Let’s be honest, not everyone gets excited about change. But what is exciting is implementing a Change Management program that leads to a successful software deployment. Deploying software like Dynamics 365 as part of your organization’s infrastructure and day-to-day functions is more than just implementation. An important key to success lies in incorporating Change Management in a Dynamics 365 implementation.
First off, what is Change Management? When your organization undertakes projects to improve performance, seize opportunities or address key issues – change is a given. Those changes can include updates to processes, job roles, organizational structures, and uses of technology. Change Management is the people side of that change. It’s the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip, and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.
So, why is Change Management important to your organization? For your Dynamics 365 implementation, a high rate of user adoption is critical to ensure a return on investment. A Change Management strategy helps enable smooth deployments, accelerates adoption and usage, and drives business results more quickly. One study found that you are six times more likely to deliver a successful project with excellent Change Management.
Here are a few ways you could think about applying Change Management to your practice and Dynamics 365 implementation:
- Define who is going to champion the project as the project sponsor. Ideally, this person should be in a leadership position and has authority. They should emphasize key parts of the project such as the purpose and the WHY behind the implementation, the project timeline, and key members of the project. Covering these topics will ensure end users are aware of the importance of the project and who is involved
- Effective communication is the key to delivering adoption messages and ensuring effective organizational change management. Once the project has been kicked off, leaders should regularly remind end users of the value and importance of the implementation. Focus on how and why this will benefit not only the organization but the end user on an individual basis. With frequent and transparent communication, you will build support and trust from your end users.
- Generally, people don’t get excited when they get an Outlook invite for “training,” so why not try to change this usual response by spicing it up a bit? Training should begin with User Acceptance Testing and continue throughout the deployment process. Bring in subject matter experts and make them feel involved by giving them a stake in the project. It’s important for your users to adopt and understand the system, so make the training as enjoyable of an experience as you can. Conduct training in a Lunch and Learn style or do an ‘Out of the Office’ morning or afternoon session. Provide rewards when end users ask questions and make sure to provide breaks throughout the training.
Feedback and Continuous Improvement
- Often overlooked by organizations, seeking feedback and input is vital to the continued success of any new software implementation. Ask your team for feedback regularly and make sure to review and address comments and suggestions. By listening to your users and making adjustments based on their input, you not only show them how important they are to the project but continue to improve your processes. All members of the team make a large impact when it comes to the ROI of software deployment.
I hope you leave this article with a better understanding of what Change Management is, how it will help your organization, and how to apply it during Dynamics 365 implementation. People are your biggest asset, so preparing and supporting them for a software implementation project will only lead to success.
If you are looking for a partner to help you successfully implement Dynamics 365, reach out to the team at Stoneridge Software.