Many companies implementing ERP underinvest in organizational change management (OCM). What is change management? It is the process of looking at the human side of a project. Companies sometimes underinvest in the human side of change because executives think OCM is “fluffy,” or they believe a number of other change management myths.
Today, we’re sharing some of the most common misconceptions executives believe that make it difficult for project teams to get approval for an adequate change management budget.
6 Change Management Myths Executives Believe
Are you trying to get change management included in your ERP project but are hitting a brick wall? It may be helpful to review the following myths to understand the reasoning behind executives’ attitudes toward OCM. With this understanding, you can speak directly to the root causes of these negative attitudes.
Myth #1: ERP Project Teams are Only Responsible for the Technical Side of a Project
Are you being told that your team should stick to the technical parts of the implementation? This is a common misconception.
In reality, an ERP implementation requires people to adjust their workflows and change the way they do their jobs. As such, your team should focus on organizational change management just as much as the technical aspects.
Executives might consider change management to be the “soft” part of a project, but it’s a component that will ultimately determine the project outcome. Unless employees adopt the change and effectively use the new system, your project can’t reach its short-term or long-term objectives.
Navigating Change with Rick & Christi
Watch these short and sweet videos to learn about change management from the experts! The series features Rick Platz and Christi Trinder from Panorama’s change management team.
Myth #2: Executives Don’t Need to be Visible During a Change
Your executive team might prefer to blend into the background during an organizational change, claiming they’re worried that they may be a distraction. However, it’s more likely that the very opposite will prove true.
Employees need to feel confident and excited about the ERP project, and this attitude starts at the top – with executive buy-in and engagement. If they see their company leaders actively and visibly embracing the change, they will be more open to the change themselves.
Myth #3: A Formal Change Management Plan isn’t Necessary
Some executives may balk at the idea of taking the time to create a formal change management plan. Instead, they may suggest that a communication plan alone will suffice. However, with this approach, you may fail to truly understand how the upcoming change will affect everyone in your organization.
Today, companies are more widespread and multi-faceted than ever, so a large-scale change like an ERP project will definitely warrant a robust approach. Relying on a communication plan alone only solves a part of the puzzle. There are other important success factors, such as:
- End-user training
- Change reinforcement
- Executive sponsorship
- Resistance management
. . . to name a few.
Myth #4: Managing the Project is the Same as Managing the Change
Are company leaders claiming that as long as you introduce the change to your workforce and manage the actual project, everything should fall into place?
If so, remind them that simply talking about a change isn’t the same as making sure it’s successfully executed.
Rather, change management is the deliberate process of accelerating user adoption and mitigating resistance at every stage. It is a deliberate effort that actively leads people through a change and empowers them to use the new tools at their disposal.
Myth #5: We can Take the “No News is Good News” Approach
There are some situations where no news truly does mean good news. An ERP project isn’t one of them.
If your employees are left in the dark about the changes surrounding the ERP implementation, this can breed change resistance and fear.
Rather than assuming everything is fine, they’re inclined to make up their own stories, which are often exaggerated and far worse than reality. Sometimes, they’ll seek out dubious intel from someone who’s equally unknowledgeable.
Being up-front and honest can help squash any rumor mill or game of telephone that might be developing.
Myth #6: We Just don’t Need Change Management
Sometimes, an executive team might simply eschew the idea of change management altogether. They might consider it a minor task that falls low on the priority list (if it even makes the list at all).
When you’re met with this particular objection, the best counterargument is that only change management can ensure full user adoption at go-live.
Otherwise, expensive technology will sit unutilized. Employees will be left grappling with a new ERP system they’re incapable of using (and have no desire to).
The “Un-Fluffiest” Part of an ERP Project
While it seems obvious that change management isn’t “fluffy,” you may still encounter pushback from executives who don’t see the value in convincing people to use a tool that seems obviously amazing from executives’ perspective.
If your executive team is having a hard time seeing things from the employees’ perspective, then an ERP consultant can help you educate them on the importance of change management. Reach out to Panorama below by requesting a free consultation.