When it comes to adoption of any new process or WFM solution, the field is where most organizations focus. While that is not surprising, many organizations still often fail to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure an effective and smooth implementation.  For instance, it is important to identify the ideal time to initially engage the field, to communicate what input will be required from the field, to utilize effective strategies to keep them engaged through rollout, and to track predetermined metrics to measure the incremental success of the field adoption process.

What Effective Field Enablement Looks Like

Field Advisory Committee (FAC)

The role of this committee is much more than just deciding which stores will be in the pilot rollout.  It must represent a cross-section of the organization and understand the various effects of the implementation of the new WFM solution on an often diverse employee population.  The FAC will also consider various other elements including, but not limited to:  accurately representing store attributes; right-sizing staffing for volume; geographic constraints; accommodation of unique attributes or processes; and staffing and legislative concerns.  It’s important to consider the organization’s culture and how those in the field have accepted change in the past – continually assessing different perspectives throughout the journey will lead to a greater chance of field success.

The Importance of Field Advisory Buy In

With only one chance to make a first impression, setting the right tone at the start of the implementation is critical. Executive sponsored kick-off meetings are often effective, where the business value is outlined, and expectations are communicated to ensure understanding of the importance of the project across the organization. The necessity of enthusiastic participation should be emphasized. Ultimately, FAC members must be your subject matter experts in the field and are essential to an effective rollout.

Project Timing and Milestones

When does it make sense to engage the Field Advisory Committee?  Too early could give the impression the project lacks definition or direction. Too late and key stakeholders may be excluded from key decisions. Consider the project life cycle, requirements, design, testing and pilot strategies, and pivotal milestones when determining when to engage the FAC. The level of the engagement throughout the project and the committee’s role may vary depending on the desired input or sensitivity of the decision or outcome. Having the FAC as part of the journey will generate excitement, define risks or concerns, help define requirements and processes, and ultimately set the solution up for buy-in at the field level.

 

Implementation is a Continual Process

As the WFM solution continues to evolve, it is important to keep the FAC engaged. Providing input and feedback on new enhancements, processes and policies is imperative. This allows for the continued momentum from the initial rollout, leveraging FAC members as your subject matter experts in the field. The FAC becomes the champion of change, gains buy-in quickly and provides that level of peer-to-peer understanding for a successful WFM implementation.

The Field Plan: Right People, Right Place, Right Time

Questions to Ask

As you embark on your field enablement planning journey make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

 

  • Where are you within the WFM life cycle and how are you going to support your journey, both internally and with outside assistance?
  • What are the short and long-term goals of the project overall? How can the field help you accomplish those goals?
  • Can the field play a role in supporting the solution going forward?
  • How are you structured today in the field and how can you leverage the field team to gain buy-in of the solution?
  • What are the pain points within your organization regarding your current tools and processes?
  • And finally – where do you start and how do you figure out what you don’t know yet? The answer: look for the right experts to help guide you down this road.