When you implement or upgrade Maximo, it’s easy to focus on the technology without thinking about the end users until further down the line. Yet, your people is where you will get the most long-term value from the system.
Your Maximo system will only ever be as good as the rate at which your people use and adopt it.
The common scenarios still occur; Maximo training and change management (CM) are under scoped or not budgeted for. Or a train the trainer approach is decided on, with no consideration to the skills or availability of the in-house training team. The Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CIO survey reports, “Of the top 10 barriers to a successful ERP journey, 5 can be addressed by developing and implementing a structured change management programme”.
You don’t have to spend masses of budget on training and change management, although the recommendation is that 30-50% of the ERP budget should be allocated to training and CM activities.
Gartner clients consistently state that if they could do one thing differently regarding their ERP deployment, they would spend more money and effort on change management and training.
There are some simple and practical activities that are critical and can be managed internally and at low cost. What is important is that there is strong leadership, ownership and expectations are managed.
Here are our recommended best practices for end user engagement with Maximo:
Sell the Benefits!
Communicate early and regularly. Find out what it means to the end users and focus the communications on ‘what’s in it for me?’
Perceived failure of Maximo projects is often based on the end user’s opinion, a bad experience or a gap between expectations and what was delivered. “Any initiative that involves change can create concerns and worries, but the negativity that greets ERP initiatives is unparalleled in business and IT.” – Gartner, 2020.
What has worked well before? Be honest. Does anyone read intranet updates, or do short departmental focus groups work? If you can understand the expectations, it’s easier to manage them.
Don’t dismiss the impact of the change. Any change creates resistance and levels of uncertainty. Build a strong internal change champion network and support your people through the change.
Identifying champions from within the business is a great way to set your project up for success. The champions will act as representatives for the project and communicate the key business messages to their peers. It’s essential that they are supported in their role and fully engaged in the project from the beginning.
Evaluate your project using Electra’s free Complexity of Change Assessment.
Promote the ‘Why’
Process owners from within the business are critical from the beginning of the project. It is important to listen to different perspectives but there needs to be an ‘owner’ who can make the final decisions and provide strong reasoning of why decisions have been made this way.
So often, process detail is still being decided and changed last minute. This creates uncertainty amongst the user community. It removes the opportunity to communicate the process early in the project. This results in 30% of a 1-day Maximo training session tackling resistance to why certain decisions have been made.
You can guarantee a valuable learning experience by ensuring people understand why process decisions have been made, well before training is rolled out, leaving last minute non-critical changes to phase 2.
Train and Coach
Training is a key component of ensuring ROI and long-term value. Our list of training do’s and don’ts is a long one. Here’s a brief summary:
- Start with Business Process – Don’t focus on how to use the system – focus on why we do it the way we do and how the system supports your processes.
- Role Based Training – Make sure training is relevant. Spend time creating a training matrix and understanding how people need to be supported and what they need to learn for their roles.
- Blended Approach – Start with delivering early Awareness sessions (what’s coming and why), followed by system demos, focus workshops, classroom training, eLearning and post go-live coaching. Keep the users engaged and informed throughout the whole process.
- Classroom Training – It needs to be interactive and hands on. If you are delivering the training in-house, ensure your training team have proper training delivery experience.
- Reference Materials – Empower your people to find follow up support by providing suitable and easy to find ‘how to’ guides and videos.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – Have a ‘sandbox’ environment for people to get hands-on experience when they can.
- Post go-live coaching – The project does not end at go-live. Coaching and floorwalking activities are normally standard for a few weeks post go-live but integration takes a lot longer, a year, maybe 2, or more. Ensure you have a sustain plan for supporting users for as long as you want your Maximo system to be a success.
Learn and Optimise
Organisations that truly want to optimise the value of their initial investment need to invest in resources focussed on continuous improvement and ideally these resources would be involved early in the project.
Get training into the Application Support budget to tailor training content as the system and processes are optimised. Maintain a pool of trainers/superusers.
Join Maximo user forums.
And start it all again! Promote your wins, repeat achievements and realised benefits. Remind people where they can find support materials, build FAQs, improve the process…
About Electra Learning and Maximo Training
Electra’s human approach to Maximo learning and change management increases adoption, enhances productivity and maximises your return on investment.
Thank you to Donna McWilliams for the guest blog. Donna has worked in Learning & Development all of her working life, with a passion for helping to improve user productivity whether it is Maximo, Excel, Sharepoint or any other business system. Donna has been lucky enough to see first-hand the positive impact of business systems training for individuals and for companies.
Find out more: https://www.electralearning.com