Organisational change management is a critical part of an enterprise software implementation. Without it, your employees will become confused and frustrated, which ultimately lowers morale and productivity.
That said, don't jump head-first into a change initiative. Instead, commit to taking a more structured approach, using proven processes and tools. Additionally, you should ensure you have the necessary resources in place, including a change management team that can lead the effort. Orchard House is sharing an organisational change management checklist to help you get started and make sure you are covering all of your bases.
1.Conduct a Change Readiness Assessment
Before you even introduce a change, you should make sure your organisation is ready for it. A readiness assessment analyses where your company currently is and where it's heading. Completing the review can help you predict the level of resistance a change may generate.
When assessing change readiness, we recommend taking several different factors into account:
- The enterprise-wide organisation
- Your employees
- Your company culture and history
- Stakeholders and project sponsors
A change readiness assessment asks pointed questions that can help you steer your workforce in the right direction.
2. Develop a Communication Strategy
Inadequate or inconsistent communication is one of the top reasons for an ERP implementation failure. If you want to avoid fate, make sure your employees understand the purpose and nature of the change from the very beginning. We recommend you develop a strategic communication strategy that includes talking points for individual stakeholders. One of the most important talking points to have is why is new ERP software necessary, and what risks would the company incur without it?
As the project progresses, you can elaborate and share more details. Each time you share an update, be sure to consider the audience, message, and timing to ensure each message is personalised
3. Create a Sponsorship Roadmap
Without executive sponsorship, you'll struggle to allocate the right amount of time, money, and resources to your ERP implementation.
Keep in mind that active and visible sponsorship differs from passive support. Your C-suite can claim to "support" your project, but that's much different than taking a hands-on approach.
Ideally, executives should support the project with more than just their words. They should be so involved that they build a network to support the project with various stakeholders and decision-makers.
Orchard House's role is often to help executives build this network by developing a sponsorship roadmap outlining how you will communicate with executives and how these executives will communicate with stakeholders.
4. Proactively Manage Resistance
It's natural for employees to display a level of resistance when new processes or technologies are introduced into a business. Usually, this resistance has little to do with the actual solution you're implementing. Instead, resistance is created by your company culture and the amount of misinformation and propaganda. When a digital transformation turns into a game of chance where employees are distrusting and unsure of who to believe.
While many organisations address this resistance as it arises, we recommend creating a resistance management plan early in your project. This plan should outline the steps required to identify, understand, and ultimately manage resistance in every department.
Once this plan is in place, make sure to empower departmental leaders to use these strategies within their teams.
5. Conduct End-User Training
Another reason employees might resist a change is because the new system might seem too complex or technically daunting.
Does your change management plan include thorough end-user training? If not, this item on our checklist might save your implementation.
However, don't just throw it on your to-do list without considering the effort involved. Instead, add it to your project plan using the correct detail – How many resources will we need? How long will it take? What will we do to customise training sessions to apply to employees' unique roles and responsibilities?
6. Establish Reinforcement Mechanisms
A change management plan is not finished once the technology is implemented, and the project is complete. Instead, there should be safeguards in place to ensure that employees continue to use the ERP system long after the go-live date. Otherwise, they could revert to their old practices.
We recommend establishing reinforcement mechanisms that will encourage employees to stay the course. For example, you might consider recognising and rewarding individual employees who act as project sponsors.
7. Manage Project Results
It isn't enough to say that organisational change management is "going well." You need specific metrics to help you benchmark success and measure progress.
Some examples of questions you may want to ask include:
- What business benefits have we realised so far?
- How close are we to achieving our key performance indicators (KPIs)?
- What percentage of our workforce is currently using the new system?
As you measure results, be sure to develop new strategies that will help your employees embrace change in the long term. This continuous improvement mindset will turn change management into a core competency within your organisation.
8. What's in Your Change Management Plan?
If you're missing any components from this checklist, it's time to revise your change management plan. Most ERP projects require all these components regardless of how "ready" executives believe employees to be.
Our change management consulting Partner can help you assess our project plan to understand where you might need additional change management activities. Contact us below for an introduction and free initial introduction.