Back to Blog Index

Three common barriers to successful Dynamics 365 business transformation

Technology is evolving at a faster rate than ever. Businesses are in a constant state of transformation. As an organization, how do you prepare, support and equip your people for the changes they will experience?

Successful business transformation like the implementation of D365 requires individuals to fundamentally change how they work, interact with customers, and report. Without supporting the individual changes, the transformation will fail to meet its objectives and your organization will likely lose money on the investment. There are also potential risks to your reputation, lowered productivity and a frustrated workforce. So why should you have a plan to support your workers through change during a business transformation? Because not only is it the right thing to do, it's very costly if you don't.

Organizational Change Management (or OCM) is a structured approach for supporting individuals through a business transformation so that it meets its objectives. A robust OCM strategy that addresses barriers to success is key to fruitful business transformation. What are the most common barriers to success? Here are the big three:

Insufficient Change Sponsorship

Do you have a vision for how your business will benefit from a successful transformation? If you do, that's a good start, but don't stop there! The #1 predictor of successful change is effective leadership. The project sponsor conveying and championing the business benefits through words and actions leads to successful business transformation.

Ways to improve Change Sponsorship:

o Form a coalition of sponsorship with key leaders

o Provide direct communication to employees

o Stay active and visible throughout the change initiative

Project sponsor activities can vary by project. Here are a few activities to consider:

o Organize a Town hall Q&A

o Visit field team meetings to talk about the initiative

o Regular attendance at project team meetings

o Showing up to tell testing and training groups how important their efforts are

o Logging into the new system via live-streamed, company-wide video, with a message of support for the initiative

Having vision is key, but walking the talk is critical.

Underestimating the Organizational Impact

When implementing D365, it's easy to focus solely on the changes people will experience with a new system. However, because your entire organization is transforming, you should have a plan to help prepare people for change in other significant ways:

o Business Processes

o Tools and Mobile Apps

o Job Roles and Responsibilities

o Training and New Job Skills

Keep in mind that each individual and each department might experience these impacts to different degrees. A robust Change Management strategy assesses your teams for these impacts and includes plans to address them.

Insufficient Communication

"We sent email reminders that this was coming; why aren't people ready to adopt the new way of doing things?" Have you heard this question before? Electronic communications are expedient for communicating a message to many people at once, however, emails alone fall short in preparing people for the personal changes they must make to bring a business transformation to life. Consider utilizing multiple channels of communication within your organization:

o Team and department meetings

o 1:1 check-ins

o Employee intranet or project website

o Corporate social network

o Project posters in well-traveled common areas, like elevators

o Company newsletter

o Video messages

o All-hands meetings

Remember, messages need to come from the right sender. Studies show that people would rather hear messages about benefits to the company from top leadership, whereas they'd rather hear messages about impacts to their jobs from their line managers. (Source: Prosci) So, preparing and engaging your coalition of sponsorship is key. A flexible and comprehensive communication strategy is crucial for a successful business transformation. Also keep in mind that supporting people through change involves listening to them and engaging them in thoughtful dialogue about the changes.

Business transformation is becoming a constant in today’s business climate, and the biggest predictor of success is behavior change. Sponsoring the initiative, considering all the impacts to people’s work, and communicating meticulously are just three requirements to ensure the transformation meets its objectives.

What else is needed to prepare, equip and support people through D365 transformation? Download Arbela’s Step-by-Step Guide to Successful User Adoption today to learn more.