Embracing change is not something that most of us do with ease, particularly when it comes to new technology. Your team may have all kinds of reasons for resisting your introduction of a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform – from concerns about how much of a learning curve they’ll have (and their self-confidence at being able to cope), and how it might impact their customers, to just plain old “I don’t want to”.
You’ve done the research, and consulted with your management team and specialist advisors, and you know it’s going to have far-reaching benefits for the business – like improved workflows and cost savings – but some members of your team are still not convinced.
Our team at Exobiz has had many years’ experience helping others with their ERP change management, so they can transition with ease to a better working environment. Here are the core principles we’ve found that help.
Ensure everyone understands why
It’s important that you and your management team are open and completely transparent about why you are upgrading your system. Disclose details of issues that current practices and systems are causing, and share your vision for the company future, and how the new system will help overcome the issues and help with achieving your goals. Make sure you list all the benefits to them, as well as to the company, once the new system is in place. This is particularly important for staff who deal directly with customers, as they need to be able to clearly, confidently and quickly find the information they need to answer any questions they’re given.
Address all concerns head on
Address any potential negative perceptions of the project and ensure that you have a specific solution for every problem raised. Remember, everyone has their own pace and their own learning style. Some may need lots of empirical data from case studies and scenario testing. Others may need reassurance that they’ll have the training and support they need to learn the new system and get comfortable with it.
Take every opportunity to ask your staff for their questions and concerns, and answer them openly. Similarly, ask them for their input and feedback at different stages, and keep communication channels open. If people know that their voices are being heard, and their input is welcomed and acted on, they’ll be more likely to embrace and adopt the new systems quickly and confidently.
Sell the benefits
Regularly remind your team of the challenges you’re addressing by implementing the new ERP, and how much it will help them do their job.
One of people’s biggest fears, when their company introduces new technology, is whether it will be too complicated and difficult to learn, and they’ll take even longer to get their work done. Assurances are often not enough to convince them.
We will work with you to identify all the key concerns, and provide demos to show how the new system will overcome these concerns and make them more efficient.
We’ve found that giving the loudest detractors and biggest sceptics the opportunity to try it for themselves is the key to turning them into converts. As they experience for themselves how easy it is to use and how much more control it will give them, they’ll warm to it. They may even become your newest change champions, advocating for the new platform among others in the business.
Fast track the buy-in process
Successfully implementing new technology is about more than the Go Live schedule.
You need buy-in from all of your stakeholders, and especially from those who’ll be using it the most. And while it’s important to manage their expectations, we need you to manage your own as well.
Be prepared to face a certain number of luddites and nay-sayers, in spite of all your engagement efforts. Focus on the influencers in your team – those people that others generally listen to – and build out from there. Here are a few final tips to make your new ERP implementation as smooth as possible.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your most influential employees on board early in the process. They’ll be the ones to help you bring the others around.
- Don’t implement the system then forget about it. Some people will need a little more help post-implementation to get completely comfortable and proficient with the new system. This is a normal part of implementing new technology, so plan for the extra time and support they may need.
- Do win hearts and minds by emphasising how the new ERP platform will benefit everyone – the company, the team, your suppliers, and your customers.
- Do schedule time for every team member to be thoroughly trained by us before the system goes live so they can get used to it, and you can identify anyone who may need extra support post-implementation.
- Do share weekly or fortnighly updates on important KPIs so everyone can see the real benefits the new system is delivering.
Get expert support all the way
When we deploy an MYOB ERP solution, we make sure all the bases are covered, including a solid change management program, which ensures disruptions are minimal and acceptance is high. Our expert consultants will help your team learn everything they need to know to become confident with working in the new system and starting to see the benefits as quickly as possible.
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash