No matter the size or complexity of your organization, ERP implementations entail significant organizational changes. From new technology to reengineered business processes, your employees are likely to feel the full impact of digital transformation. And you better believe they will resist it. Why? Because their roles and responsibilities are changing, and it feels like starting from square one.
What’s the most effective way of preparing employees for the impact of change? That would be organizational change management. An essential component of ERP implementations, change management focuses on communication, training and benefits realization with the goal of helping employees embrace change. By preparing for employees’ resistance to change, your organization can achieve a higher level of efficiency and maximize the ROI of your enterprise software.
The Importance of Organizational Change Management
When you develop and implement an organizational change management plan, you can expect to see increased employee buy-in, even to the point of excitement and enthusiasm at go-live.
However, when you don’t put the right change management activities in place, you face the following risks:
- Resistance to change due to lack of communication
- Lack of system usage since employees aren’t adequately trained
- Elusive business benefits because you didn’t assign accountability or establish metrics
Change Management 101
The first step to developing a change management plan is to conduct an organizational assessment early in your project – ideally during the software evaluation and selection stage. This will identify sources of resistance within the organization so you can target your organizational change efforts. Your organization also should conduct change impact assessments, process training and organizational risk assessments.
In addition, you’ll want to develop a business case that can be translated into a benefits realization plan used to measure actual business results. If you can’t achieve business benefits with your core business as is, you can’t expect the ERP system to enable effective growth in the future.
An Organizational Change Management Success Story
A large organization with locations across the globe assembled an organizational change management team with representatives at each of their sites. Team members were assigned different tasks such as communications and training. As a result, the organization saw greater alignment and buy-in throughout implementation and following go-live.
No matter how many people you are able to dedicate – 1 or 501 – building an organizational change management team is essential.
More Than Cool Technology
While organizational change management might seem like a simple concept, many organizations don’t understand its value. However, if you’ve lived through an ERP implementation, you can attest to the fact that it’s not just about cool technology – if it was, employees would be more excited about it.
It’s up to you to find the right resources to help your organization benefit from digital transformation – whether that means attending a training such as Digital Enterprise Boot Camp or hiring an independent third-party. Information is power.