You think you’ve done everything. You have:
- invested heavily to transform your out of date Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, maybe because your legacy systems were approaching end of support
- tried to keep up with your competition with the latest application functionality
- followed your IT strategy, migrating to a cloud based solution
- engaged with third party systems integrator support, and battled long and hard to ensure interfacing systems and data are all ready and set-up.
So why is your delivery still stalling and not landing into all of the required business areas?
ERP solutions, by their very nature, span across many different areas of a business, including Finance transformation, HR transformation, Supply Chain, Procurement, and Asset Management for example. They are complex, and there are many different groups of people required to make any changes. And we all know, but often forget, change doesn’t happen unless people make it stick.
Any change to an ERP solution must be treated as a business transformation, not an IT project. And this means investing in the required business change management activity.
Here are the key steps that you must follow. Assess your status against these, and act now to maximise your chances of success:
Engage with all areas across your organisation
You need to make the change essential, and this means taking your organisation on the journey of understanding why you are transforming your ERP landscape and how the new Finance, HR, Supply Chain functionality in your new Oracle, SAP, Microsoft or other vendor platform will benefit both customers and colleagues. It’s often also useful to bring to life what would happen if you don’t transform. If you are wondering if you are communicating your case for change enough, then you aren’t!
You need to make it real for your business colleagues so they understand how their role will change, and supporting them through the transition to the new ways of working. This will involve a thorough impact analysis of changes across all areas.
Business leadership is key, and this must be separate from programme management. One, well respected and exec level sponsor must be in place. ERP transformation journeys are complex and will change tack many times. Having powerful sponsorship in place is essential to lead the way, make decisions and remove any delivery blockers. This also needs to cascade down into all of your operational areas via a dynamic network of change agents – colleagues who are bought into the change and can help push forward activity as required.
Get all of the impacted areas ready for the change
Invest up-front in defining any organisational design or process related changes. If you are adopting a cloud based ERP solution, then you will most likely be taking on new, industry standards and job roles, and these may be significantly different to today’s operation. You need to get these agreed up-front and then cascaded into required documentation and training.
The value from an ERP transformation is soon eroded if people try and revert back to previous and ‘easy’ ways of working, adopting off system processes and propagating inconsistencies in process and data.
This may also require significant culture change across the organisation, and this will not happen overnight. Again, start early on this, mapping out what sort of behaviours are required and understanding the gap you have. Do not shy away from difficult decisions on moving roles or accelerating recruitment to achieve this.
And finally… make it happen and stick
You need to create a sustained focus and attention on delivery across all business required changes, making sure these are embedded along the way. This will need the rigour and control of a dedicated business change lead, supported by the previously mentioned change network. Deep change management expertise is required to drive the above activity, and this must be integral to the wider programme management team and the integrated plan.
Do you need any business change expertise?
- Investing up-front in this critical activity will save you considerable pain later and will increase your chances of landing a successful delivery.
- At Project One, we have the business transformation experience required to guide and supplement your team to drive this type of activity.
- We have worked on large ERP transformations for many organisations and know what works and what doesn’t so we can cut to the chase and make change happen.
To discuss further, please contact David Knappett
Mobile: 07973 152494 | email: [email protected]