Business Process Management: Are you operating a well-oiled machine?

As a member of an SMB that is driven by systems and processes…

…I get to see first-hand the huge array of differing techniques used for business process management. We try to offer guidance on best practices for increasing efficiency, sales, engagement, etc and try to help reduce follow-up failure and time wasted because of poor processes.

A2ZCloud have seen it all from companies at the cutting edge of their given sector operating with post-it notes and phone calls for passing leads, to those that have invested in the most expensive and advanced systems to help them manage their business, but don’t use them efficiently or sometimes at all.

Whilst working for A2ZCloud I have started to see a pattern emerge. For a number of our customers, regardless of their level of tech ability or the complexity of the systems they have or are considering putting in place, one of the biggest issues that they face is user adoption.

You may have the best systems designed to enable your team to function cohesively…

…but if they are not all using them in the same way or, in the method that you lay down then it won’t matter if you have a money printing press, you will still find it hard to be as successful as you potentially could.

Adoption is a huge issue especially when you are implementing change. Trying to make that transition from one process to another needs to be clearly defined and well managed otherwise you may fall at the first hurdle. You could have the best system in the world but if your team don’t know how to drive it efficiently your business won’t go anywhere fast.

Below are my top 5 tips for successfully navigating the track that is user adoption.

drive your business forward

Define what the new system means for your company

Every organisation’s definition of a specific system is different. Before you begin to look at technologies and system vendors, define your goals and review your existing customer facing processes. Involve all your key departments (IT, sales, marketing, support, and finance) to standardise and streamline your business operation. Early in the process you should also define the success criteria and metrics in terms of user adoption, expected business results, and ROI (return on investment). At the end of this exercise, you should have a clear idea of how your new system will support your business strategy.

Plan your rollouts in phases

Plan your rollouts in phases so that your users get to experience the new system in bite-sized pieces. The last thing you want is to overwhelm them with a huge new beast of a system that is going to bring their working day to a halt before they have even logged in.

Decide who will be the system owner

Specify a department that will ’own’ the new system. Do this in collaboration with your key departments. In many organisations, the process of selecting a system is owned by IT. However, many successful system roll outs have shown us that end user groups like sales or marketing can be more adept in owning this process.

Elect a system champion

Elect a ‘champion’ from the department that will own the system. Give the champion overall accountability to drive user adoption and evangelise the system within the organisation.

Identify administrators and super users:

Select administrators and ‘super users’ from key departments who will represent their teams during the roll out and build a consensus around the new system within the department. Make sure the super users have sufficient influence to represent their departments.

User adoption is key when implementing a new system and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is as important as gathering requirements, defining stages or training and should be treated with the same respect.

All too often systems struggle to get off the ground because businesses (or their key members) are too anxious to ‘get going’ and see the ‘ROI’ and so just sign off before fully checking that the system actually delivers and meets the criteria in the original specification. By thinking through every step and defining goals at each you will not only ensure a smooth system delivery but you will also make sure your well-oiled machine is never in danger of grinding to a halt.

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