During an ERP implementation or digital transformation, one of the most common issues companies encounter is employee resistance. By developing a change management plan, you can address this resistance and guide your workforce toward successful adoption.
Today, we’re sharing a brief overview of how to create a change management plan.
What is a Change Management Plan?
An organizational change management (OCM) plan outlines how you will approach the human side of your project. It helps you create a roadmap for a variety of success factors, such as:
- Executive sponsorship
- Strategic communication
- End-user training
- Resistance management
This OCM roadmap will keep your team focused on encouraging user adoption throughout all project phases. Your project team will know exactly how to:
- Explain the benefits of the new technology
- Engage C-suite executives to show visible support for the project
- Designate change champions throughout the organization
- Listen to feedback and adjust as necessary
Change Management Case Study
The client recognized their need for more comprehensive change management, so they asked us to fill in the gaps. We developed a robust communication plan to supplement the vendor’s communication approach.
5 Tips for Developing a Change Management Plan
1. Understand the Nature of the Change
It’s important to understand the nature of the change your company is going to implement. There are two main types of change:
Incremental change improves existing processes. This level of change is easier to implement than transformative change because there is a baseline off which to adjust. An example of incremental change is a manufacturing environment modifying standard operating procedures, such as having employees use a different tool on a production line.
Transformative change is more difficult to implement because it is based on a future state that is mostly theoretical. It is a vision of where a company could be versus where it is today. Transformative change is often met with resistance because of its focus on changing organizational culture and shaping behavior. An example of transformative change is a company undergoing a merger that would restructure departmental information flow.
2. Conduct a Change Readiness Assessment
Before developing a change management plan, it’s important to conduct a change readiness assessment. This way, you can evaluate if your company is even ready for the scale of change you’re anticipating.
How might the change disrupt the status quo? Which employees will it impact the most?
The goal is to initiate honest conversations about where potential barriers might exist and determine how to address them.
3. Gain Executive Sponsorship
Executive sponsorship is a key part of any enterprise-wide project. When your C-suite leaders are actively and vocally supportive of new technology, employees will be more likely to adopt it.
To secure this support, it’s important to include a sponsorship roadmap in your change management plan. This roadmap outlines the strategies you’ll use to engage your primary stakeholders.
4. Fine-Tune Employee Communication
In a time of major transformation, how you deliver news is just as important as the news you deliver.
Within your change management plan, you should outline how you’ll communicate change-related updates. An ERP implementation consultant with OCM experience can help you tailor your approach to each department.
5. Plan for Resistance
Ideally, you wouldn’t encounter any amount of resistance from your workforce. Yet, we know from our software expert witness experience that this isn’t the case.
Instead of going into the project with rose-colored glasses, you should expect at least a portion of your employees to resist the new technology.
This means including resistance management in your OCM strategy. Resistance management focuses on identifying detractors and uncovering what’s behind their resistance.
Learn More About How to Create a Change Management Plan
It’s easy to get overly focused on the technical side of a digital transformation. However, the human side is equally important.
While you might not know everything about how to create a change management plan, you can start shifting your mindset to see your project from your employees’ perspective.