3 Ways To Manufacture CRM & ERP Adoption
CRM and ERP implementations can be difficult. These processes take a lot of time and careful planning. After it's all said and done, fingers remain crossed as stakeholders hope that the organization itself will take to the new system. The challenge that most organizations face at this point in the project is putting measures in place to ensure CRM or ERP adoption.
Even with leadership claiming an organization’s employees are “ready for change,” CRM and ERP implementations always create some degree of change resistance organization-wide. Ensuring proper CRM and ERP adoption means starting the process of adoption long before the system ever goes live. This is where many businesses go wrong.
Below, some of our expert consultants have contributed several tips regarding the processes that we implement to mitigate ERP adoption risks, and manage organizational change.
Ways To Ensure CRM and ERP Adoption
You would probably think that the arduous and frustrating challenges of legacy systems would be enough to encourage users to adopt a system that is newer and more agile – and in some cases it is – however, employees become resistant when they feel the system uproots the way they do their job, or disrupts the business processes they've come to know and understand. Here are 3 ways to ensure CRM and ERP adoption...
One of the most important things to avoid when fostering CRM or ERP adoption is the feeling amongst users of being blind-sided by a dramatically different system. As the old saying goes, "start with the end in mind". This applies directly to end users in this case. After a new CRM or ERP software is selected by the organization for implementation, the vision and value of the project should be communicated across departments to all that will likely use the new system.
Organizations should consider implementing use cases as a part of business process modeling to ensure the new system will match the desired organizational processes that the user will be trained to execute. A use case is a formal story of how a user will/should interact with the proposed system. By defining use cases, creating transparency, and opening the lines of communication with the project team, the organization can help mitigate CRM and ERP adoption risks associated with a system that does not match desired user processes.
Employees often take ownership of their end user roles, and being the only ones that can perform those duties. A new ERP system will hopefully diminish the reliance on that one person. This can lead to further change resistance. Equipping them with a vision and understanding of the new system will help empower the user. It will help them remain feeling like a system expert, and the lessen the thoughts of the new system being threatening to their role inside the organization.
One of the key elements that goes hand and hand with transparency is communication. Part of ensuring CRM and ERP adoption is listening to end users and creating a dialog back and fourth regarding requirements, new processes, vision, values, and project schedule.
To ensure that users are properly updated with relevant information, the project team itself needs to ensure all stakeholders are kept abreast of changes. We strongly recommend weekly status meetings to discuss progress, scope changes, evolving requirements, or new variables they may crop up inside of implementation. Many organizations see changes in the requirements or scope as inherently negative things, and while less than ideal, they can actually be a good thing as long as there is transparency and communication among stakeholders.
Imagine this scenario, you get towards the end of the project and realize the system cannot go live without one critical feature. Perhaps this feature has a significant cost associated with it, and now the organization is over a barrel. With proper communication this could have been identified much earlier in the process and allowed the organization to have more options regarding the ultimate solution.
This same can be said with how the organization communicates with end users about business process changes. If the first time end users are hearing about changes is during new system training, it's likely there will be elements of the processes that they will feel confused or uncertain about. By involving them early in the business process modeling part of the project, leadership can ensure that the processes A.) align with the reality of end-user procedure, and B.) will not be a surprise to the users once implemented.
This idea of open communication, and transparency is always something that must be implemented top-down. The C-suite and executive team are responsible for adopting and encouraging this kind of openness inside of the project. Project stakeholders will identify the dynamic immediately, and will act accordingly. Jobs are often on the line in these implementations, and few want to risk go against the grain.
Project control is an extension of our example above. By opening the line of communication inside the project team, the organization can make changes throughout the implementation process on a micro scale. This is important because it prevents the project from undergoing major shifts after issues have piled up inside of the implementation. It also allows users to provide feedback, and see changes as they are made; giving them a sense of attribution in thee process.
The reason this is important to CRM and ERP adoption is that often organizations will go live with systems that are not ready for primetime; due to these challenges. There is nothing more devastating to user adoption protocol than launching a system that doesn't work properly or is misaligned to the organization.
If users get wind of a system implementation failure, and that the new system is clunky or difficult, the word will spread. The last thing any organization wants is a full blown mutiny of the new system.
Project control is how a business can mitigate a lot of these risks. In combination with transparency and communication, project control is the idea that a business will always understand where a new system is at and how it will interact with users (through a use case catalog). By understanding these things, the business will be able to openly make changes where things may be changing. This is the best way to ensure that once the system is live that it is functional and free of critical issues that could influence user rejection.
Together, transparency, communication, and project control are the pillars of our change management process. It not only helps with organizational change, but helps with changes inside of project scope and requirements as well. It is an all encompassing approach that allows businesses to have a full 360 degree view of their project in real-time.
Anyone implementing a new software system this year should download our 27 page e-book that breaks down all the different ways to mitigate risk and produce ROI inside the project. To learn more about CRM and ERP adoption, organization change management, and project management for an enterprise software project, contact the Datix team today to see how we can help.