One of the most common and costly mistakes companies make is assuming an implementation will be successful as long as the right technology is selected and is well-configured.
In his recent blog, my teammate Benjamin Duffy introduced the concept of “Aligning People and Processes to New Technology” when implementing Source-To-Pay technology. In that blog, Ben addressed the critical nature of aligning processes to technology. In this blog, I’ll discuss the other critical piece of the equation: addressing the needs of the people who will actually be using the technology.
Organizations dedicate tremendous resources to managing solution development, but too often focus only a small amount of attention on preparing the technology users to be successful.
One of the biggest barriers to success is the resistance to change management.
Poor or absent change management can lead to significant delays and an insufficient ROI. The key to achieving accelerated end-user adoption and ultimately obtaining the project’s Target Business Outcomes (TBOs) is developing a well-founded change management strategy. Integrating change management into the technology implementation methodology will have significant impact on helping companies hit these TBOs.
Technology providers that are serious about ensuring the customer is prepared to utilize their technology will work with SMEs to identify changes and the impact across the organization, leveraging this to ensure alignment. This approach can consist of a series of workshops at the start of the implementation focused on aligning what we note as People, Process and Technology. Project Leads and relevant SMEs collaborate during these workshops to define changes, analyze organizational disruption, identify impacted stakeholder groups, and assess the degree of impact. This protects the customer against making uninformed decisions about which elements of the strategy can be executed in broad fashion versus where more targeted engagement will be needed.
The deliverables stemming from these workshops should include:
- Communication Plan– holistic communications and engagement strategy that spans the entire project life cycle from early meetings to post implementation support.
- Training Plan– master document used to plan and guide the development of the training program; includes a requirements assessment and training curriculum for each end-user group.
- Resistance Management Plan– plan that identifies all expected sources and types of resistance to expect on an implementation accompanied by both proactive and reactive strategies to neutralize the occurrence.
Putting the time and effort into this pre-work will support developing connections between the people who will carry out the new processes and utilize the new tools. If these people do not adopt the solution, utilize it completely, or operate at a high level, then the project TBOs will not be achieved, and ROI will suffer. A technology implementation approach rooted in change management avoids these negative consequences.
At Corcentric, our goal is to help our customers develop meaningful and effective communications and ensure the messaging is clear and consistent. Our team keeps project sponsors and management engaged throughout the process, making the organization’s commitment to success clear. We develop a unique training curriculum for each audience based on process-related knowledge and system-specific skillsets they must develop to be successful.
We engage stakeholders early and keep them informed, train them thoroughly, and continue to extend support post-implementation until they have fully transitioned and are comfortable within their new current state. All of this provides a clear roadmap for success by accelerating adoption, increasing utilization, and developing more advanced proficiency levels among end users.
No technology solution is a silver bullet. Unless there is alignment between People, Process and Technology, maximum ROI will not be achieved. The most effective solution is one that is configured for your operational processes and is adopted by your end users. The benefits of working with a single partner who can offer advisory services, change management, and technology are numerous. Outside of being cost-effective, the integrated approach will ensure alignment and result in an implementation that is completed on time and within budget.
If your organization has an upcoming procurement or finance project that requires advisory services, change management or both, please contact us for more information about how we can help make your project a success.