PLM User Acceptance

In a recent blog by Oleg Shilovitsky, he pointed out that ‘70% of projects fail because of the lack of user acceptance.’

I found this to be true in my early experiences. Because of that, I have spent a great deal of time addressing the topic of user acceptance. Address this early and often to minimize a large potential problem.

People hate change

Not all people hate change, but many do. A word to the wise – It only takes one negative person to torpedo a project.

Some of the steps that I take to minimize the impact of change…

My most successful PLM implementations had a champion. This person may have had a title, but more importantly they were well respected. They acted as the internal salespeople for the project. They would sell managements on the benefits they would receive and they would sell the user community on the benefits they would receive. They acted like a pied piper for the project.

Gather representatives from the user community to provide input as to how the software should be implemented and use them as your test group. Users that are involved are less likely to bad-mouth the project. Be sure to involve a person that could be negative.

In most PLM projects, the users are being asked to learn and use a new piece of software and they are often asked to follow a new process. I suggest that companies minimize the changes to the process initially. Once the users get used to that environment, you can begin to make changes to the process.

Regarding the new piece of software – most of the PLM suppliers allow you to extensively configure the user interface. The 2 biggies:

  • Make sure that the user interface is in your company language. This makes it easier for your user community.
  • Configure the user interface to show only those options that pertain to the user’s job. They know what they are supposed to do so don’t make it hard for them to do it.

A champion can persuade the user community to go along with this new effort. If that doesn’t work, having executive support pushing the solution can provide the needed push.

Contact me if you need some help…

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