When planning for change management or a core system replacement, we focus a lot on getting buy-in and sponsorship from leadership. But even though end-users may be required to go along, getting their support is critical to success. So how do you handle it when the users of a system are reluctant or even openly resistant to change?
1. Get input and review from key users before the project begins. Make them feel some ownership and buy-in, even if they aren’t part of the decision making process. Include them in updates as the project proceeds so that they have time to prepare and, hopefully, get excited. Remember that time spent in up front education not only helps get reluctant users involved, it also reduces training time at the end.
2. Plan for proper training that includes not just how to use the project, but also what the values of using it are. If you can’t articulate the values before the project begins then something is wrong.
3. Implement a plan to push still-reluctant users. Have dates for shutting off replaced systems, metrics to track how people are using it, and firm incentives (both positive and negative) for adopting the system.
4. Especially with data and Business Intelligence, never forget that usability and design matters when getting users to adopt a new system. Integrate the new system into the existing daily process. Make it easy to use. Design isn’t an afterthought, it’s a key component of driving adoption and avoiding support request and mistakes.
As always I welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me a note at email.
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