Implementing an SFA solution. Part II

Urging users to commit to change!


One of the greater challenges during any IT project is to minimize the resistance to change by the people who will be affected by it. This is especially true in cases of IT, where users are skeptical about the effect any change might have to their everyday performance. The resistance to change by users when they face a transition to any new IT system must be planned for and addressed before it happens. Following a few simple steps can help users and businesses incorporate new systems smoothly, with minimum resistance and with much better success, while at the time giving the affected team a sense of accomplishment.

Make sure the team, or teams, affected by the project know that the management is on board with the change and endorsing it enthusiastically. This way, people know that any issues and hardships that may arise during the process are worth facing and should be dealt with responsibly because committing to the change is crucial to the company management team and therefore will be valued by their teams and superiors.

Make sure there are pilot users that will use the system first. These users will face any problems first and help fix them, by giving feedback about them. This way, the majority of users will receive a more mature IT solution, with fewer problems during its first days of use. Select these pilots according to their enthusiasm about technology and change. Then, after the pilot phase is over, use them as ambassadors of the new systems to their more skeptical colleagues.

Make the team affected feel that they are valued. They are doing hard work and their commitment to change is important. Give bonuses to the pilot users, create incentives for users to incorporate changes faster with minimum effect to their efficiency.

Celebrate success. Create an environment where changes are made in small steps, which will minimize the chances of failure. Then celebrate the successful implementation of these steps. This will help create a positive attitude towards the system and build users’ trust towards it.