By Linda Bryan
Chief Executive Officer
Your patience has paid off. You could have saved time and maybe a little money up front by just implementing new processes and technology and praying for the best.
But you chose a smarter route and stuck to your ERP change management plan. You got feedback from your employees at every level of the company to identify needs, gaps and potential obstacles. You’ve even armed yourself with a strategy for rolling out organization-wide changes, complete with a plan for training, accountability, and reasonable expectations.
Now comes the delivery and sustainability phase of your ERP change management plan. This is the stage where you get to put your plan into action. You’re on the brink of seeing real change, but it still hasn’t happened yet. You’re on the brink of a plan that once implemented consistently for 3-6 months, will pay off in spades. The best way to get there is with your roadmap—the sustainment plan.
Here are a few things to consider when putting your plan into action.
Best practices in ERP change-management implementation
Deploy solutions holistically. Whatever solutions you’re implementing, it’s imperative to understand that they’ll have a ripple effect throughout your entire organization. Any changes you make must be applied holistically, from your top executives, all the way to the shop floor.
Training with purpose. By now, your employees should be well versed on how to use new technology, or at the very least, be adapting to new practices within the organization. That means training should be an ongoing process until you achieve the results you’re seeking. You should develop a blend of formal and informal training modes. These can include one-on-one meetings between employees and their supervisors, weekly classes, and whatever else it takes to establish the new norm and can be supported by coaching and aligned with the sustainment plan.
Are you ready? Now is the time to go through your checklist to make sure you’re ready to roll out the changes. Are your employees trained well enough to effectively use new technology and abide by new practices? Have you identified your champions who are dedicated to seeing the process through? A plan implemented prematurely will simply lead to more challenges down the road.
Know how you’re going to sustain your new processes. Organizational changes can improve your bottom line and help your company operate more efficiently. But such positive effects can only happen if you stick to your plan. Sustainability is as critical as a solid launch strategy.
What does the deliver and sustain phase accomplish?
This is the stage where you’ll begin to see the fruits of your labor. Barriers that were once holding your organization back should be replaced with new processes that drive your business forward. In many ways, this can be the most exciting (and nerve wracking) phase of your new ERP program launch.
Coming up next…
We’ll conclude our change-management series by addressing what happens during the evaluation phase in an ERP change-management process. In the meantime, if you’d like to share your best practices or discuss ways to get your change-management program off on the right foot, let’s chat!