5 Simple Strategies To Increase ERP User Adoption
The most comprehensive and well thought out of ERP implementations will mean nothing unless you have the intended users on board. User adoption is key to successful ERP implementation, and to having it impact your business processes and bottom line. You can influence user adoption when you plan ahead and adopt a few simple strategies to get your people involved.
Here are some ideas:
Communication is the first step
At the beginning of your ERP project, start communicating with your people. Explain the reason for the project, the change that management expects from it, it’s business benefits, the value each stream of business can derive from it, and anything else. Frequent and clear updates will set the stage for what employees can expect out of the implementation. Include as many people as you comfortably can during the implementation phase. Where possible, request input from your people and try to incorporate it even as early as when you make a choice of type of system. Clear and meaningful communication that sets a team goal that the system will help achieve is one of the most successful ways to increase user adoption.
Start at the top
Nothing stresses the importance of things as much as management involvement. Make management a part of your communication plan. Watching leaders use and derive benefit out of a tool is a great motivator to employees, making them more likely to get on board. Consider routing all communication and approvals from your CEO through the system as early as possible. That’s one way to ensure that people are getting on the system and being kept accountable – a good start.
Make training and support a vital part of your implementation
A significant obstacle in adoption is often a lack of knowledge on how to use the new system. While orientation is important and commonly provided. Ongoing training and support are frequently overlooked. Consider budgeting up front as part of your project for specific training for different modules of the system to the relevant people, i.e., accounting, inventory, etc. Break down the training into smaller, more digestible pieces for easier absorption. Make available a support line or team to help with troubleshooting and everyday issues.
Be flexible and offer incentives
In today’s world, mobile and offsite access to your ERP system is a huge motivator. Mobile ERP gives employees the ability to simplify things and fit work into their lives more flexibly – a factor that comes up frequently on employee feedback in organizations of all sizes. Going mobile will do wonders for your adoption rates. Add to that some meaningful incentives, either compensation related or morale-boosting and you’ll have great success. Again communication will help here. Get feedback ahead on the types of incentives your people would like.
Give people time
For implementation project managers and other members involved, the process often takes as much as 50% of their days. Remember that and lighten their load. Distribute responsibilities, get temporary staff where justified financially, pay overtime even to people that normally are not eligible. Being sensitive to people’s workload and stressing that the ERP implementation is a priority can make a big difference to adoption rates.