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Calming Frayed ERP Nerves


Few weeks back a Finnish friend of mine was really struck by an article he read.  The upshot of the article is that modern IT capabilities are so varied and often complex that they create decision stress, often leading potential consumers to make no decision at all.


The article goes through practical examples of travel expense system challenges from a usability point of view The same challenges can be found in the CRM as ERP systems. Challenges in the usability of the solution can create still bigger problems when employees get frustrated and leave the system unused. small error in the design can create significant challenges of usability, which can produce catastrophic problems for the whole company and undermine the whole project.


It’s only human nature that end users will resist adopting a system that is not user-friendly – and when tasks get postponed, adoption becomes even more difficult, because training is forgotten without active use. This is a vicious circle in which the individual seeks to minimize the use of the system, and to avoid all the doings that do not absolutely have to have a system to use. When an individual is avoiding use of the system is the system the information is no longer correct. Data of the system blindly trusting in turn, expect quite a surprise when the data are incomplete. Real time is no longer just a vision, because every employee deferral until the last moment filling in the information and travel bills, for example, it is not necessarily the end of the payment period, but the end of the financial year.


“The IT departments should work productivity in the name of creating a more flexible security, usability, and customer satisfaction in between,” says Karri Mikkonen, a postdoctoral researcher at Lappeenranta University of Technology that was interviewed for an article. I could not agree more. If the end-user won’t use the application or service, the entire project could fail. In order to avoid such failure, we suggest a “carrot and stick” approach – but one with more carrot than stick. The resistance to change is human nature. If we give people a simple, powerful, and easy to use system, they will adopt it without having to be threatened.

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