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Managing Change: Three Truths Every Executive Needs to Know to Deliver Superior ERP and Tech Implementation Results

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According to a recent report, the companies that are most effective at change management are also 4.51 times more likely to involve change and internal communication professionals in the earliest planning stages. A new tech rollout or ERP implementation marks a huge change for any company, and that change needs to be managed in order to deliver higher technology adoption rates and a greater overall return on investment. Top companies already know this, and emulating the success of top performers is easier than most companies know. It comes down to three simple truths.

Truth #1

An impact assessment is the heart of a great change plan

An impact assessment is as vital to change management planning as blueprinting is to system design. A good assessment evaluates culture and readiness, as well as process and technology impacts by role. And it is essential to assess impacts early. An early assessment allows ample lead time to gauge the effects of change at both a high and a granular level. It also allows organizations time to deploy the critical levers and a customized change management plan for optimum engagement, adoption and results.

It is best to work with a change management team that takes a multi-point approach to pinpoint impacts and core needs within the key segments of your employee population. Follow a process that engages the project team, leadership and frontline employees in a collaborative approach in order to uncover opportunities and address challenges.

Truth #2

A customized change plan mitigates people issues to deliver superior results

In addition to an upfront impact assessment, customization and planning also increase the likelihood of success for the entire project. A recent ERP report showed that the majority of organizations experienced a material disruption to their operations during go live. About 55%2 of all disruptions that lasted a month or more were attributed to organizational (people) issues, including insufficient skill or knowledge, employee resistance, lack of leadership and low system use. These disruptions are also a major reason why 58%2 of ERPs exceed planned budgets.

A customized change management plan mitigates the risk of people issues in three ways. First, it is built with an understanding of how the change impacts across the organization. Second, it focuses on the most important impacts or issues within each segment of the employee population. Third, it deploys the critical levers and customizes the right tactics to address the needs of each employee segment.

A travel industry leader implemented a customized change plan on a technology project to transform customer service – and saw results beyond expectation. Read the Business Case here.

Truth #3

Smart customization balances efficiency with high-impact efficacy.

A major system change forces organizations to alter many aspects of their operations and core processes. It is easy to fall into the trap of applying the same level of investment to all change tactics at the same time, but a smart customized change management plan balances efficiency with high-impact efficacy to drive success.

Focusing on the most important impacts, issues and levers is critical, and a smart change management team uses existing levers, readymade or “vanilla” tools, and strategic customization to overcome challenges and issues that ensure lasting change.

Conclusion

Top organizations engage change management professionals early on in the planning phase for good reason. Managing any major change can be a challenge, and ERP and tech implementations can be especially difficult for organizations and the individuals within. By embracing these three truths you will see superior ERP and tech implementation results.

As a leader in helping organizations plan, manage and implement change that endures, HR Transformations delivers meaningful results and ROI through a broad range of customized services and solutions in change management, facilitation and training. Let’s talk.

Sources:

  1. 2013-2014 Change and Communication ROI Study Report –
    WillisTowersWatson, https://www.towerswatson.com/en/Insights/IC-Types/Survey-Research-Results/2013/12/2013-2014-change-and-communication-roi-study
  2. 2015 ERP REPORT, A Panorama Consulting Solutions Research Report, http://go.panorama-consulting.com/rs/panoramaconsulting/images/2015%20ERP%20Report.pdf

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