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How to get end-users to accept and optimize SAP

What are some of the ways to get end-users to accept and optimize SAP within their organizations? Please answer...

from the perspective of getting strong resisters to change including managers.

This is sometimes the toughest part of training and certainly a monumental wall I have scaled several times. There were several things that I did. First, I found the champion within the organization and sat and talked with this person on what their vision and purpose for SAP within the organizational construct is. Second, I talked with this champion about the strategy on communicating and marketing SAP to the levels within the organization. Third, I sat down with the managers, especially the major resisters (in some instances I was able to get the champion's time and in others I was not for this meeting) and essentially made it a brainstorming session on how to best adopt SAP. By putting the onus on them, allowing them some vent time (out of which you might run across some really good ideas for training), and allowing them to put together a plan of adoption and execution enabled and empowered my mightiest resistors. I also asked them to identify the leaders in departments not at the management level that they thought needed to be champions to their colleagues. We then collectively worked with those department leaders to get them thoroughly trained on how the system will work in their day to day job and how great it will be. They in turn were able to report back to their colleagues casually and then in the formal training that this is actually a good product, it is different, it will take some time to learn, but it can be done and will enable them to do their job well.

As for optimization, that is where you need to ensure there is a process in place for feedback that is recognized and acted upon in some manner. For example, in one factory I worked in if the employee filled out the form for a suggestion and put it in the drop box, each form was reviewed by a selected committee of their peers and investigated. The employee was given a tag number form the form and the committee simply sent either an interoffice card recognizing their contribution (it was preprinted). If the change or suggestion was implemented, the employee was recognized via gift basket if it was a non cost savings change, or if a cost efficiency was recognized, then a percentage of the cost savings was paid to the employee (up to a set dollar amount). Believe me, people looked to improve and optimize their business processes and even for those who didn't receive money or a gift basket, they felt that at least their suggestion was heard by the committee via the card/e-mail.

This was last published in May 2002

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