Organizational Change Management Strategies that result in ERP implementation success

Change is inevitable, but how is your strategy working for you? Read on to find out the importance of the right change management strategy for successful ERP implementations.

Need for ERP

An ERP system is typically deployed to integrate a company’s functions by allowing the modules to communicate and transfer information freely. In addition, it is centralized system with a single relational database accessible by all modules, which entirely eliminates the need for multiple points of the same data. Large organizations usually fix a large chunk of their budget for an ERP and may install a substantial number of the available modules, whereas smaller organizations often prefer a simpler approach, consisting of fewer modules or small components of each module.

The implementation of an ERP requires readiness by the people (user groups) directly and indirectly. ERP implementation works according to 3 principles which are: Adoption, adaptation and acceptance. However, not all ERP implementations are a success and fail to achieve the expected benefits. This occurs mainly due to lack in the change management process or even no change management strategy ever.

So how important is a change management strategy?

With any major change, resistance will follow. Change management is a process that includes organizational tools to prepare, equip and support employees to successfully adopt and adapt the change in order to drive ultimate business success. It enables individuals to transition from their current work state to the future expected state.

This process is aimed at reducing resistance towards the new system and set a positive influence on user attitudes. The ERP adoption phase suggests the positive readiness of the individuals to eventually adopt a new system awareness and eventually adapt to the system.

Below are 3 crucial components for an effective change management strategy while implementing an ERP system

Communication

In a global ERP project, communication is absolutely vital but incredibly difficult. While email is the most popular way and quite effective, there could be other minute details that may be overlooked. For instance, most employees would like to hear updates about the project from their manager during team meetings. The project and communication teams must have a plan in place to update team leaders and managers on how to best deliver the messages to their teams without missing on any important details. The project and communication team must consider factors like language, culture and level of education among end-users while putting the message across to them.

Training

Training employees is of utmost importance to execute the ERP system. However, the training that is provided must be customized for each process in the organization, so that users can understand the level of importance and relevance of the system to them.

Training requires investment of time, money, and effort, but the end results are worth it because it helps employees learn about their roles, and eventually alter their resistance to the change. Training provides the fundamental software knowledge required by the end user training and how it will benefit their work. Organization-wide training is necessary to be implemented, right from senior level management to IT project teams and ultimately end users.

End user training must be ongoing process which include a combination of classroom training and online modules. Workshops and practical sessions for the new software are also great techniques that will help employees to remember different tasks. Any type of training should be a continuous ongoing program right through the ERP implementation process.

User Analysis

This stage defines the user groups who will be affected by ERP implementation. A thorough assessment of user groups will help determine the level of involvement of each stakeholder will have and the training required. The different user groups can be categorized by the following:

  • Leaders – Provides direction and alignment.
  • Super Users – SMEs within different internal departments who understand the business process respectively.
  • Power Users – Users with advanced knowledge of certain applications who will monitor the day-to-day transactions of end users.
  • End Users – Everyone who uses the system, they feed the system with data.
  • The user analysis is particularly done to identify training requirement.
  • Incorporating these components to your change management strategy can definitely result in a successful ERP implementation.
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