Good communication is an important factor in successful enterprise software implementation
Change can be challenging for an organization, but there are ways of communicating change which can make the process run smoother.
People in general can have the tendency to feel negatively about change, especially when it involves introducing something that they have not experienced before, however using good, consistent communications that target the correct audience at the correct time can remove a lot of the barriers to success.
A comprehensive communication plan should be at the heart of any software implementation strategy. The most important goal at the end of the process is user adoption, and a well-constructed plan is one of the best tools to help achieve that goal.
We’re taking a look at some of the key communications elements to consider when planning to implement change, to ensure that the process runs smoothly from inception to sign-off.
Draw up a varied communication plan
Different people learn in different ways, so it’s important not to rely on just one channel of communication to let the organization know about the planned change. Instead, you need to draw up a communications plan that uses a variety of methods to get your message across.
Think wider than just sending an email to everyone on the mailing list. Consider including presentations from senior managers, articles in internal newsletters, video briefings from the CEO, or drop-in sessions for potential users. The broader the range of communication methods used, the more people will hear and understand the message.
Take the time to create a communications plan that covers all angles
Consistency is key
Communication is not a one-time event. Think about how many corporate emails, newsletters, speeches, presentations and meetings your company generates each year. The number will likely be high. You can’t, therefore, expect to send out one message about a change as important as a new software implementation and expect everyone to be instantly on board.
Instead, make sure that you have a clear idea of your core message, and keep it consistent. Employees feeling anxious or unsure will appreciate frequent communications to provide information and reassurance.
Make sure the big questions are covered
When planning the communications around a software implementation, it’s a worthwhile exercise to try and pre-empt the types of questions that will come back from end users and answer them up-front in the communication materials.
Consider questions like ‘why do we need this change?’ ‘What value will this add to our processes?’ ‘Who made the decision to choose this particular solution?’ ‘When will this system be ready to go live?’
These are all valid questions which you will almost certainly get asked at some point in the implementation process. It’s worth getting ahead of the curve and answering them as early as possible to help address any potential concerns and gain buy-in from users.
Make your life easier on implementation day by answering the big questions up-front
Build legitimacy with Senior Management buy-in and staff champions
Actions speak louder than words, and one of the most powerful communications tools at your disposal is the staff within your organization.
Executive sponsorship for the project is incredibly important. Ask senior leaders to lend their name and support to the project, to build legitimacy and show that the implementation is central to corporate objectives.
Similarly, it can be useful to enlist ‘super users’ or staff champions from among the enterprise users who will eventually use the software. Demonstrating the benefits to these champions can be an incredibly powerful way to get your message to the wider staff group, as they will act as advocates for the project and help deal with any teething problems at implementation stage.
DRMcNatty can help you plan for a successful implementation
We know that the end goal of any implementation process is user adoption, and we can help you achieve that goal.
Our expert team can help craft an effective communication plan which is sympathetic to the particular needs of your business. Combining our industry knowledge with a timely, consistent, and compelling communications plan will ensure a successful and pain-free software implementation.