Investing in Organization Change Essential to ERP Implementation Success
We all want our projects to be successful, and the same is true for the implementation of Sage software or Acumatica Cloud ERP. A new ERP implementation works best when it coincides with organizational change. Yet some managers suggest that waiting until post-ERP implementation for organization change is the right way to go. Who is right, and why?
Organizational change is critical for the successful implementation of Acumatica or Sage ERP software. Many ERP consultants agree that projects without organizational change baked into them from the start are doomed to fail. That’s because ERP, by its very nature, forces some level of organizational change over an institution. It may be significant change or solidifying a gradual change, but at some level, things must change.
If you’re facing a skeptical senior management team who believes that organizational change is merely a set of “soft skills” activities intended to make people feel good, the following information can arm you so that you can push for real change. Organizational change is more than patting each other on the back and saying “job well done.” It involves training, systematic improvement, and much more.
Three Steps to Convince the Skeptics
Arm yourself with these three logical reasons to add organization change to your ERP implementation:
- Prepare with facts: Facts can persuade even the most hardened skeptic into a believer. Research the facts about what makes a successful ERP implementation. Research shows consistently that successful ERP projects do include change management and organizational change. Facts that might be persuasive include facts about operational disruption. It’s a fact, for example, that about 50% of all organizations that implement an ERP system experience some form of operational disruption. About 44% of organizations experience a week of disruption, while 21% experience two to four weeks of disruption. It is facts such as these that may persuade senior management to accept the need for organizational change as part of your Sage 100 ERP implementation project.
- Define organizational change: Management’s rejection of organizational change may stem from preconceived notions about what organizational change really means. They may have experienced poorly defined training, for example, and then conclude that all training is ill-defined with nebulous goals. However, organizational training isn’t about soft skills or feel-good group sessions. Instead, it should include an organizational assessment, communications, goal alignment, change impact and design, benefits realizations and KPIs, a training strategy, and accountability with potential workforce restructuring. In other words, it’s a series of clearly defined activities linked back to measurable metrics.
- Fit organization change to corporate culture: The list above represents a comprehensive list of activities related to organizational change, but not every activity may be needed in an organization. Some organizations have excellent communications but lack an understanding of change impact. Conducting an organizational assessment early in the ERP project will help you understand the dynamics at play as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This, in turn, will help you build a comprehensive plan that aligns with your corporate culture rather than fights against it.
Building Towards ERP Implementation
Implementing Acumatica Cloud ERP, Sage 300, or Sage 100 ERP is an exciting time for any organization. But, without planning and a careful, considered implementation, the project may get off to a rocky start; or worse, fail and require the intervention of a consultant. If you can do any one action to get your ERP project off to a strong start, consider the need for and impact of organizational change on your implementation program.
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