Implementing IT is about changing business and behaviour

21 Dec, 2022

ERP and CRM solutions can’t be implemented from the shelf. You can take best of breed software and proven best practices and build that into a template. This provides a foundation that should be combined with the business case, the goal of the business change and how to provide business value. This is how we succeed in international implementations, again and again.

Delivering IT solutions successfully, bearing in mind the definition of success, is a challenge and many organisations do not understand the real time and resources required. Too often, conversations focus on cost instead of effort at every level of the organisation. And even when you move past that initial stage and start working with people to implement the solution, there is still often a disconnect. Businesses don't give enough credit to how important it is for everyone to be invested in making the solution work. Instead, they think they can implement a solution, slap an IT label on it, and call it done without involving anyone else. But people aren't machines: we need more than code to make something work. This is about change management.

1. Have stakeholders and sponsors

To be successful, you need more than just a few people on board. You need buy-in from multiple stakeholders across your organisation, including C-level executives. This team should comprise key decision-makers and have a shared vision as well as an active adoption plan that runs parallel to the solution implementation. In other words, don't treat the solution implementation as an IT project.

It’s about understanding the business case and the value you're trying to drive from C-level. These sponsors must have a vision of what they want to achieve, and they should be willing to make decisions to turn that vision into reality. They should also be visible within the organisation and say, ‘make this happen’ and ‘let me hold your hand on this journey’. It’s all about visibility, care, and involvement.

2. Transform together

Business adoption in the business change program is the other key element. Part of the transformation also needs to be in play. This requires specialised people and techniques like ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement). You've got to take people on that ADKAR journey. This is what we will go through in line with the solution you implement to drive transformation. Solutions are straightforward, but you are impacting people's processes and behaviour. From start to delivery, visibility, care, and stakeholder involvement are crucial.

3. Show progress with value milestones

Change is difficult for everyone, so it is important to show employees what they gain from it. Key milestones get them involved. For maximum impact, communication is usually based on a story. A fashion company going through such a project went around the world in eighty days. So, every key milestone was another country visited, and they'd send a postcard. Of course, you also keep the C-level, and key stakeholders informed through meetings that include crucial milestones.

Some customers benefit from the more rigid waterfall type project, where others benefit more from a DevOps approach. For that reason, we have a framework that allows us to adapt. We use a methodology called Excellerate, an evolved version of Microsoft’s SureStep Methodology. It is not a waterfall, and it's not agile; it's hybrid. This fluidity of approach is based on the customers’ needs to ensure business value. 

4. Global approach, local practice

Not long ago, companies thought that adoption was not necessary. Still, some companies only realise this when employees do not use the solution sufficiently or worse: not at all. With international implementations, adoption is especially tricky. Everyone must start working the same way, but you also must deal with different countries, cultures, and ways of working. That is why we use specialised trainers and key users to turn resistance into confidence in change. It is a local practice, but always with the global strategy in mind. This way, we drive maximum business value from implementations and keep people happy and aligned.

5. A people-centric approach

HSO International is all about people. We believe that customer success drives all success.  It is all about satisfying the customer and its people. From the leaders to the consultants, they are highly experienced and helpful and cordial to people. So, they take that experience to clients and drive business transformation from a people-centric approach as opposed to sales-centric delivery. This improves results again and again.

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