Interview with Shazatul Rina, Change Lead for RedPrairie
BSI rolled out its first RedPrairie go-live in Philippines early last year and there was no turning back. A few months later, Indonesia embraced the new RedPrairie Warehouse Management System (WMS) and in 2017, the year started with a bang with the implementation of RedPrairie in Korea in January. This is followed by RedPrairie implementation in both of Japan’s Regional Distribution Centers, HRDC and KRDC in September and October, and in Malaysia and Singapore last month.
In all these implementations, one of the essential components of a successful go-live is Change Management. We spoke to Shazatul Rina, the Change Specialist for RedPrairie, on the type of change activities lined up prior to go-live, the challenges and setbacks she faced throughout the process and how Change Management plays a role after an implementation takes place.
Q: What are the key change management activities prior, during and post go live for RedPrairie?
Rina: The 3 main categories which contributes to the overall Change Management initiatives are Communications, Training and Key Change Initiatives.
I always believe that there is no such thing as overcommunicating when an organization is going through a change experience. We make sure that we are constantly communicating frequently through multiple channels including speaking, writing, video, training, Intranet and more, about the changes coming our way. For example, we constantly provide Project Updates for both the Top Management and impacted users and departments to keep them aware of the progress on a weekly or monthly basis. A series of RedPrairie videos were created and played during staff meetings to introduce RedPrairie and step by step demonstration of how a warehouse works post RedPrairie. Besides that, we initiated and recorded ‘A Day in the Life of a…….’ with an Inventory Specialist, Wave Planner, Warehouse Supervisor, Picker, Hilo Driver and Cycle Counter. which was useful for those impacted in APAC. Other communications initiatives in place was newsletters, Communications to ABOs, go-live announcements and online posters to keep all the staff informed.
There is no better way to learn the system than putting things into practicality. With that, we organized a RedPrairie Familiarization simulation via User Productivity Kits (UPKs), a web-based system which provides a more effective and realistic simulation environment.
We also planned and coordinated Subject Matter Expert (SME) and End User Training (EUT) sessions for each market’s RedPrairie SMEs.
Right after that, we provided a post-training evaluation to see if users manage to absorb the knowledge well and to also measure the training effectiveness.
Key Changes Initiatives
Some of the key change initiatives we have organized to ensure smooth implementation and transition to RedPrairie includes;
- OCM Deep Dive - to brief top management and market SMEs on how Change Management will help throughout the project
- Change Agent Training – detailing out the roles of Change Agents / SMEs and best practices
- Resistor Management Training - as a guide to the market on how to identify the resistors, address their concerns and converting them to be supporters
- Market Sharing Session – key users from markets which have implemented RedPrairie to share their experiences, lessons learnt and best practices with markets undergoing transition
- Go Live Event – a small scale celebration to recognize and thank everyone for their hard work and support.
Q: What are the common challenges faced to arrange OCM activities in the impacted market?
Rina: I am thankful that all the markets which I have worked with so far have given their support, regardless of how complicated the situation gets. The most important factor that contributed to this is two-way communication and making ourselves available as and when the markets has queries about the system. We do regular follow-ups with the market via Skype and onsite to ensure all relevant parties are aware and informed on project impacts and progress. In our absence, we encourage the market to take lead and ownership of some OCM activities, especially face-to-face communications or briefings to the end users or any other impacted stakeholders.
Q: How do you manage two project implementations overlapping or happening within a short frame of time?
Rina: Overlapping of OCM activities do happen when the go-live dates are close. I had faced a similar situation during the RedPrairie go live in Hachioji (16 October) and Malaysia (13 November). There is tendency to miss or overlook certain deadlines and that made me worried. But at the end of the day, it comes back to prioritizing my work and responsibilities and keep check of all the completed, pending and low priority tasks, together with the due dates, for clear and easy tracking.
Q: What is the general feedback that the OCM team receives on the Change Management activities that have been planned and executed?
Rina: Based on feedback from both formal and informal communications, the market team always appreciates the written communications material prepared for them, for example, ‘What’s in It for Me’ slides, RedPrairie videos and RedPrairie handouts. We sometimes translate communication materials especially visual communications, such as hardcopy and softcopy posters to local language for easier understanding and this has also been well received.
Some communications that were prepared were used as an update during monthly staff meetings, meeting with the market’s top management as well as with vendors.
RedPrairie handouts and videos were beneficial in providing an overview and basic understanding of what RedPrairie has to offer to the impacted market.
Amway Malaysia found the Market Sharing Session conducted by the Korea team very beneficial for them to identify key lessons learned and best practices that they can learn and apply in their own warehouse.
Further, the training plan and schedule developed for Amway Malaysia’s End User Training (EUT) was also useful for them to do resource planning to ensure daily operations were smooth, while the staff attended the training sessions.