“A business solution is composed of people, business processes, and technology.  People are the most important component of a business solution.”

– Brett Beaubouef, The ERP Implementation Manifesto


So you’ve decided to take your business to the next level by implementing a top-notch inventory management software. Congratulations! Improved efficiency, productivity, happy customers and healthy returns await you! But before that can happen, your new, game-changing enterprise system needs to be successfully implemented, onboarded and adopted into your business. You likely have ambitious goals and expectations for the new system, but how well you bring your people on board can determine whether you will meet those goals, and how quickly that will happen. Your involvement and commitment to this process is crucial for its success, and the more engaged you and your team are, the smoother the transition process will be. Below, we’ll introduce you to a basic change management framework to help your team adapt to the new system, and outline some of the ways you can optimize your implementation while minimizing the resistance inherent in upsetting the status quo. 

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Unfreeze: Successful change needs to start with an evaluation of the attitudes of the people in your company who will be impacted by the adoption of this new technology. By speaking to them and getting a gauge of their feelings, you will accomplish two important goals: 1. You will have a clear understanding of your team’s fears and anxieties, which will allow you to strategize about how to overcome them, and 2. You have begun the change process with open and honest communication, making your team will feel considered and included. Don’t underestimate the thrust and momentum this early support will give you! 

 

Change: It’s time to take the information you gathered in the Unfreezing stage and create a strategy to overcome some of your team’s fears before they start to actively resist the change. As the new system is implemented, there will likely be some confusion and mistakes that will happen. It’s make-or-break time, so don’t let people get discouraged!

Pro Tip: Almost all resistance to change is rooted in the perceived risk of loss and the difficulty of changing habits.

In any change, transparent and continued communication is key. Speak in clear terms about how the new system will be used, and how it will and will not change the way that people work on a daily basis. It’s human nature to feel a sense of loss as the status quo is changed, but by emphasizing the positive impact of the software for both the company and individuals, you can start to overcome the natural resistance that arises in the change process.

 

Refreeze: The new system is operational, and things are running smoothly, or so you think! But it doesn’t take much for old habits to creep back in and for the process to backslide into failure. It’s time to maintain and reinforce the change to solidify it and embed it into the fabric of your company. You can do this by recognizing the best adopters and continuing to emphasize the importance and benefits There’s a new status quo in town, and it makes the old way of doing things look old and out-dated! Don’t take your foot off of the gas pedal, and ensure that the new system is supported and problems are dealt with quickly.

 

At AdvancePro, we have an experienced group of trained professionals ready to help you implement your new system and get the best results. With a proven strategy for success, our team is here to partner with you to make sure your implementation goals will be blown away in record time!

2 thoughts on “Accelerate your Implementation with a Change Management Approach

  1. I like that you mentioned the resistance to change and where it may come. I think those who are set on it should seek to power through any resistance due to their vision. It is important to take it into consideration, but not let it hinder.

    • Michael Vodianoi

      Hi Kenneth,

      Thanks for your comment! It’s certainly important to get past resistance in order to achieve successful adoption, and knowing the source of resistance will help you decide how to overcome it. But “powering through” it is likely to create even greater opposition, as people dig their heels in a push back. It’s crucial that you understand your people and culture so that you can be strategic and empathetic in different circumstances.

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