If you’re considering implementing new processes or technology, now is the time to start thinking about how you will introduce these changes to employees.

Will you employ organizational change management? Will you just wing it and force the change through ultimatums?

Hopefully, you’re reading this post because you’ve chosen the former. Today, we’re sharing change management tips from our experts that will ensure your change management plan prepares employees for what’s to come.

Top Change Management Tips​

1. Conduct a Business Readiness Assessment​

Business readiness is one aspect of overall ERP readiness. It refers to the degree to which your employees and stakeholders are prepared for organizational change. Before you begin an ERP project or even select an ERP vendor, it’s critical to perform a business readiness assessment. This analysis can help you determine if your business is ready to accept change.

Important questions to ask include:

• What impact will process changes have on individual employee roles?
• Is our culture accepting of change?
• What is the scope of change?
• Do we have a change management plan?
• Is our change management plan integrated with our project plan?

You might determine that your infrastructure needs work before moving forward with an ERP implementation. Or, you might decide that the time is right. It’s important to be realistic about a change and not force it before your workforce is truly ready.

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We helped this manufacturer implement a training strategy to increase user adoption of its new ERP system.

2. Start Early​

Address organizational change management (OCM) early. The earlier you can anticipate potential issues (like employees who resist the change), the earlier you can resolve them. If you wait too long, your time could be spent putting out fires and doing damage control.

3. Develop a Communication Strategy​

Inadequate or inconsistent communication is a top reason for ERP failures. If you want to avoid this fate, make sure employees understand the purpose and nature of the change from the beginning.

You’ll need to tailor your approach to each group to ensure the message is appropriate. For instance, the information you share with your C-suite will understandably differ from what you say to your entry-level employees.

The general information will be the same, but each party will be interested in understanding how the change affects their role, so you’ll need to focus on customizing the message to fit their needs.

Instead of assuming that everyone understands their role and is prepared to work together, create a formal, written structure that defines how you’ll approach the project from a change management standpoint. A written strategy makes your OCM efforts better organized and streamlined.

4. Develop a Sponsorship Roadmap​

Change sponsors are people who stand behind your OCM initiative and are willing to outwardly proclaim it. Change sponsors are usually in a position of influence and leadership. The more they champion your work, the easier it becomes for them to establish a network of supporters who are ready to rally your cause.

A sponsorship roadmap clearly defines how you’ll communicate with these executives and how they’ll communicate with their stakeholders. These groups can combine their work, forming a network of project support.

5. Understand and Manage Resistance​

You could have the most well-planned OCM strategy in the world, and you could still encounter employees who are resistant to the change.

Usually, their reaction isn’t related to the system itself. Often, detractors will speak out because they’re feeling anxious, confused, and worried about the future.

They might fear that the new technology will render their position obsolete. They might be worried that they won’t be able to learn the new interface, especially if they’ve grown comfortable using the legacy software.

Think about the most common concerns your workforce might have before getting started. Put communication channels in place to stop the spread of miscommunication.

As part of your OCM plan, outline the steps that team members should take if they encounter resistance. These should include:
• Identifying the source of the resistance
• Researching what’s causing the resistance
• Managing the resistance

Put These Change Management Tips Into Practice​

There isn’t a magic formula that can ensure you’ll get OCM right every time. But, with these basic change management tips, you can get as close as possible.

Our change management consulting firm can help you assess your ERP project to understand where you might improve. Contact us below for a free ERP consultation.

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