Staffing firms looking to make an enterprise software replacement worry about the potential for a dip in productivity when the new system goes live. The impact to productivity can not only be minimized, but it can be completely avoided. There are two key approaches to minimize the productivity dip. First, avoid upheaval before it occurs and, second, put the infrastructure in place to immediately act on post go-live opportunities for improvement. In speaking with our customers and analyzing various outcomes we have identified the following best practices:
- Design the future state. Clearly define and document future state business processes to ensure that key processes, process variations and potential outcomes have been designed and agreed; this will eliminate chaos and delays in addressing user needs once Erecruit is live.
- Thoroughly test the system and data. Conduct thorough end-to-end system, user acceptance, and parallel testing (when needed), validate data conversion and handle issues prior to go live.
- Conduct role-specific, business process-based training so that end users are crystal clear on all business process and procedural changes and are confident in how they will use the system prior to go-live. Dramatic change will require more communication and training.
- Identify and train power end users who can champion and lead the change effort, while acting as a resource for end users. Ensure that power users represent the broad set of process variations, roles and geographies.
- Establish a self-service mindset. One of Erecruit’s key differentiators and selling points is the ability for our customers to minimize their dependence on Erecruit. Companies that take ownership over training, configuration changes, building custom reports and developing integrations using Erecruit’s API are empowered post go-live to identify and find solutions without having to rely on Erecruit.
- Build post go-live support infrastructure. Put infrastructure in place to efficiently handle end user questions and feedback once the system is live. This includes providing trained Tier 1 support, a change management process and a team to analyze and solve user adoption roadblocks. Earmarking resources and processes to fine-tune data and the configuration post go-live will be helpful in mitigating impacts to productivity.
- Proactively plan refresher training. Prior to go-live, post go-live communications and training can be planned and may include scheduled communications, short videos, and lunch & learns to refresh users and keep them excited.
- Set expectations top-down. Understand the executive sponsor’s (and entire leadership team’s) role in driving end users’ product acceptance and setting expectations. Schedule executive communication prior to and post go-live that expresses executive level support for the solution and states their confidence in the organization to make the change successfully.
- Hold end users accountable. No matter how adept your organization is at implementing change, it takes effort and perseverance; holding end users accountable for successfully making the leap is a key mitigation tactic. Require constructive input and solutions and do not condone complaining.
Sara Moss is the Vice President of Staffing Best Practices for Erecruit. Sara is responsible for helping staffing firms evaluating, implementing and running Erecruit to increase operational efficiency, improve service levels and maximize their return on technology investment. Join her in conversation on Twitter, LinkedIn and firstname.lastname@example.org.