Commitment Matters

No matter what you want to accomplish, commitment is essential. Intentions are simply not enough. As the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” When your company decides to make a change, are you sure the commitment level of all involved is sufficient? Now I’m a realist, so I realize you will probably never get everyone 100% on-board. But, unless you can get a strong buy-in then the chance of success is greatly reduced.

A Case in Point

I once had a client that decided to purchase a particular accounting and manufacturing software package. When I heard his intentions I tried to persuade him not to do it, but he went ahead with it. A few months later, when my contract ended, this software was still not being used, and my suspicion is it never did get utilized.

So, why did I advise him not to buy it? There were several reasons:

  1. The software was fairly expensive, the company was not particularly profitable, and cash flow was tight
  2. It was far more powerful than needed because:  Manufacturing was actually a fairly simply process, Work-in-process was never particularly large, and Accounting for inventory was not that involved
  3. The employees of the company, including managers, were for various reasons not particularly motivated, so it was hard to imagine them having the   commitment to the successful implementation

I could see ways to make the company more profitable and improve cash flow (and in fact I had done some of that) but there was still no real justifiable reason for a software package with this level of sophistication. However, point 3 above is where I want to focus.

At a previous client a number of years earlier, I had been involved in the implementation of this same software. There the manufacturing was more involved and there were far more items in inventory, yet even there it was questionable if it was really needed. Regardless, they certainly came closer to needing it. But it was obvious even there that the company had not really made sufficient effort to get their employees on board and fully committed to successful adoption of the software. After the software became operational the failure to obtain employee buy-in and commitment became apparent. Even the managers had not become fully committed, and as a result they did not sense a real need to fully engage and make sure that employees were adequately trained. The result was some serious (although at times humorous) errors that cropped up after a few weeks of using the software.

And the Point Is?

Quite simply, the point is that in both these cases the main cause of problems was the failure to obtain appropriate levels of commitment from management and employees.

Have you had a similar experience in implementing any kind of change, whether it is a software program, a new product or service, or a process?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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