Consumer goods manufacturers spend millions of dollars each year on enabling technology, and tools for the field sales organization are consistently a top area of investment. However, if an organization refuses to adopt a solution or doesn’t utilize it to its full potential, then the return on investment is severely diminished.
Organizations pose unique challenges when deploying enabling technology because they often work remotely, involve cross-functional teams, and includes process. Considerable time, money, and resources are devoted to the selection, configuration, integration, and deployment of technology. A conscious change management strategy for driving the behavior change required is critical, but often is left to chance or as a last step. It can even lead to technologies having low user adoption.
POI communicates change transformation as absolutely critical to improve all facets of work within a CPG manufacturer & retailer. People are a dynamic and critical aspect of our organizations. Change is no longer episodic, but instead, organizations are experiencing waves of change. As a result, POI has white-papers on the topic that provide an in-depth review & “how to” plan for managing organizations through change and transformation. (poinstitute.com/about/resources)
Based on the 2021 State of the Industry Survey, 81% (+2) of respondents agree that change management has been an issue with TPx users. 74% (+8) of respondents note their organization has challenges with users trusting what they see in TPx solutions. Critically, 60% of respondent organizations have challenges getting their retail customers to trust TPx solution data and recommendations.
What to do — Change Transformation Headlines:
- Have a visibly supportive executive level sponsor
- Establish a cross-functional steering committee
- Take a before/during/after change approach
- Utilize super-users (workshops, UAT, socialization; training)
- Communicate & socialize all aspects
- Incentives motivate change
- Ongoing training
It’s all about user adoption!
User adoption is the touchstone of any great implementation or project. A solution or platform isn’t considered “successful” until the users adopt the platform and continually use it to build improved efficiency.
The only way to have the system utilized is for them to see how it will increase their performance.
- How will projects be planned, staffed, and managed to ensure success?
- How will the enterprises increase cross-functional user adoption?
- What are best practices for implementations?
Level 1: Assessment
- Overall Theme: You can’t determine where you want to go until you know where you are!
Level 2: Vision
- Overall Theme: Never undertake a project until the vision is clearly established! (& you have the budget)
Level 3: Gap Analysis & Requirements
- Overall Theme: Don’t start looking at vendors until you know what you are looking for.
Level 4: Business Case Development
- Overall Theme: The business case is the baseline and reference point upon which the success of the project will measured.
Level 5: Project Team
- Overall Theme: The business owns the strategy and deployment, while IT owns the technology and integration. Together they lead the project.
Level 6: Focus
- Overall Theme: There is no functionality silver bullet. Focus on the key factors for success.
Level 7: Post Quick Wins
- Overall Theme: Organizations live from quarter to quarter. They will not wait 2-3 years to get ROI.
Level 8: User Adoption
- Involve users up front to ensure buy-in.
- Ensure that the software maps to the selling processes. Note, current process may need to be evaluated, re-developed and aligned to industry best practices.
- Avoid instant rejection by scrubbing the data before deploying to any users.
- Maximize both sales effectiveness and efficiency.
Don’t Skimp on Training
- Get Super Users Involved as Trainers
- Super users get trained first and can help develop materials.
- User context is critical. No professional trainer can inject true context like a super user who assists with training.
- Leverage the implied endorsement of the super users.
- Applications usually have various cross-functional user profiles. Try to cover as many as possible with super user-trainers.
- Utilize super user trainers as change management agents; they can ease the transition because they’ve been there.
- Plan the approach and stick to the plan.
- Deviation from plan is often prelude to disaster.
- Projects should be jointly managed between business leads and IT as co-responsible partners.
- Adoption is everything — Play to win.
- Ensure internal processes are evaluated, best practices understood and challenge “the way we have always done it” mentality.
- Get end users involved in both design and rollout to ensure appropriate functionality and buy-in.
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