How to tackle the most serious people problems during enterprise software implementation Pt II

The  ERPNext implementation process is also likely to put further strain on any relationships that have had a history of problems.

The enterprise environment of what the sales department needs and what the IT/ design department does are often at odds

 

Top people challenges to implementing a manufacturing software include cultural resistance to adopting new ways of working (45%), difficulties in achieving user adoption (44%) and insufficient planning and attention

There are two things that always seem to come up in terms of organisational change. With sales it is adoption – how do we get the guys to adopt it when there is not benefit for them and all the benefit is for the management? And in the marketing department, the problem is often that they are under-resourced – they decide to industrialise campaigns and start targeting much more refined segments and having more specific messages and have a higher campaign response rate with better quality leads, but to do that they need to increase the head count. So that’s a resourcing issue

How to tackle the most serious people problems that you can encounter during your CRM Software implementation.

  • Use continuous improvement to soften culture shock. Successful ERP Software requires that an organisation learn and accept new business processes and supporting technologies, which is never easy. Use quick wins to gain support for the new CRM system and continuous improvement to keep interest high.
  • Overcome adoption issues by letting users influence functionality. New field service management software processes and technologies that do not have a clear benefit for users and that are not properly socialized will not be adopted. Enterprises should ensure that users have opportunities to influence application functionality and enhancements.
  • Plan carefully to facilitate changes in management and employee behaviours. The tone for a customer-centric culture, and the need to adopt new processes and tools to serve customers more effectively, is set by the top executives of an organisation. Employees look at the behaviours of the senior leadership team to determine which activities are valued and which aren’t.

Leadership is an important factor in making these things successful. Make sure senior leaders are doing what they can to communicate the importance of the project. But also you must really focus on supporting user adoption and having a really good change management plan, recognising that people need to know why things are changing and give them the tools and training so that you can support them in their new roles.

Advocates a phase of user acceptance testing.

This can be a surprisingly extended process as many members of staff representing each functional area may be involved. It’s not unusual to have to go through several rounds of testing. This is also at this stage that additional requirements emerge particularly if the original requirements were lightly specified,” he notes.

The reality is that you’re probably looking at a couple of months to test. You have all of these iterations and it can take quite a long time to get all of that sorted out. Meanwhile, you have got all of the pressure of the looming live data and expectations set, with senior management probably baying for the ERP system to go live – and what often happens is that the team get pressured into allowing the system to go live with a lot of bugs still in it. Then the users go in, find the bug, say it isn’t ready, stop using it, and in many cases never resume. User confidence in CRM Software systems is fragile and if you break it straight away it can’t be repaired.

Therefore, first of all get your testers – you need people on the project team to be involved and going through and checking it all back against the documentation. You also potentially want users themselves feeding back their thoughts on it. But make sure you set aside a fair amount of resource.

Finally, arguably the biggest ‘people issue’ that impedes manufacturing software implementation is the thorny issue of user adoption. An effective CRM system requires consistent and systematic usage. Over the years, the CRM industry has realised that the biggest challenge for CRM systems is getting people to use them. And just because a vendor says their software is ‘easy to use’ and ‘fantastically intuitive’ does not guarantee adoption.

If we’re looking to run our business processes through a CRM system we need everyone to use it and use it the same way, otherwise we’re not going to get the outputs from the system. If you really want to add value then you need the team to use it consistently in a structured way. And that doesn’t come easy. Traditionally the entirety of a user adoption programme is a half day training course – and that’s it. But just because they’ve been on training courses doesn’t mean they’ll use it. So you need a lot of structure and infrastructure around that to look at usage and see where there are issues and take action to address them and be proactive about it.

Getting the usage bit is really hard work and really resource intensive – but if you’re not prepared to devote the resources, then don’t do it.

Here are some final tips for CRM implementation:

Take a gradual approach. Roll out a  pilot project to small group, that will serve as both an in-house evaluation period and also enable you to tailor the system to match your sales process. Furthermore, a pilot team providing a ringing endorsement of the new system will help corporate-wide acceptance.

  • Entice don’t force. Trying to force people to use ERPNext creates resistance and resentment. Show  how it can save them time and help them make more.
  • Make the executives use it. Everyone must be involved and talking the same language if CRM is to hone the company’s strategy, so everyone – including the execs – must be using it. Furthermore, nothing will undermine CRM quicker than if not using CRM is seen as an executive privilege.
  • Don’t support multiple systems. While some may want to continue to use spreadsheets, emails and handwritten notes, because that’s what they’ve traditionally done, managers must refuse any report not generated with the official system.  Reps will soon understand that it’s less work to use the system than to rekey the data.

 

 

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