In today’s post, we’ll look at DMS’s next 3 tips (No’s. 6, 7, 8):
6. Ensure that Laptops, Desktops, Servers and Networks are Solid. It’s important to have a good hardware infrastructure in place. Test all your hardware. Figure out how the hardware you now have in place will fit with your new software. (We’ve found that relatively newer hardware can usually be repurposed with upgrades in RAM, disk drives or perhaps network controller cards to accommodate new software.) Be sure your provider gives you a current spec sheet on both “minimum” and “optimal” hardware configurations. And most important of all, pay close attention to your server needs. It will be the workhorse of most systems, and the item(s) most likely to need upgrading.
7. Identify Super-Users. One way to smooth the path for your users is to engage a group of super-users to learn the software’s ins and outs first. The client project manager should determine the key system advocates, and give them first shot with the new software. (As noted earlier, we often do this in the context of a conference room pilot.) End user system acceptance doesn’t happen automatically. But if you can develop a few power users into system evangelists, those early victories can pay long-term team dividends.
Meanwhile, as DMS points out, keeping up communications across the team is essential. You have to sell change as part of the new system. Your firm won’t see benefit from the new system unless your team embraces those changes. Your super-users can lead that charge and build momentum across the organization. They have to be dedicated to organizational change and communication. If that change is seen coming only from the IT team, it’s not likely to stick.
8. Don’t Skimp on Training. No surprise here, especially in view of our earlier comments. But the training isn’t just for going live. It should continue with refresher courses afterwards. When you train… make the training role-based by user… make attendance mandatory… let employees know during training where it makes sense for them to come together as a team… engage your employees and try to make the sessions engaging, a little humorous, even exciting… give some thought to what else you can do to further each employee’s understanding of the system.
Finally, remember: this is about change, not just technology. It’s a culture shift. Understanding the importance of training – and communication – before, during and after, will be the differentiator that determines your level of ERP success.
In our next and final post, we’ll look at what the DMS e-book says about setting expectations and listening to your staff. Stay tuned…