6 Actions After a New Systems Implementation

You should do some of these before choosing the system, never mind after implementation – but better late than never.  They will still help staff get over that sense of helplessness that comes when the way you did things no longer really works.

1  Set up a User Group

This is the best means to coordinate the mountain of change requests that IT would otherwise get and mostly be confused by.  Since a lot of the requests will conflict with others, you could hardly blame them for taking their time and hoping it all goes away

2 Identify problems clearly

Get your team(s) to list problems, then tackle them individually.  Not everything will be down to the new system.  It’s useful to see what is and what isn’t and helps them see they do still have some control

3 Weed out “homegrown” reporting

Look for “supplementary” Excel-based reports.  These need discouraging, as they can waste vast amounts of time and are often inaccurate.  However, they often contain good ideas for the User Group and commending perpetrators for bringing them to this channel is a positive way to stop it.

4 Map processes: the ones that really happen

IT-based process maps tend to ignore the information transfers between people.  Taking the focus away from the system means focusing on finding new ways to work with each other, ideally using the new system’s capabilities to help.  As it’s meant to.

5 Review pre-existing problems

Whilst some of these may have generated the desire for the new system in the first place, others will probably still be lurking.  If you do both Actions 2 and 4, you might not need to do this – but it’s worth checking.

6 Focus team(s) on quality of information

The system is only a tool.  It can’t interpret anything.  That’s why you still have people in your Finance department!  It’s a bit of a cop-out if your people really believe they get all their information from the system.  Of course, the User Group can and should tailor the system to make life easier for them (assuming you took Action 1) but the main source of interpretation comes from knowing the business and their managers.

Did I miss anything?  I’d really like to know!

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