Build Microsoft Dynamics 365 Adoption by Walking in Your End Users’ Shoes

By Tom LaForce | August 28, 2023

Align Your Team on Dynamics365

Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 often means that people will need to change the way they work. Even if they have to use the system, many employees find workarounds or might do the bare minimum, reducing efficiency and undermining the data and reporting.

While they ultimately will decide whether they change, you can influence that decision as a leader in your organization. This blog provides you with some things to think about when getting your team ready for this change.

Change Resistance isn't Automatic

Too often, the phrase "people resist change" is an assumed truth. While that may be true for some, it's too broad to assume your team will. In order to sell a change, you have to better understand it. Instead of thinking about whether or not your team will accept a change, consider the following ideas:

  • The way people react to change depends on their perception of how a change will impact them.
  • Their perceptions may not be true, but those who have them believe they are true and react accordingly.
  • Some people find change exciting and seek it out.
  • Some people prefer the status quo.
  • Most people need a reason to change that makes sense to them.
  • Everyone can change, and some are better at it than others.
  • We can’t change others. They make their own choice to change.

With a bit of thought, I bet you can add at least three statements to this list that are all much closer to the truth than a blanket statement such as People resist change.

The belief also isn’t helpful because it leads us to see people as problems and treat them that way. People may not react poorly to the change itself, but it’s almost certain they will react badly if you treat them like a problem.

Empathy Helps You Understand Interest

Consider this idea:

We all have wants and needs. If we appear resistant, it's because we believe they won't be met. Our reaction is justified.

If you accept this idea, it means there are two important questions to answer:

  1. What are the wants and needs of your team?
  2. What are their perceptions about how the change will affect them?

Empathy will help you answer these questions. It’s the process of understanding the situation from the end user’s perspective or as you may have heard before, looking at the change as if you’re standing in the other person’s shoes.

When the people you want to change can see that you understand their interests, and you want to address those needs, they’ll feel more comfortable. This will help them adopt the software you want them to use.

Three Approaches to Understanding

Every single person is unique and that means what concerns one person may not matter at all to someone else.

  1. The simplest and best way to increase your empathy and understanding is through one-on-one conversations. Meet with people. Ask them how they feel about the project. Use probing questions to uncover deeper meaning in their answers.
  2. When the project involves too many people, you need to gather this information in more formal ways. Focus groups, surveys, and online forums are all tools to solicit feedback from which you can draw conclusions about wants and needs, as well as people’s perceptions about impact.
  3. A final approach is to start off with a list of common concerns associated with your type of project. Using the 80/20 rule, you can identify which concern categories represent most of your end users’ worries. When you know them, you’ll more easily guess which are in play for certain people or groups because you’ll know what to look for or what to ask.

How to Address Common Employee Concerns

When rolling out new software, here are nine common concerns you’re likely to encounter. To help you with empathy, they are written from the end-user’s perspective. For each, I’ve included an action idea that will help address it.

“I don’t see why we need to make this change”

  • Concern: No clear benefit for the employees.
  • Action: Develop and continue communicating a vision that has broad appeal. Make the goals clear and compelling. Connect them to any shared interests you know people have.

“I’ve got way too much going on right now to deal with this”

  • Concern: Stressed and overworked employees.
  • Action: Be realistic in your timing and staffing for this project. If you think people will need to carve out 40% of their workday for this project, but don’t have a way to fill those hours, you are not demonstrating that you have your employees’ interests in mind.

“Another change? I’m still dealing with the last one”

  • Concern: Change fatigue.
  • Action: There can be too much change. Even with an endless supply of good ideas you want to implement now, you need to prioritize and introduce them at a rate everyone can absorb.

“The software we have now is working just fine for me”

  • Concern: Afraid they won’t be successful.
  • Action: Feeling comfortable and competent is important. The status quo may feel just right. Recognize you are asking people to change and help them understand why it will be worth it in the end.

“I don’t like what this is going to mean for us”

  • Concern: Fear of the unknown.
  • Action: People rarely say out loud that they’re afraid. The ultimate fear is that this is somehow going to lead to job loss. You can share what will most likely happen, which ideally will be much less scary than the story they are telling themselves.

“They'll never finish this on time, and it probably won't work anyway.”

  • Concern: The project team isn’t competent.
  • Action: Follow a proven implementation process and make sure to communicate to others the safeguards that are in place to minimize disruptions. Talk about how problems that do surface will be identified and resolved

“How am I going to learn how to use this?”

  • Concern: Inadequate training.
  • Action: Have a plan for how to get people up to speed. Set aside enough time for teachers and learners. Set expectations appropriately for going live, “You need not be perfect on day 1.”

“Why is this person telling us how to do our work?”

  • Concern: Don’t trust/like the change leader.
  • Action: Appoint sponsors that people know and like. Engage frontline leaders and help them carry a lot of the communication load.

“Nobody asked me what I thought”

  • Concern: Lack of input.
  • Action: People who do the work believe they know best and should have a voice in the process. They’re right. This enduring principle is baked into almost all improvement models. Find ways to involve stakeholders early and often.

Bringing in a Third Party like Stoneridge Can Help Uncover Needs

If you’re concerned people will be afraid to tell you what they are really thinking, you may want to have someone less threatening come in to ask questions. This is a service our change management team can provide.

We offer your team a way to share feedback anonymously, and then we report back to you on interests by groups or personas. This ensures you get feedback from your team while they feel safe to express themselves.

Want to Learn More from Stoneridge Software?

Please get in touch with us to learn more about our organizational change management services.

Under the terms of this license, you are authorized to share and redistribute the content across various mediums, subject to adherence to the specified conditions: you must provide proper attribution to Stoneridge as the original creator in a manner that does not imply their endorsement of your use, the material is to be utilized solely for non-commercial purposes, and alterations, modifications, or derivative works based on the original material are strictly prohibited.

Responsibility rests with the licensee to ensure that their use of the material does not violate any other rights.

Start the Conversation

It’s our mission to help clients win. We’d love to talk to you about the right business solutions to help you achieve your goals.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Sign up to get periodic updates on the latest posts.

Thank you for subscribing!