Ensure that each department or business unit feels their perspective is represented in the selection process by choosing people from various departments to be a part of the software selection team.
  2. Design the system to streamline cumbersome processes:
    • Don’t simply replace a paper task with a digital one. Show that you have your employees’ interests in mind by designing a system that helps them accomplish more in a day with fewer headaches.
  3. Plan ongoing support and training before go-live:
    • Users need to know that they will have support to help them transition to the new system. Let them know right from the start what the ongoing support and training program will be.
  4. Maintain key integrations and customizations:
    • Don’t expect users to manually transfer or enter data that the previous systems handled automatically. Integrations with other systems and customizations should be addressed early in the planning phase.
  5. Map customer journey before designing ERP/CRM:
    • By mapping your customer journey from start to finish, you can align processes to help guide your prospects—including triggers to launch automated campaigns focused on historic sticking points.
  6. Leadership must champion the project:
    • Ensure all employees in leadership roles understand the reason and goals for the project and are able to explain them clearly.
  7. Identify an internal project manager:
    • Before the project begins, identify a project team and project leader. All team members should be empowered to spend appropriate time on the project—which may require a reduction of current responsibilities.
  8. Leverage “Super-Users”
    • “Super-users” are employees that are passionate about learning and are embracing the change. Identify them early on and develop a plan to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with others throughout the onboarding process.
  9. Prepare to be flexible:
    • During implementation, there are likely to be unexpected challenges. Project team meetings should address potential changes and leadership should be fully informed of possible impacts.
  10. Provide consistent, continuous communication:
    • To keep everyone informed—from leadership to front line users—establish regular communications channels. Project updates should be honest and informative to help users feel included in the entire process.
  11. Establish metrics for goals and expected outcomes:
    • The defined goals of an ERP implementation project should be clear and measurable, providing guideposts to keep the project aligned to the desired outcomes.
  12. Recognize the potential impact on employee workloads:
    • Employees should not be expected to maintain their full-time job responsibilities in addition to planning, testing, and training. Put plans in place to offset workloads and give employees the time they need to fully focus on their implementation assignments.
  13. Explain the business case for the project:
    • Spend the time to build a clear business case to help users understand why they are being asked to support the implementation of a new ERP system. Provide employees with the “why”, not just the “what”.
  14. Promote patience and tolerance during the project:
    • An ERP implementation project can be stressful for many of the individuals involved. Patience and tolerance for missed deadlines or mistakes will go a long way in supporting user adoption.
  15. Provide an overview walkthrough before training:
    • Doing this will help users understand the big picture so they can understand how their role contributes to the process.
  16. Address potential concerns of automation:
    • Demonstrate how the new system will benefit each employee specifically and how their effective use of the application will make their work more productive and fulfilling.
  17. Use terminology and examples that employees understand:
    • Make training sessions specific to your organization. For example, use industry-specific terminology instead of generic examples that are included in vendor training data.
  18. Offer a variety of training options and support:
    • Support learners of all kinds by providing a variety of training options, from one-on-one, group, or video training sessions.
  19. Take full advantage of video communication:
    • For most organizations, user testing and training sessions will include people working from home. By hosting sessions in real-time, you enable two-way communication that can provide valuable visual feedback, such as facial expressions and body language.

Unforeseen challenges are sure to come up during any ERP project, but don’t let user adoption be one of them. Take steps right from the start to ensure your employees embrace the change coming their way. By doing so, you will contribute to the smoothest onboarding possible as you take your company to the next level.

To hear more from the experts, discover potential roadblocks, and learn pro tips that you can put into practice today, download the white paper “19 Brilliant Ways to Promote ERP & CRM User Adoption” at www.erpsoftwareblog.com/19brilliant.

When it comes to user adoption, experience counts! Visit the Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner Directory on the ERP Software Blog to find a list of implementation and training partners who know how to prepare your users to take full ownership of new software.

By ERP Software Blog writer, www.erpsoftwareblog.com

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