Organizations tend to believe that an ERP implementation will solve all of their business problems. What they do not realize is that there is much more involved than simply implementing new ERP software.

Organizational change management addresses the people-side of organizational change. In Panorama’s experience, organizations’ main implementation challenges are related to budget overruns and extended timelines. It’s not surprising that the majority of these organizations also struggled with organizational change management.

Simply put, organizational change management is much more than training. It helps employees understand and adapt to new ERP software and new business processes. As we all know, people can be very resistant to change, and just because employees are paid to do their job and accept any changes that come their way, does not mean that they will.

Incorporating organizational change management into your organization’s ERP implementation   will help employees understand how the new ERP software will not only benefit the organization but end-users as well. Following are three ways that organizational change management can improve organizations’ implementation results:

  1. Motivation – Organizational change management also helps set individual performance expectations and assess, select, train and redefine how they look at compensation.
  2. Consistent and Targeted Communication – Organizational change management helps deliver the right message to the right people at the right time in order to ensure organizational alignment and end-user buy-in.
  3. Risk Management – Organizational change management can identify potential risks and help organizations proactively manage organizational issues before they get out-of-control. Engaging the leadership team with the intent to drive a positive change throughout the organization, is one way that organizations can mitigate risk.

Many organizations think that by cutting organizational change management out of their ERP implementations, they will save money, but this could not be further from the truth. Organizational change management should never be thought of as a cost-cutting measure because long-term costs can outweigh short-terms costs.

Organizations should engage both formal and informal leaders to alleviate as much change-resistance as possible. Change agents who are engaged, trained, informed, motivated and prepared can make any ERP implementation successful.  Organizational change management is not optional; it is a critical success factor. The ERP software may “work,” but the real question is: are your employees willing and prepared to use it?

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