The task of implementing or even upgrading ERP software is usually assigned to a dedicated ERP Project Manager or a defined ERP Project Team. This is a great start, as every major project requires leadership and controlled decision making; but what about others in the organization? What about the workers that live and breathe the processes that keep the business running each and every day? Are these individuals playing a role in your ERP implementation?
If your organization is shielding workers from collaborating in your ERP implementation, here are four strong reasons why you should reconsider:
- Working together as an organization may help identify additional personnel to take on ERP implementation tasks and roles.
ERP implementation tasks abound, therefore keeping the entire organization informed right from project kickoff may uncover candidates with aptitudes for tasks like user acceptance testing (UAT), data cleansing, training, process documentation and more.
When ERP implementation tasks are distributed across resources in manageable segments and closely managed, these extra resources can provide a significant boost to a project timeline with minimal disruption to day-to-day operational activities.
- Workers that frequently run business processes may have insightful information regarding opportunities and challenges that can drive positive change to operations.
Feedback from process owners may reveal process shortfalls that may not have been visible in even the most detailed of process flow diagrams. Process owners have been known to provide recommendations that improve productivity, enhance safety, eliminate waste or result in increased customer satisfaction.
Communicating with process owners will help navigate successful ERP process design and ensure that the smallest details that have the potential for major impact are being considered in mapping.
- Engaging workers in the ERP implementation process will accelerate user adoption.
User adoption is one of the most important elements in measuring a successful ERP implementation. Users naturally resist change when forced to learn a new product that presents a learning curve and the abandonment of familiar processes. Keeping staff involved in the move to a new ERP system will help them appreciate the need for change and allow them to embrace the new system at a quicker pace.
Just be sure to solicit user feedback and commend and incorporate great user ideas to strengthen ownership of the system across your team.
- Reduce ERP system training timelines.
With parties involved and informed early in the process, knowledge surrounding the ERP system will circulate quickly. Even prior to formal training, users will develop an understanding for the application that will allow them to quickly adapt. Time spent learning to navigate and transact in the application will be reduced, improving productivity and enhancing time to return-on-investment (ROI).
Start early on your collaborative ERP implementation journey through communication. Consider a company-wide Project Kick-Off meeting to introduce your selected ERP software and key team members – but don’t stop there. Include key ERP milestones and announcements in update meetings, internal newsletters and posts on office bulletin boards.
Keeping the entire team involved will provide benefits that will be immeasurable to your overall ERP project plan – and staff will value inclusion in this most important project that will change the way you do business.