Technology should be an enabler

MunsterDoes your “technology platform” enable the efficiencies and/or compliance your organisation needs to achieve high performance?”

Technology should be an enabler.  With continuous progress in technology it can often be difficult to look beyond the hype and jargon, and to focus on how it can benefit you.  In this blog we focus on one area where technology can deliver efficiencies, control and real cost savings. Enabling Success in the procure to pay cycle by using technology, How to get started?”

1. Deploy a survey to assess readiness and progress in the organisation
Surveys will lead organisations to understand how ready and aware people are of any change management project at the beginning and end of each phase, Different questions can be defined and should be grouped into several factors including

  • Communication and awareness of the programme
  • Overall perception of leader’s support
  • Overall willingness to adopt the new program and overall willingness to support

The surveys also help develop a quantifiable baseline to target communications, change management efforts and gather feedback/ suggestions directly from associates.

2. Designate champions to help support the transition
Use champions and hold regular meetings to educate and empower them. Crucially the champions provide site coordination and act as a general point of contact through the change process. They promote the important role of champions and even made a Procure-to-Pay Expert flag that people could have on their desk that said “Procure-to-Pay Expert. Shopping? Buying? Paying? Ask me How”.  The flags helped promote pride in their role and encouraged associates to ask questions.

3. Train the champions
Several methods can be used to train the champions including classroom training, webinar and video conferencing, workshops, and manuals. Alongside the training, a checklist with questions along the lines of

  • Do all associates within your location and business know you are a champion?
  • Are you familiar with who the other Champions are?
  • Facilitate a meeting with requisitioners to discuss the change
  • Mark all of the webinars, training, interactive working sessions in your calendar and take up all computer based trainings

4. Identify stakeholders to help manage change
Not all of your stakeholders will necessarily support the change. You will need to understand if they are a “fighter”, “fence sitter” or “fan”. Stakeholders can be assigned a coach, given homework and held individual meetings with them regularly, trying to make it fun, and keeping the conversation upbeat and positive.

5. Provide plenty of communication
If you carry through all of the above, including stakeholder meetings and change readiness assessments, you will likely find that associates are eager for more communication. Ensure you implement formal communication email updates – focusing on progress and future milestones. In addition to a network of champions, make other information available on your Intranet.  Maintain this and include links to it in formal communications. Have a group email box that associates can contact if they have a question such as projectname@company.com and include this in all communications and collateral

in summary, ensure you have and document a compelling reason for change that is pitched to the right people at the right level. Work closely with your stakeholder and influencers; find strong supporters and include resisters.

Technology can be used to enable good business practices/process but it is critical to get the process defined and agreed in advance.

Projects are more likely to fail if the process is built around Technology functionality. Ultimately the projects success is 80 to 90% people and 10% to 20% technology hence the importance is getting buy in and good communications.

John Lynch – ICT Consultant

John is part of the Beacon Initiative, Grow Programme Virtual Management Team, which can assist qualifying SME’s to grow through the provision of management expertise that may not be accessible to them currently

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