For organisations wanting to start their digital transformation journey this year, many will hit a change fatigue roadblock, discovering it is daunting to just think of the logistics involved amid remote work and pandemic uncertainty. With years of experience offering a blend of onsite and remote resources, Avaap consultants made an early transition at the start of COVID-19 concerns to execute fully or partially remote implementations and are eager to share the success secrets.
Utilize the experts
An experienced advisory partner familiar with the ERP landscape can help you compare vendor offerings and connect with current users about the decision process, implementation experience, and other insights. As large in-person vendor events, such as Inforum, Workday Rising, and Oracle Alliance, and smaller, more localized user meetings have moved virtual, users are no longer meeting face-to-face to share their business cases, lessons learned, and how-to information. These virtual connections and customer communities are incredibly valuable. An advisory partner with a vendor-neutral perspective and depth and breadth of experience across all the major platforms can share insights and make connections to leaders at other organisations who have embarked on the same path.
Commit to robust communication and collaboration
Video conferencing will never replace the in-person experience, but it can be used effectively to make it feel like you’re right there. Over the last year, we have conducted conference room pilot testing remotely, participated in factory plant tours from the safety of home offices, and been able to keep regular cadence and communication using Teams, Zoom, and other collaboration tools. While nothing replaces in-person interactions, a remote team also opens access to broader talent pools with team members able to participate from anywhere in the world.
Prioritize change preparation
Any change, even positive change, is initially a loss of the familiar and will cause disruption. It is important to build awareness for the need to change and how it will impact day-to-day work to ensure your team is adequately prepared with what to expect. Frequent communication as part of change initiatives is increasingly important as more offices and workplaces are fully remote or working at limited capacity. Communication that is clear and deliberate can influence behaviour and make it easier for individuals to understand and navigate change. Scheduling virtual town hall meetings or focus groups early can help to get ahead of rumours and assumptions and will allow your project to run more smoothly with higher chances of success.
Don't lose momentum
Anyone who has been part of a large-scale technology change knows that just because the project is over, it does not mean returning to business as usual. One way to manage resistance and encourage adoption is to provide recognition and rewards. It is likely that members of your project team may still be working on their day-to-day responsibilities in addition to an ERP project. One of the teams at Avaap celebrated a go-live with a virtual happy hour, with each member of the team receiving a box of ingredients, recipe card, and an Avaap branded Moscow Mule mug. The team was then led through making the drink and were able to enjoy a job well done together.
In addition to recognition, project sponsors and managers must ensure they are continuing to actively support use and training on the new technology after the go-live event to ensure user acceptance in embracing the new way of working. Just as important as understanding the need for change is to understand the new processes to be implemented and how they will improve operations.
The global pandemic has quickly made it essential for organisations to think about people, processes, and technology and how work gets done. Whether starting the digital transformation journey or weighing the options, now is the time to take a strategic pause and reset to ensure your technology aligns with changing work expectations and future business goals.