What do we mean with change management?
Implementing a new ERP system involves many changes within your organization. These changes involve structures, processes and employees. To improve the adoption of changes, we guide you by deploying change management methods to make the process of implementation and adoption as quickly and frictionless as possible.
On the human side, we differentiate between project management and change management.
While project management is needed to manage deadlines and requirements, change management is essential when it comes to soft factors. They include people-driven factors such as motivation or personal values as well as organizational influences, e.g. communication ethics, work methods or management styles.
As soon as the desired technical solution triggers or requires a change in behavior of stakeholders or users, typical project management approaches will not be sufficient to drive adoption but need to be supplemented by corresponding change management. In general, increasing complexity of tasks will result in higher importance of soft factors for the project to be successful.
The amount of change management needed by a project depends on the individual starting point, the size of the company, requirements and the associated effects on the employees.
From our point of view customers need change management in the following situations:
- Processes and systems within the organization are redundant, not efficient and not state of the art anymore
- Planned changes have an impact on how employees are behaving and doing their everyday work: job roles, workflows and processes etc.
- Employees should learn how to use a new system to deliver expected results and outcomes.
- Anticipated changes affect the whole organization and employees should be involved.
much. key principles in change management
Changes are always difficult but without them, businesses would lose their competitive advantage and fail to meet the constantly changing customer needs. Ignoring the employees‘ side while implementing the new ERP system by focusing only on technical requirements increases the risk of additional process costs and disengaging of your employees in the result. Instead, we proactively support and guide your employees and stakeholders through the changes letting them embrace the changes as a chance.
Our change management approach provides your employees with the preparation, support, skills and knowledge they need to succeed in change.
Phases in change management process
As change management supports the introduction and adoption of your new ERP system, our service offering accompanies the project and the desired emotional state of your employees.
In different phases the performance and participation of your employees differs and thus, different activities throughout the project phases are necessary to keep all hands on deck. In the end, we want to flatten the performance rollercoaster to keep emotional and also workload strain as far away from your organization as possible.
Based on our experience we have adopted the Kubler-Ross Change Curve to our process during the implementation of the new ERP System.
This allows us to support your organization and your employees individually depending on their position on the curve. Not all organizations will move through all the stages, some can move forward quickly and some might get stuck at points along the curve. Our model helps us to understand and deal effectively with your changes and personal transitions in order to provide proper support during the process of change. Knowing where an employee, manager or group of impacted users are on the change curve will help us in developing and implementing effective change management plans to communicate, engage with, and support these individuals through the transition process.
“With our services we want to flatten the curve”
Phase 1: Planning Phase
Before the project starts, the needed change management components have to be defined and the communication of the change has to be prepared sufficiently.
Before the announcement of the project, we analyze the need for change management with our readiness assessment checklist. This checklist provides an overview over defined needs and readiness for change within the company to our consultants and gives us a base for planning time, resources and personnel. In this phase it is most important to gather expectations and concerns from affected functional areas and identify critical success factors. After the detailed analysis of information received from the readiness assessment, ERP requirements and additional sources, our consultants prepare the detailed transformation strategy.
Kick Off. Communicate the Change
During the all hands project kick off we give your team a detailed process overview and a room for open questions. For us it is important to explain the process, make the timeline available and show everyone how they are affected by the new ERP System. Additionally, we provide an opportunity to interact with the system from the beginning. In our experience, this helps to reduce the fear of the system’s complexity, minimizes the feeling of negative impact of the change and helps your team to adapt to it more quickly. In the end of this phase, every potential user should understand when he is involved and what changes for him personally may occur to limit his feeling of shock and avoid denial.
Phase 2: Implementation
During the implementation phase, our change management consultants are in constant contact with all of the project’s stakeholders. In addition to having multiple workshops and walkthroughs per department. Furthermore, we conduct a weekly 15 minute update and questions meeting for all stakeholders to ensure ongoing communication. A more elaborate exchange with your project leaders takes place in the 1 hour weekly project jour fix. These meetings allow ongoing communication of all stakeholders into the implementation process early on.
At this stage of the project customers start to understand that changes are going to happen and there is nothing they can do about it. They are frustrated because of lack of knowledge and control of the current situation. That is why we are enabling the stakeholders to explore the system from an early phase and test their requirements on their own. That significantly improves the involvement in the project and helps for smoother end-to-end testing and go-live phases. Through our unique portal, stakeholders are able to see the current state of the project and all subtasks associated with it. We offer everyone involved in the project the opportunity to ask questions directly on the tasks and give their feedback to our customizations.
Knowledge transfer & management
To further increase knowledge transfer to users into the implementation and to enable proper testing, we are providing our customers with an extensive knowledge base, containing videos, FAQs & articles for all organizational units. This helps immensely in onboarding the users and enabling them to understand how the system will support them in their daily work.
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Phase 3: User Adoption
From our point of view that is a turning point for the organizations and their employees because while testing the acceptance of the new ERP system is growing. Our goal at this phase is to enable the testing process and to provide customers needed manuals and room for feedback and questions.
Hands on Support
After detailed testing and Go Live employees start to properly understand the value of the changes and the curve rises vertically into acceptance. As a result, they actively engage in the process and ask questions regarding the system that indicates genuine changes in their behavior. Our consultants are there for all the questions and needed support.
Project closing and evaluation
An in-depth retrospective of the project is the basis for future collaboration, e.g. implementation of another module or further maintenance. Important in this phase is to give the team the opportunity to evaluate the project’s performance and to ensure that all stakeholders have needed information, resources and training to successfully use the new ERP system. A change management perspective is essential to make sure that all potential users are on board and ready (“Mentally”) to start working with a new ERP system.
The final stage is a change in mindset to trying to adjust to the new way and look for the positives in it. The lessons are learned and implemented. Employees are still learning to work in the new system but they have already noticed how much time they spent and how efficient they become with a new ERP system. At this phase we follow-up with employees and provide them additional coaching if needed. The journey from choosing the right ERP system until its implementation to the final phase can be difficult and we are convinced that the much. approach in change management, professionality and the mindset of our team at much. will help you to overcome any obstacles.
To sum it up the much. approach for Change Management includes:
- preparing the organization or involved departments for change
- planning the change process holistically: from gathering necessary information via readiness assessment to providing a detailed plan for the whole process
- working on business as well as emotional levels with employees who are affected by a change in a targeted, controlled and active manner
- supporting employees who are affected by the implementation process by providing consultation, easy to access knowledge databases and customized training