The Hidden Dangers of Ignoring Human Needs During Your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Implementation

By Tom LaForce | December 20, 2023

Imagine going live with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 that wasn’t correctly installed. Worst case, your business would screech to a halt when you couldn’t:

  • Process orders
  • Make or ship products
  • Purchase supplies

This is why a lot of time goes into ensuring the technology works.

Unfortunately, there’s another threat, which rarely gets the attention it deserves: The risk of poor end-user adoption. The consequences of problems on the project’s people-side may not be as obvious, but if you don’t identify and mitigate them, they too can have severe business consequences.

The People-Side of Projects Need Attention Too

If you’ve ever said that people are your most important asset, there’s no better time to prove it than during an ERP implementation. Here are the most important actions you need to take:

  • Make sure everyone understands why this project matters
  • Engage them as soon and as often as possible
  • Ask them for their input and consider what you learn
  • Keep them in the loop every step of the way
  • Provide them with effective training for both technology and process changes
  • Make time for them to take on the extra work associated with the project
  • Listen to their concerns and act on them

6 Costs of Ignoring Your End Users

These are the problems that can result if you don’t pay attention to human needs during your project. Because these are all preventable, there’s no excuse for letting them surprise you.

1. Low User Adoption

The reason you want a new system is so that people use it to achieve better business results. If end users aren’t proficient in using the system or choose not to fully use it, you won’t achieve the return on investment that justified the project in the first place.

2. Employee Frustration and Disengagement

Change often brings worry and frustration to your employees. If you don’t involve them and listen to their concerns, they feel undervalued and disconnected from the project. This hurts morale and job performance.

3. Decreased Productivity

Unhappy employees lose motivation to do their best work. If they are confused by the system or how they are supposed to support the project, they waste time searching for answers and sometimes just give up. A large workforce all dialing back 10-20 percent because you haven’t engaged them or because they lack understanding will create a big hit to your bottom line.

4. Increased Employee Turnover

The ultimate result of disengagement is that people leave. And perhaps even worse are the people who quit and stay. The loss of valuable talent and knowledge can have long-term repercussions on your organization's stability, productivity, and employee morale. The costs associated with recruitment, onboarding, and training new employees further add to the financial burden.

5. Data Integrity and Security Risks

Employees who are unfamiliar with the new system or lack proper training may make data handling errors, leading to inaccuracies and potential security breaches. These risks can result in a damaged reputation, regulatory compliance issues, legal consequences, and a loss of customer trust.

6. Cost Overruns and Project Delays

This last one represents how the people-side directly impacts the technology side of your project. People who aren’t well-supported have a way of slowing things down when you don’t look out for their interests. This leads to lost time and budget overruns.

Stoneridge Helps You Avoid These Hidden Costs

There’s usually too much happening on the technical side of the project to adequately attend to your team members’ needs. This is why Stoneridge has an Organizational Change Management Team. Its goal is to make sure your end-users get the attention they need.

When success depends on people thinking and behaving differently, you need to guide them on their change journey. We can help you predict, prevent, and mitigate people-side risk.

Learn more about our change management services.

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