Three tips for increasing user buy-in for a new ERP
In the midst of various management talks about any new ERP platform including hopes for increasing operational efficiencies; expanding and applying better business analytics; and ultimately creating all kinds of revenue enhancement, the enterprise workforce typically stands against anything other than a continuance of the status quo.
There are a number of psychological reasons for this initial lack of buy-in to a new ERP project, but to get to the point clearly, this article from business improvement consultancy Meliorate offers some key points:
- Misunderstandings about a given change can cause disaffection
- Fear of the unknown is one of the most common reasons for resistance
- The potential of failed competency is real
- If you ask people in an organization to do things in a new way, you are working against ‘conventional wisdom
- Not being consulted encourages further workforce resistance
- Poor communication causes disruption
- Failure to articulate benefits and rewards clearly leads to distrust
To overcome these obstacles there are a number of processes ERP project managers can take to increase user buy-in, including:
1. Matching practical experience with systems capabilities
ERP systems exist to help workers, not the other way around. However, many technologists forget or ignore this reality, and instead lean on new processes and features without involving ‘how’ a particular workforce behaves. Consequently, when it comes to developing requirement and selection tasks, all baseline validations should be based on the experiences of the workforce itself, thereby reducing the chance of buying the wrong ERP product for the wrong workforce.
2. Training like you work
Once you have applied the above caution and your new system is ready for action, all test regimes should apply real-world scenarios. In other words, identify a collection of typically executed work tasks then measure results driven by real work, executed by real workers. This will not only stress-test the new system and increase buy-in for your ERP project, but it will also gain a sense of how quickly a launch can be completed.
3. Using test QA results as a remedial measuring stick
Once your have applied practical workforce scenarios during both the development of selection requirements and training regimes; the last pre-launch step should be final QA testing. In this case you should again apply practical scenarios then measure results delivered by both the old and new systems, in order to define strengths and weaknesses. In the latter case hold the launch until they are refined and/or corrected. If the latter case prevails you should be generally confident that your new system is ready for launch.
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