What Is Change Management and Why Is It Important for ERP Implementation? Part 2

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Is your organization looking to make changes to bring your business up-to-speed and beyond with the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC)?  In part 1 of this topic, we established the importance of change management. Now let's talk about some strategies for achieving it. In part 2, we'll present eight tips for effective change management during ERP implementation.

1. Consider the project holistically

Today's technology is designed to be more inclusive. Formerly, systems were built to handle a single chore (for example, ERP or CRM.)  Newer solutions can integrate many, if not all, of your business processes. In choosing your ERP solution, no doubt you've considered not just your current needs but your company's long-term goals. That's an excellent approach when it comes to managing your ERP implementation. Because every facet of your business will be affected by the new system, view the change as an opportunity and help your team embrace the potential.

2. Have a plan

Plan ahead for success, but be prepared to adjust your plan as issues arise. Have a plan as well as a philosophy for handling each aspect of change. For instance, if your new ERP is going to deliver resource efficiencies, you must have an HR strategy in place for dealing with employees who fear losing their jobs. Fear of the unknown can be toxic and can sabotage your implementation. It's essential to keep employees informed throughout the entire project. Have a specific plan for doing so.

3. Identify your company's culture and strengths

Your organization's culture is how your team thinks, what their beliefs and values are. It also encompasses how management treats employees and clients, how you value quality, efficiency, or profit. Your culture is based on your core values and is unique. So no two implementation projects will be identical. It's important to remember what makes your business what it is and consider that in your implementation strategy. This approach is also valid when considering your teams' strengths and how to best utilize them.

4. Utilize the power of your MVPs

There are team members in every business who other employees look to as leaders. These individuals are influential. They tend to be trusted, respected, and maybe even imitated.  Their example can motivate and instill pride and productivity in their coworkers. Be sure to involve these influencers whenever possible to help move your project ahead. They can be invaluable assets.

5. Communicate early and often

Thorough business analysis and technical execution are, of course, vital. But a great deal of value comes from discussion with the parties involved. In an ERP implementation, all participants must be clear on their role in the project. Expectations should be documented and consistent.

Clear, consistent communication is critical from the start to create and maintain coherence. We recommend starting with an all-hands kick-off, where you answer questions and explain the entire scope of the project and the implications for each department.

6. Choose the right team

The ideal change management team should have multiple entities fully engaged, with a complete understanding of the project and objectives, prepared to advocate, support, and lead by example. Who should make up the team? Here's what we suggest:

  • CEO and executive leadership
  • Middle management
  • Front line supervisors and team members
  • Culture/change experts

All participants must demonstrate an interest in resolving root business issues and be willing to listen to front-line users.

7. Have a program for training

Training is a critical part of any digital migration or implementation. ​Even if you already have a training protocol, here are some suggestions:

  • Mix things up and keep your learners interested by varying the content with videos, images, webinars, etc.
  • Offer hands-on learning rather than passive observation.
  • Concentrate on the essentials; don't overwhelm with too much information.

8. Put processes in place to maintain the changes                     

Who could blame employees for wanting to revert to the familiar way they used to do things? But if that happens, your whole project could suffer. It's essential to have processes to sustain the changes made. Maintain active company leadership and be sure your influencers champion the change. Maintain an attitude of enthusiasm. Listen to employees' concerns and address their anxieties. Reiterate how the change will be beneficial for the business as a whole and them as individuals. Define what success looks like and be ready to demonstrate it with data.

There is a wealth of material on change management. We encourage you to learn more so you can determine the best plan for your organization before you launch your ERP implementation project.

If you're getting ready to implement a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP system, learn more about business process analysis , then contact the change management experts at ArcherPoint for help on how to start off on the right foot.

By ArcherPoint, www.archerpoint.com





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