Editor's note: This is the final post in our "Customer Voice" series where we capture and bring to you the direct voice of our customers to demonstrate their areas of PLM ROI. View the other posts below:
Best practices to facilitate user adoption
Vice President, Information Systems – Global food manufacturer:
It really starts at the top. I know it’s a cliché, but you need executive support. We have a steering committee and they’ve made adoption an important project for the company. That buy-in at the top, it’s critical no matter what you do to get user adoption.
We have people who have been with our company for a long time. Some of these people have done the same work for a long time and they know the systems they’re familiar with. Devex was a big change for a lot of people. Some were more comfortable with the change than others. We don’t want to go back to how things used to be, so it takes time and reinforcement.
What we found to work is getting subject matter experts involved early. Onboarding is not just an IT project, it’s not just an R&D project, it’s a company project and the people using the system have to be involved from the beginning. Having subject matter experts on the project teams helps to make decisions but also gets buy-in. They become Devex advocates to the rest of the company.
They also understand the big picture and can help answer questions when things don’t work perfectly. There are glitches when you’re learning the system but being able to listen and make improvements based on that feedback shows people that we care about their input. It means we’re trying to improve the system so that it works better for everyone.
Supply Chain Program Manager – National cosmetics manufacturer: When we went live, we had a lot of different parts of the business. There was one shop, we deployed a lot of the modules, and a lot of different teams. In the beginning, it’s rocky. Not everyone wants to do things the same way. Devex wasn’t a popular topic at the company.
Fast-forward to today, and other people are monopolizing my time trying to figure out how they can join into Devex. We have project managers eager to configure the IPMS module for new product development. Our creative team now wants to do things with graphics in Devex. The suppliers want access.
That’s all because of communication.
The governance model we’ve set up includes representatives from each part of the business, including regulatory, packaging, and so-forth. We put out monthly bulletins and newsflashes highlighting how we improved a process and that gets people excited about capability and opportunities.
We’ll take an old and inefficient process then map it out pictorially. When you see something laid out like that, you realize how much waiting and waste are created. Then we show how Devex can reduce a 50-step process into a 10-step process.
When others see what we’ve successfully done with packaging and regulatory, they want to get in on Devex as well. We have a lot of teams eager to get in, so we’re managing our bandwidth on that.
It’s a night and day change from when we first onboarded. The narrative is totally different at our company.
Director of R&D – Global chemical manufacturer: You have to figure out what kind of user each individual will be. Keep it simple for people who aren’t going to use Devex that often. Don’t over-complicate the areas you don’t have to.
You have to play to the groups that you’re training.
If your company is like mine, if you bring food, people will come. Quarterly lunch and learns have been good for training and refresher courses.
Vice President, Global Director, Product Development and Innovation – Global spirits manufacturer: It really helped us to use live data. If you’re starting off and you haven’t quiet implemented yet, you’re doing some training, and you can download information people are familiar with. They’ve worked with it before and can follow the examples all the way through. The training is relevant to them. They know how to ask questions about it.
If you’re training with someone else’s data, it’s hard for users to envision all the steps. That prevents follow-up. They’ll get it when they see your data.
Director of Industrial Performance and Project Management -- Global chocolate manufacturer: We definitely did not do a good job of telling our people why we were going to implement Devex. Outside of those on the project team, most didn’t know what to expect. Eventually they had to stop using old systems and start using Devex. That was kind of it.
We definitely struggled a lot, to the point where we pushed out implementation to focus on increasing acceptance of the system.
That’s when we started communicating more and doing some re-training. That’s when we got feedback from users and published it on our intranet site. Once real-life stories of how Devex could contribute circulated, people saw that it was a good thing.
I was around before Devex. I can’t imagine going backward. Long story short, you want to communicate the why, not just the what.