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If you’ve been involved in a Business ByDesign implementation or pre-sales process, in any way, then you have seen this:

 

Project Dimensions.jpg

 

It’s easy to gloss over this slide. After all, this is just one of 50+ in a ByD presentation, and you’ve only got an hour to get a huge amount of information across to your customer.

 

But when you get here, you need to pause. This is the most important slide in your presentation, and your customer needs and deserves to absorb this information. I will explain why in reverse order of importance of these three dimensions.

 

3. System Readiness

 

Why is this the least important of the three? Because the majority of responsibility for System Readiness falls on SAP and the project Service Advisors. These folks should have no problem configuring a customer’s system to match their processes, and enabling customer testing of these processes. If they can’t, you are working with the wrong partner.

 

2. Data Readiness

 

Your legacy systems (probably Quickbooks, Excel, and maybe Salesforce) contain a lot of data. You need this data in ByD for business continuity. Some of this data, however, may be of bad quality, inaccurate, or simply irrelevant. Because of these reasons, Data Readiness should be a high priority.

 

You need to start preparing your data for migration to ByD starting on the first day of the project. Do not underestimate the effort required to do this.

 

Assign someone to this task and have them work on it as soon as possible. SAP provides data migration templates that make the ByD side a breeze. But you must populate those templates with clean, valuable, and relevant data. If you don’t do this, your ByD system that will be a garbage pile which will require many, many hours of manual labor to pick through and clean.

 

In short, Data Readiness Is not a trivial part of the project, requires a lot effort to complete, and will lay the foundation for success in your ByD system from day 1.

 

1. People Readiness

 

Who runs your business? Androids? Mystical forces?  Autonomous machines from the future? No.

 

People run your business.

 

And those people will be using ByDesign every day. Some of them will embrace the new system, appreciating and an integrated solution where they can view one source of the truth, instead of four to six versions of the semi-truth that must be consistently reconciled.

 

But make no mistake; some people hate change. You must spend time with these people, demonstrating the benefit ByDesign will bring to their specific role. Show them what they will gain personally.

 

If they don’t realize the benefit, they won’t embrace the solution.

 

Remember that we are living in an era where there are hundreds, maybe thousands of cloud point solutions that your dissatisfied customer can buy on their own to complete their piece of your business process.

 

I’ve seen this happen many times. I’ve seen users abandon ByD CRM and go back to their Excel spreadsheets. I’ve also seen customers delighted with the product.  And I can assure you that ByD CRM is a better solution than Microsoft Excel. So why does abandonment happen?

 

It’s an easy answer: People Readiness. End users must fully understand how to execute their role in ByDesign. There is a wealth of information in ByD and the Business Center demonstrating user roles. Before you go live, everyone needs to go through this learning process and you must follow-up with them to ensure that have done so. It may seem like you’re nagging them, but your nagging will be rewarded with a satisfied, referenceable customer.

 

I even recommend spending some one-on-one time with end users, demonstrating their role in the system youself. This shows that you care about the user being ready for the transition and that you’re not just dumping a new system on them.

 

In the end, your business is about people. Make sure they feel empowered with the right set of tools to get the job done. And most importantly, teach them how to use those tools.

 

Note: I was recently in a very serious accident that left my right arm paralyzed, so please excuse any left-handed typing mistakes.

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