Change in any organization inevitably attracts resistance. This is especially true when the change has to do with the implementation of a new software solution. Typically, employees feel uncomfortable with the idea of having to change their routines and adjust to an unfamiliar application. Let’s face it, when an employee is comfortable in their daily routine; any introduction that suggests a change in the status quo can signal more work to your end users. The challenge now becomes getting these employees to change their habits and adopt the new solution into their daily routines.

Here are five proven tips that will help make the implementation of your solution(s) a success:

  1. Answer the “What’s in it for me?” question. Demonstrate clearly to those involved that the new system will benefit them. As mentioned, one reason for resistance to adoption is that some end users see these solutions as a tool for management to keep tabs on them versus an instrument to actually help them save time and do their jobs more efficiently. Spend some time explaining how the solution(s) will benefit them directly and not just the company as a whole.
  2. Keep it simple. If a solution takes too much effort to learn and use, people will resist incorporating the extra work. A solution that easily integrates into their existing daily routines is key.
  3. Give them one piece of the pie at a time. Consider rollout of the software implementation gradually to avoid overwhelming the work force. Training is critical. Taking the fear and uncertainty away and demonstrating the process for the solutions will ensure better adoption. Do this until they have gradually begun using every function of the new solution in their daily routine. Remember, training is NOT a one time event.
  4. Consider whether you want a company wide policy/mandate. Once the solution is implemented and the work force is trained, issue a simple declaration that they will be measured in their performance reviews for their usage and adoption of the solution. Be sure that the declaration is simple and clear to understand. Executive support is critical to the success of your adoption. If they aren’t ‘expected’ to use the solution, why should they?
  5. Conduct frequent audits. Once the teams are working effectively within the solution, it is important to consistently assess their results weighed against the expectations. Publically share monthly reports by team or business units and share feedback. Doing so will not only build a healthy relationship between the product and the employees, but also between the manager and the employees. User adoption rates will rapidly improve as the users begin seeing and reaping the benefits of this innovative technology.


Neglecting to change practices and habits that will provide tangible benefits is a dangerous rut that businesses all too often fall into. With so many aspects to consider when running a successful business, innovation can sometimes take a back seat to more pressing issues. Understanding and utilizing these tips will help this transition occur successfully.


Change management is the planning and execution of activities focused on the human performance impacts of a system implementation or business process redesign. A change management program manages the people aspects associated with new technology and business processes—providing stakeholders with the knowledge and skills to be successful and ensuring that end users have the support, involvement and motivation required to adopt new ways of performing their jobs. Effective change management is critical for the successful adaptation of your organization to effective spend management systems and practices.

The Ariba Change Management team provides services to:

  • Increase level and speed of user adoption of new systems and processes
  • Inform and engage stakeholders
  • Drive executive commitment and visibility
  • Enable end users via relevant, comprehensive training
  • Ensure organizational efficiency

The effective management of change helps to ensure that your stakeholders and users are able and motivated to perform at the optimum level. The sooner your people understand and adopt spend management capabilities and processes, the sooner your organization will start to save money.


Next:How to Boost Your End-User Adoption Rates Pt.2 - The Ariba Change Management Difference




Beverly Dunn is a Customer Success Manager with Ariba. All customers are invited to join the private Customer Success group on Ariba Exchange, where you can access the Customer Success   Spotlights, Lunch 'n Learn Webinar calendar and replays, and the Ariba   Knowledge Nuggets.