Embracing Change

A key part of a successful ERP implementation is people engagement, and as it is a fact that some people adapt to change more readily than others, it is vital that a change management process take place alongside that of actual managing of the project. It is essential that everyone is on-board and willing to accept and learn when implementing a business-wide system such as an ERP.

Managing change is a process whereby understanding what level of impact the change will have to workflows, systems and employee roles, and delivering key messages explaining the rationale, when it will take place, and how it will be managed, you reduce resistance and encourage acceptance and enthusiasm.

Change management is a combination of process, tools and techniques to manage how quickly your employees adapt to the required business outcome. In short, moving employees from the current status quo, through a transition state to the desired outcome.

The amount of change management required is dependent of a few factors.

Level of disruption to employees day-to-day work
Previous history with change

Below are key things that a Change Manager should implement to get your team from this   [crying]  To this [smiley]

  • Develop key messages communicating reason for change
  • Working with managers so they understand the impact on their team
  • Ensuring everyone understands why the change is necessary and how or if it will affect them.

Change managers should also:

  • Build support
  • Address resistance
  • Ensure each employee has a thorough understanding of new software through training, documentation and support.

There are typically three stages to accepting change

Figure 1 sourced from www.davidtaylorsblog.com

For as long as employees stay in Stage 1 they will be stuck and the change will be unsuccessful. However, with discussion, support and training they will start to let go and begin transitioning towards change. Their pessimism and resistance will move towards optimism.

Why do people resist? Below are a few reasons you may not have thought about:

  • Loss of Status: An employee may have been considered a bit of an expert on the old system and no has doubts about their ability on a new system – they will feel undermined by the change.
  • Loss of Job Security: An employee may feel with new efficient processes being put in place that their job may be in jeopardy.
  • Fear of the Unknown: The less the team know about the change and impact the more fearful they will become.
  • Peer Pressure: Team members may feel compelled to resist change if they feel it is unfairly impacting on a colleague
  • Office Politics: Some may resist to “prove” to management they are making the wrong decision.
  • Poor timing: Perhaps the announcement was made at end of month when already employees are stressing due to peak pressure.

Some Key things to keep in mind:

Plan Plan Plan – plan the message, plan the timing of the message, plan the delivery
Be inclusive – allow questions, ask for input,

People do not resist change that they believe is in their best interests.  

MYOB say forget about getting your team on the bus – how about a Dragon Boat?