The Importance of Effective Change Management with New ERP

[September 2017] Implementing a new ERP is a big change, not only for the IT department and senior management, but for every person who will be changing their known (and often comfortable) mode of operation. It may even create a perceived threat to employees’ continued job stability. Therefore, effective change management must be incorporated into a successful ERP implementation. Here are some tips to manage the process smoothly:

Strategic Planning: Implementing such a large change needs to employ a solid strategic plan and initiatives for company adoption. This plan should be rolled out by a specially appointed change management team consisting of individuals from your ERP vendor and advocates for the new plan from within your organization.

Communication: Company-wide communication is necessary to convey the benefits of ERP, how the system will work for each respective department and the level of computer knowledge needed to complete new tasks. It is also beneficial to show individuals how it can improve their day-to-day work experience.  Department managers should be updated regularly so they can keep their respective teams up to speed and part of the process.

Show Management is On Board: Top management support is crucial for an effective ERP implementation. When it comes to company change, employees will look to the CEO and senior management for guidance. It’s important for this team to embrace the change, talk with employees and set an example for future business practices. The trickle-down effect is a starting point for change.

Hands-On Training: Training for the new ERP must go beyond distributing a PDF or packet of information. Hands-on training for each department that will use the system must be provided to ensure proper endorsement and continued, successful use.

Prepare for the Unexpected: A change as big as ERP rollout rarely goes according to plan. Such a rollout requires the flexibility to make adjustments necessary to maintain momentum during the process of change.  This is the best way to ensure users are happy while the company benefits financially over time.

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