Putting People First: Mitigating Risk in Global Implementations | OnActuate









This thought leadership article was originally posted on LinkedIn by Naeem Shafi, Partner and VP – North America at OnActuate.


When it comes to digital transformations there can be risks involved with the implementation especially for large global organizations. However, the key to a successful implementation lies not just in technology but in putting people first.

As a Partner and VP of North America for OnActuate, a global leader in digital transformations with extensive experience in a variety of industries, I know first-hand that getting buy-in from your stakeholders is the upmost important step during an implementation.

The journey with an industry leader in magnetic transformer design and manufacturing

Let’s explore how OnActuate and our customer, Hammond Power Solutions (HPS), created a global template to mitigate the risks during an implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain (D365 F&Sc) by lobbying all the key stakeholders before the start of the project.

Pictured: Naeem Shafi, Partner and VP – North America, OnActuate and Paul Gaynor, CIO, Hammond Power Solutions, at Community Summit 2023 ahead of their joint presentation on HPS’ global digital transformation journey.

People are afraid of what they don’t know

When HPS embarked on a global migration project from D365 F&Sc, we knew that stakeholder buy-in was crucial for success.

All stakeholders, from the executive to the shop floor managers and operational end-users, can be resistant to change. After all, they trained for hours on the previous system and have gotten comfortable with it. It’s understandable that there will be some opposition to a migration. However, lobbying with all the stakeholders and selling them on why the newer, better system is needed, similar to an election campaign, is key in having a successful project completion. Getting buy-in from the stakeholders means an easier time increasing user adoption across your organization.

Our approach with HPS involved several key steps:

  1. Engagement and communication: We set up meetings with stakeholders across HPS’s global locations to discuss the migration’s benefits and expected changes, ensuring clarity and alignment. This is your chance to sell the stakeholders onto the new system.
  2. Feedback and Involvement: We gathered opinions and wish lists from stakeholders, making them feel involved and valued in the process. By giving them a chance to express their opinions and concerns, it makes them feel more involved in the project.
  3. Transparency and Updates: We kept stakeholders informed throughout the project, ensuring they felt prepared and proactively involved. This ensures the stakeholders follow the timeline and feel prepared, proactively.
  4. Clear Roles and Responsibilities: We assigned stakeholders clear roles and responsibilities, ensuring everyone knew their part in the implementation process.
  5. Comprehensive Training: We offered extensive training to stakeholders to ensure they were comfortable with the new system, fostering confidence and advocacy. The implementation partner’s support mechanism must be available at the right place and at the right time.

Find the right partner

Choosing the right technology partner is also critical in complex, global implementations. HPS’s continued partnership with OnActuate stemmed from trust, familiarity, and our commitment to understanding their organization’s needs.

Ultimately, successful implementations must prioritize people. Technology, no matter how advanced, must serve the needs of the people using it. At OnActuate, we’re dedicated to ensuring that our technology works for the people, both during implementation and beyond.

By putting people first and prioritizing stakeholder buy-in, organizations can mitigate risks and achieve successful global implementations. It’s not just about technology—it’s about empowering people to embrace change and drive success.

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