CMMS-EAM maintenance software is a serious investment of time and money, both in terms of its purchase and the implementation process. The software will also influence the culture and practices of your company in unforeseen ways. For this reason, the importance of gaining buy-in from all levels of the organization is supreme.
A lot of time is spent discussing the value of gaining executive approval, and this is important, but equally important is to have input and feedback from actual users. However, it can be challenging to gather this input for many reasons, ranging from lack of investment in the process to these employees simply not having the time.
Start with the Right Kind of Kickoff Meeting
It is common practice to begin any significant undertaking by announcing it in one form or another to all staff members. More often now than ever before, the method of choice is an email, but this is the least effective way to gather input from end users.
Instead, schedule a series of kickoff meetings, in which you describe the reason the company is searching for the CMMS maintenance software purchase and a timeline. Then state that this process cannot be effective without input from end users. Ask participants to complete a very brief survey before leaving, indicating their preferred way of providing the feedback. The specific options will vary from company to company, but the following are worth serious consideration, despite the manpower and effort it will take to gather information at this level:
- Web surveys: Some will prefer to take just 15 minutes and provide you with input. By all means, let them do it, and allow anonymous responses to provide protection. Unfortunately, this information has historically been some of the least accurate form of employee data, so it shouldn’t be emphasized as much as information gleaned via other methods.
- Observe users during their workday. Rather than having all of your employees take surveys, join an employee in each key department for a day or a portion of the day. Carefully observe his routines, and ask thoughtful questions in the context of his work activities. Pay attention to how his processes could be improved with a CMMS. Offer available EAM software options, and ask if this would be useful. The same approach can be taken with a technician, accountant, and maintenance line worker.
- Focus groups: For those interested, focus groups are a great way to gather valuable information about the best practices that could be included in CMMS maintenance software.
- Include users in the Request for Proposal team. There is no stronger way to have input from users than to include users in the RFP team. These individuals will be able to communicate everyday needs and help maximize the utility of EAM software.
DPSI can meet your organization’s CMMS or EAM software needs. We have been in this industry for nearly 30 years. Our user-friendly enterprise asset management (EAM) system iMaint, centralizes data and automates maintenance management. Contact us for more information or to request a free demo today.