You might be surprised to know that often the biggest threat to a successful ERP project comes from within the organization. Here we take a look at four individuals that can ruin an ERP software implementation and what you can do to prevent it.
For the project to be a success, future users have to be on board. But user adoption isn’t always easy. A saboteur (someone who is prone to sabotage) is an employee that digs their heels in right from the start. They think that rather than making their life easier, this project is going to automate them out of a job.
Obviously, it’s impossible to get someone to support an ERP software implementation that they think is going to replace them.
The Solution: Use strong leadership to convince these employees of the truth. The fact is, this project was started with the goal of making tasks easier, better, and faster. The new system is going to make life better for each and every employee. Their job may not be the same, it will be better. And if they really are so easily replaced by automation, then there was always an issue there that was going to be discovered eventually.
To support user adoption, have someone in a leadership role listen to the employee’s concerns, reassure them of their value, and then get them to “sit down and row” with the rest of the team.
The Unmotivated Leader
If you want successful user adoption, there has to be a strong driving force from leaders within the company. Lack of motivation is likely to stall a project, resulting in wasting time reviewing and retraining later on. If leadership continues to lack the drive necessary, the project will die, taking all the invested money and hours down with it.
The Solution: The company has to want to complete the project and be willing to commit the resources needed to get it done.
Establish a clear reason for the project right from the start. Make sure the management team and department leaders clearly understand how this new system will not only benefit the company but their specific role. Knowing why you are doing something goes a long way in having the drive necessary to complete it.
The traditionalist is an employee that likes the way the previous system works and isn’t on board with changing it. They are comfortable with the old way of doing things and might refuse to adopt a new way. Even though the new ERP system will make their job easier, they are paralyzed by the idea of making the switch.
The Solution: Promoting user adoption and implementing new software means first understanding the old one. Establish why your employees perform tasks the way they do now.
All too often, an employee can explain what they do but have no idea why it’s done that way. The WHY is crucial. After the ERP software implementation, their tasks will be streamlined. But in order to explain to them how much the new system is going to help, they need to understand why things are done the way they are now.
The Committee Member
There’s an expression, “too many cooks spoil the broth”, meaning if too many people are involved, the task won’t be done well. This is true when it comes to ERP implementation, especially in the early stages. The fact is, too many people trying to manage the project is a quick way to ruin it.
The solution: Designate a committed point person that will be most involved with the implementation. This person needs to become a rock star.
A committed point person should be incredibly knowledgeable about current practices or know how to recruit the highly skilled people needed for a specific task. Most importantly, they need to have the fire and drive to want and get the job done.
Promoting user adoption means more than just bringing in a better system. Employees need to see how implementing a new ERP system will directly benefit them. This means there needs to be clear communication and strong leadership from within the company. It may not be easy, but with a little forethought and planning, you can be sure that your employees will get behind the project and push your company towards future success.
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By CAL Business Solutions,