Surviving The Move To Your New Home Among The Clouds

Cloud storage communication with computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone in home or work network. Online devices upload, download information, data in database on cloud services. Isometric concept.

It’s finally clicking. Your real estate business is humming along on a finely-tuned combination of physical files, sticky notes, custom databases, and the guy down the hall who can fix the printer when it jams. Then the director of IT pops in the door. “Great news! We’re moving to the Cloud! No more paper!”

When you announce this fabulous news at the weekly staff meeting, it is unlikely they will carry you out upon their shoulders singing your praises. More likely, the verbal assault will begin.

I’m already overworked, how much time will this take?
Does “efficiency” mean my job is in jeopardy?
I just got all the files organized! Why did I waste my time?
This is stupid (if someone doesn’t say it, I promise, they are thinking it).

When the decision is made to move your ERP or CRM solution to the Cloud, another decision tags along. A decision to change how you approach your business processes and interact with your staff, vendors, and customers on a daily basis. Managing this part of the transition is often called Organization Change Management (OCM). In order for your digital transformation to be successful, there must also be an organizational transformation.

Here are a few low-cost tips to ease the transition.

Build Excitement

No matter how nice the new house is, rarely does everyone involved want to move. This becomes even more difficult if nothing good is shared about the house. Focusing on what it isn’t (the backyard is smaller and not fenced) rather than what it is (you can walk to the town center) will only breed negativity. Instead, find a few “champions” and give them the time early to engage with your implementation partner to learn the system. Then, have them share the more enticing features of the system regularly to build positive momentum. As soon as you get your Sandbox (a version you can play around in) incentivize spending time doing so. The excitement of the early adopters will over time rub off on the rest of the staff.

Accept That Packing Sucks

The move will be tough. Be honest about this. Every business process will need to be evaluated and decisions will need to be made regarding what to take and what to leave behind. It is a gigantic sorting and cleaning task. Just as you would not plan on packing an entire house in one go, split this up into easily manageable chunks. A word of caution here. Do not leave the junk drawer in the kitchen to the end. Best to bite the bullet and deal with that upfront.

Offer Accident Forgiveness

All the things hidden behind headboards and in the backs of closets are coming out. As you move through the implementation, chances are you will expose some errors (either committed intentionally or unintentionally). This is a threat and will cause all sorts of behaviors not in the best interest of an efficient implementation. Encourage team members to be upfront about any errors, “shortcuts,” or creative accounting they have been involved in with an assurance that the focus will be on a solution to move forward.

Bring in Help

If you had everyone in the house involved in the move day and night, likely you would hire temporary help to either take over some of the moving tasks or help with day to day operations. The same concept applies here. Have an honest conversation with your staff on their task load and availability. Then either discuss options to bring in temps to help or discuss with your implementation partner ways to structure the project to minimize the disruption. Remember, the lowest bid you get will not include things like training, documentation, data migration assistance, etc. Read the bid carefully and be clear on whether your staff has the bandwidth, strength, and knowledge to pack and lift all those boxes.

When picking an implementation partner, be sure to discuss how they can help your organization with vital change management needed to ensure your successful digital transformation. Domain 6 is passionate about this topic and happy to share insights. Just contact us here to learn more.