Top 5 on how to reinforce your IT Implementation that has lost adoption momentum
I have several times had the pleasure of working with customers who themselves have not decided the change journey they are on. The decision to implement the new CRM with new processses is made by HQ – and despite data being collected from the subsidiaries, the change is still controlled by HQ. At ChangePeople we work with a lot of Danish subsidiaries, who are faced with this type of challenge, and I would therefore like to share a few recommendations, if you find you have the same challenge.
I typically see that HQ applies a “one-size-fits-all” model to their CRM implementation, which means that HQ puts a lot of efforts into making sure the CRM system is well-received across all subsidiaries in the immediate period after go-live. However, if not followed up and reinforced by HQ, the new way of working, will loose momentum shortly after roll-out – and down the drain goes the investment. The reason may be that HQ did not decide on a suitable KPI structure, allocate enough ressources or that the change drivers at both HQ and the subsidiaries went off to fulfill new jobs (internally or externally). Nevertheless, you are left with little or no return on investment. The good news is: It is never too late to revisit the initial project and hereby achieve the desired results. In change management terminology we call this REINFORCEMENT. If you can recognise the picture painted above, you might want to read my Top5 recommendations on how to revive a change initiative that has lost momentum.
1. Revisit the vision and purpose with the change. I often see that the original vision is outdated or in fact does not match the reality of the local subsidiary. It is important that both managers and employees understand why they have to work in a new way, and what benefits this bring (WIIFM). Task number one is therefore to revisit the vision, so that it becomes meaningful to you.
2. Collect empirical data to understand how change ready the organisation is. I am big believer in making initiatives measurable, which allows us to make decisions based on facts and data rather that opinions and rumors. To do that, we use an analytical tool that helps us measure the change readiness of our client’s organisation (across function, geographical area, leadership, etc.). This tool allows us to make a more targeted and qualified reinforcement plan depending on the identified gaps between project vision and reality. The second task is therefore to measure your change-baseline and from that differentiate the reinforcement plan.
3. Get the managers onboard. After having decided on a strong vision for why your organisation should invest in a CRM system, new sales pipeline or sales training, the next step is to get the managers involved and onboarded. This is highly relevant as it’s ultimately the managers who should drive the change, since they are responsible for adoption. I often see that these key stakeholders are forgotten and not involved enough by core team, which of course results in equally low engagement the other way. The third task is therefore to involve managers and prepare them for the coming change. As a rule of thumb, 60% of managers generally welcome change. They just need to be reached out to, and guided on what to do. This is where you need to help them with specific initiatives.
4. Start from scratch with training. If your organisation do not have a tight governance structure and a clear/uniform on-boarding programme for new employees, then these users are most likely to not have the optimal behaviour. Unfortunately, I all too often see that our customers do not get the full potential out of their CRM, simply because they don’t have enough knowledge about the standard functionality. The fourth task is therefore to design a strong governance structure that takes into account onboarding of new colleagues and ongoing communication between product owner, super users and managers. This communication flow includes for instance change requests (from users to global team) and new release information (from global team to end user). When this is in place, you can train once again.
5. Place the responsibility of the change. As a subsidiary you properly don’t have a dedicated trainer or local product owner allocated to your CRM-system. I therefore often see that the ownership ends up being given to an enthusiastic colleague, who has the desire but not the mandate to drive the change. Besides that, this employee properly has other tasks and roles that requires time, and in worst case he or she leaves the company, which means the ownership once again shifts hands. The fifth task is therefore to secure a clear ownership of the change, which is assigned to a role and not person. I would also recommend the person who is given this role, actually has the mandate to drive the change. This is often a question of hierarchical power.
When working with the list above, you make sure that the direction is clear, you understand your baseline for change, the managers are motivated to drive the change, the governance structure is clear and that ownership is securely placed. This means you are in control and closer to the expected return on investment. If you are looking for help to execute any type of reinforcement connected to project implementation or system implementation, then feel free to contact me: