The Key to Realizing Your Business Outcomes
Companies are finally getting comfortable with spending time identifying the business outcomes an implementation of CRM or ERP is intended to enable. This is a huge step in the right direction. Defining and clearly communicating these outcomes to the organization is key if leaders hope to build the momentum required to deploy a new solution with maximum impact.
Software Adoption Strategy
What far too many companies miss is the link between the outcomes they define and the expectations they set for adoption. So often adoption becomes about just using the solution. What they miss is that just using the solution will not necessarily deliver the outcomes you are hoping for. It is critical that expectations for initial adoption be focused on the people, functionality and processes that support those outcomes.
Here are 5 questions you should be able to answer before you go-live:
- Who should be in the solution?
- How often?
- What should they be doing?
- Who from the business (not IT) should care?
- How will we measure it?
With your adoption criteria defined and expectations clearly communicated you will be ahead of the game in a big way. What you have done is create a direct connection between the outcomes you envision and what you need the users to do in the CRM or ERP solution.
Realizing Your Desired Business Outcomes Leads to Software Adoption
Goal #1 – is to put your organization in a position to say definitively that you either have adoption or you do not.
This is where the data becomes critical. The data you are capturing should paint a clear picture of any gap that exists between your expectations and reality. The work is to close the gap as quickly as possible. This is done by improving adoption in the areas you defined or adjusting your expectations. Improvement might come from additional training, small configuration changes, coaching or reinforcement. When your expectations and the data line up, you have adoption.
In many organizations the minute the solution is live everyone from the business returns to their day jobs and adoption becomes something that IT owns. This is a recipe for frustration and in some cases outright failure. The companies that see the most success understand how important it is that leadership and the business stakeholder’s own adoption and work in conjunction with their technical team to close the gap. Adoption is a team sport!
Goal #2 – is to create a cadence of accountability and on-going change management.
There is a window of 2-4 months that we have found to be optimal for attaining outcomes-based adoption. The further you get from the optimal adoption period the harder it is to recover. During this period the team should meet at least monthly specifically to focus on adoption. They should review the adoption data to identify gaps and patterns, discuss issues and correction strategies, and identify specific tactics to be deployed between sessions. At the beginning of each session, each team member should update the team on the 2 or 3 tactics they committed to.
Goal #3 – is to achieve adoption and push for outcomes and additional opportunities.
For most companies, getting adoption is the holy grail. It can be so elusive that it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the biggest benefits and opportunities are not apparent until after you get there. Once you have the right people in the solution, using it in the right way the potential for improvement, outcomes and growth become obvious.
At Alithya, we have developed a program to guide our customers through the steps to get to adoption. It is called the Adoption Program and it is a 4-month program designed to set your team up to operate in a structure that we know leads to success. If you are starting a project, concluding a project, or having a tough time getting adoption please reach out to us here – we may be able to help.
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