“One size fits all.” Have you ever wondered about that phrase? How is it possible that one article (of clothing most of the time) is able to fit any body type? Everyone is different and we are meant to have options that can cater to every body type. So why is it different when it comes to ERP systems? Every company has its niche, its specialty, so how is it possible that one system could fit every type of company? The answer is, it can’t. ERP vendors work hard to nail the “silver bullet” selling point that can resonate with every buyer in the market. It can be anything from mobility, SaaS, analytics, cloud and even software best practices. While these can be great trends, they are not going to fit every company.
The truth is, no one feature, tool or function is going to determine success for your project. Think about your project as a puzzle. You may see one puzzle’s pieces fit together perfectly and you think you could take their pieces and they will be the perfect fit into your implementation. However, you will soon find out that your project needs very different pieces and it was a waste of time trying to make those pieces fit. There are simply too many variables to an ERP implementation to suggest that just one component would create a full on success.
With all of that said, there is one piece of the puzzle that every company needs that can legitimately make or break your entire project, and that is organizational change management. Honestly, you could have a mediocre software solution, but if you have great change management, your project could be a great success.
According to our 2016 ERP Report, 28-percent of companies put very little to no focus on change management and 52-percent only put moderate focus on it. That leaves a mere 20-percent that put a real emphasis on their change management program and guess who will end up having a successful project? You guessed it, those 20-percent. You can have as great of a software package there is, you could have the Mona Lisa of software packages, but if your employees don’t know how to work it, what good is it?
We have been brought into many ERP expert witness testimonies over the years and every single one of them has suffered from poor organizational change management. In the last eleven years as a company, the organizations who have heavily invested into organizational change management have been the ones whose implementations have gone off without a hitch. Change is hard, and oftentimes, executives underestimate the impact that these projects make on their employees. Their day-to-day duties may change significantly, and people need to be trained on these new systems.
Organizational readiness is often seen as a nice-to-have or the easiest thing to cut when the price tag starts getting too high. But, in reality, this is single-handedly the most important part of the entire project. “They’ll change because we will tell them to” is not going to work. Everything is done better if it is done together. That should be the philosophy going into these projects. There is no one size fits all when it comes to these changes. But organizational change management could be the missing piece to your puzzle and you can’t afford to ignore it.