How you approach change management on Salesforce implementations can make or break your project. Here are some tips to help you.

Communicate early

We see it all the time. Employees who are wedded to their legacy system because it represents a comfort zone. They are wary of new processes or new ways of managing information. Sometimes they also feel vulnerable because they might have a deep understanding of the legacy system and are frightened of a world without it.

Change Management Notifying your people early about upcoming changes can help pave the way

Very early on, the management team or the project manager will need to communicate clearly, listen to concerns and explain why a change to Salesforce is the best approach. Communication should start as early as possible – even during the purchase cycle – to prepare your people for what’s ahead.

Assess roles and responsibilities

Before you even start the design or blueprint phase, you must first understand and thoroughly document roles and responsibilities of all employees impacted by the change. What roles do they play and in which processes? Implementing a new system will change some of your processes.  So having this assessment will help you understand the impact on your people.

This role assessment will lead to two key documents: the role impact analysis and the training needs analysis.

People readiness for change

Like most businesses, you will have three different type of people working with you:

  • People who embrace change (often because they know the current pain points and understand the benefits).
  • People who resist change and may try to sabotage the project or who don’t see it as a priority (often because they don’t understand or can’t accept the rationale for change).
  • Employees who are indifferent and will most likely accept change as inevitable.

Give some thought to your own people. Take a stab at where they might fit. It will give you a good feel for your cultural environment and will inform your approach.

Let’s face it: you may end up losing some people

Change management on Salesforce and other projects is also about managing risks of staff turnover. There’s a good chance some employees still won’t accept the change and end-up resigning (particularly if the job market is strong). As harsh as it sounds, it might be worth trying to assess early on which employees you can afford to lose and which ones you can’t. If you have any employees you don’t want to lose and you believe they will resist change, then the project manager or the person in charge of the transition plan should spend additional time with them.

Over-communicating is hardly ever an issue

No matter how big or small your Salesforce implementation, it’s critical that all employees are engaged and aware of the project execution plan. A simple way to engage employees is to involve them in workshops.  Maybe even involve them in some of the decisions. Set up a monthly project newsletter. The newsletter could cover the progress of the project, the benefits and features some of the new functions of the system.

Training for success

Okay, so it’s not the Olympics. But training is an important part of ensuring your people feel capable and prepared for Salesforce. Training sessions should be planned well in advance and sessions should be mandatory for all (no excuses!). As much as possible, run face-to-face training sessions.

And… we’re LIVE!!!

No two ways about it: go-live is an important milestone in the life cycle of your Salesforce project. During the next few weeks, everyone will have to put in additional effort (and often time) to get familiar with Salesforce in a live environment. Somehow, make sure you recognise this effort. Why not organise a small celebration? Pay overtime? Send out a thank you email? It’s up to you, but don’t let this moment pass without acknowledgement.

How can we help you?

Carnac Group is a Salesforce consultant in Sydney, Australia.  We advise clients on any or all aspects of Salesforce implementations, from project inception and Salesforce strategy through to day-to-day support and continuous improvement. If you’d like some help tackling change management on your Salesforce implementation (or any other aspect of your Salesforce for that matter), please get in touch, we’d love to help.

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