The financial investment in a new ERP system, such as Workday or Kronos is enormous and the resource requirements are huge. But, much to the chagrin of many organizations, for as much money that is going out the door on sophisticated new systems such as these, Return on Investment is not always a guarantee. Organizations often overlook the significant amount of time and energy required to fully implement these systems!
While many senior executives tend to blame the systems themselves, as Change Management and implementation experts, we know technological integrity is rarely the source of the problem. Instead, the root of the problem stems from organizations mistakenly regarding these implementations as a purely technical issue with inadequate emphasis on the human elements.
What do we mean by the human factors of a technology implementation? Here are a few of the mistakes our change management consultants commonly see during a Workday, Kronos or any other technology implementation:
- No definition of the behavioral changes required to implement the technology; therefore no ability to measure levels of adoption.
- There is insufficient Sponsorship actively expressing, modeling and reinforcing commitment level by level through the organization throughout the entire project.
- Ineffective Communication that is “top down” and/or "one size fits all" rather than tailored to the specific audiences.
- Training that focuses on the system, instead of on how users will need to use the system in their jobs.
- Readiness activities that are focused solely on training and communications rather than also motivating users.
- No process in place for addressing cross-functional decision-making.
- Managers and leaders who are unprepared to address resistance to change, and may in fact be resistant themselves.
- An IT department who is running the show instead of sharing accountability and Sponsorship with the business end users.
As a result of any combination of these issues, organizations are not achieving their business goals regarding cycle time, customer satisfaction, and cost reduction. In other words, Return on Investment is just not there.
Choosing the Right Change Management Methodology
To overcome the common barriers to a new technology adoption, a structured, purposeful Change Management process needs to be applied. Given the complexity of a Workday or Kronos implementation, the change management approach needs to be able to address all of these potentially significant barriers to change. So, what are the must-have's?
- A methodology that focuses on Sponsorship, Sponsorship, Sponsorship
The most important consideration will be whether your change management methodology guides activities to securing the required Sponsorship through the entire Workday/Kronos implementation. No tools or templates will take the place of getting the Sponsorship you need. We are talking about active, demonstrated commitment at each level and in all areas that are impacted by Workday or Kronos.
- An Operationally-focused approach
The change management methodology also needs to be less about the change journey and more about how you create an enabling programmatic and localized change structure. This change structure ensures you have the governance and implementation process you need at both the program and the work stream level. Managers will need to have practical strategies and tactics they can use with their direct reports to manage resistance. Every area impacted by the change should clearly define the required behavioral changes, and measure adoption against these changes.
- A systemic approach
The human and cultural barriers you will face are going to pop up time and time again. It is much more efficient to address these systemically and systemically than to have each work stream or sub-project attempt to overcome them.
- A repeatable process
One of the greatest values of Workday and Kronos is that it drives standardized processes based on best practices. To implement, you need a repeatable approach that models a "one company solution." If you allow people to use multiple approaches you are only encouraging the silo'd behavior you are trying to eliminate.
- Integration of change capability-building with the implementation process
The most successful implementations provide change management training so that managers and leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to be good Sponsors. People will repeat past behaviors unless they are aware of what they need to do differently, and they are reinforced for the new behaviors.
Before you select your change management methodology, make sure you will have what you need to be successful. IMA’s proprietary Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM) approach ticks all 5 of these requirements-- does your change management methodology?