If you’re considering implementing new processes or technology, it’s time to start thinking about how you will ensure employee buy-in.

Will you use organizational change management (OCM)? How will you build your OCM strategy? Today, we’re sharing the key components of an effective OCM strategy.

What is Organizational Change Management?​

When we talk about organizational change management, what do we mean?

Put simply, this is about looking at your implementation from your employees’ perspective. Sure, the technology is exciting to you, but does it make your employees feel threatened? Are they fully aware of how it can benefit them, or do they have lingering questions that are holding them back?

In the middle of an enterprise software project, it’s easy to focus on the technical details, but don’t forget to keep your workforce in mind. OCM should be an integral part of any ERP implementation. By taking a proactive approach, you can mitigate future resistance and maximize user adoption.

ERP Training Plan Success Story

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

What Should be Included in an OCM Strategy?

1. Organizational Readiness Assessment​

Even if a new technology, such as an ERP system, promises to transform your organization for the better, employees may be hesitant to embrace the new workflows.

When performing a readiness assessment, consider the following parts of your organization:

• The company as a whole
• Your employees
• Your sponsors and stakeholders
• Your organizational culture and history

Consider what impact the change will have on each group. Which parts are more likely to resist it? What steps can you put in place now to avoid issues down the road?

2. Sponsorship Plan​

Executive sponsorship can make or break OCM success. It’s a critical part of any successful ERP implementation and should be a top priority in your planning phase.

While the two terms might sound similar, keep in mind that executive sponsorship is different from executive support. For the most part, support is verbal. Your C-suite leaders might say they support your initiative, but are they a visible proponent throughout the organization?

As early as possible, create a roadmap that outlines how you’ll secure sponsorship. The goal should be to not only achieve internal sponsorship, but to explain the benefits of the project to your executives so they can rally other stakeholders and decision-makers.

3. Communication Plan

When it comes to communicating a change, how and when you say something is just as important as what you’re saying. That’s why a communication plan should be a major part of your OCM strategy.

Relaying information one time isn’t enough. Instead, you need to repeat key points throughout the project, reiterating them to make sure your employees, department leaders, and executives understand what’s going on.

4. Different Levels of Training​

When employees understand how to use a new system, they’re more likely to adopt it once it’s live.

Often, resistance is rooted in fear and uncertainty, which could lead to ERP failures. Training helps alleviate these concerns.

There are two main types of training that should be included in your OCM plan. These include:

• Change management training: Teaches managers how to drive change within their departments
End-user training: Teaches employees how to use the new system and navigate new workflows

5. Resistance Management Plan

While the steps above can help curtail resistance, the reality is that it can still occur. When it does, you need to have a plan in place to mitigate it as soon as possible because one loud voice of dissention can be enough to instill fear  into your entire workforce.

Within your resistance management plan, identify the steps you will take to assess and manage resistance across your workforce. Each team leader should be familiar with this plan and know how to implement the steps in their own departments.

6. Reinforcement and Results Management

Change management doesn’t end when your systems go live. After the change is implemented, you need to know how it’s going.

Allow employees to share their feelings about the change. Then, review this feedback and incorporate suggested changes where feasible.

At the same time, it’s also important to acknowledge instances of positive change adoption and reward those behaviors.

Create an OCM Strategy for Your Implementation Project​

Before you begin any type of enterprise-wide implementation, take the time to create an OCM strategy, first. While it’s important to focus on the technical aspects of the project, you never want to gloss over the human aspect.

When employees are prepared for the changes that lie ahead, they are less likely to resist them. By focusing on change management now, you can lay the groundwork for every other phase of your project to fall into place.

Contact our organizational change management consultants below for a free consultation.

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