Accountability is an essential component of any ERP implementation. Decision-makers should be held accountable for results of the implementation itself and end-users should be held accountable for paying attention during ERP training and applying what they learn to their jobs.
Whether you are proposing an ERP implementation to your CEO or promoting system usage among end-users, you must answer one important question, Why is this ERP implementation important? And you must answer it in a way that is meaningful to your audience. While executives want to know about total cost of ownership and expected ROI, end-users are more interested in whether or not the software will make their jobs easier.
Not only should you build an organizational change management team to communicate with end-users but you should also engage “change agents” or advocates. These are employees or managers throughout your organization who are excited and vocal about the ERP implementation and the benefits it can achieve. Perhaps one of the best change agents is the person who championed the project from the beginning – not necessarily the CEO but the person who influenced the CEO to invest in the project.
The first person to notice the need for new software is usually a department manager. Having communicated this need and presented a business case to executives, this person will likely be a prime source of information when it comes to helping end-users understand organizational changes. While executives and end-users are interested in slightly different information, a high-level business case presented to executives can be easily translated to more specific benefits that are relevant to end-users.
Communicating to end-users how new ERP software will make their jobs easier in the long-run motivates end-users to use the software with or without supervision. In organizations where there is a lack of clear communication, it’s not uncommon to see end-users continuing to rely on workarounds like Excel spreadsheets simply because they don’t understand why the ERP systems is beneficial – and no one in their organization is holding them accountable for its use.
While end-users are accountable for using new ERP software for its intended purpose, decision-makers are accountable for the results the new software brings. If a manager presents a business case to the CEO, that manager better be prepared to communicate with end-users as well and ensure that the project’s expected benefits are realized.
Learn more by downloading our whitepaper, A Guide to Increasing User Acceptance of ERP Systems.