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2019 ERP Report Finds Change Management as ERP’s Biggest Hurdle



In their recently published 2019 ERP Report, Panorama Consulting Solutions provides valuable insights for organizations considering, or in the midst of, an ERP implementation. This report dives into years of collected data to analyze what recent implementation trends mean for organizations now and in the future. The findings from this year’s report point to one important concept: ERP projects are most successful when focused on integrating people, processes and technology.

Available here, the report found that organizations that completed their ERP implementations reported the technical aspects of deployment were easier than helping lead change among people and processes. Panorama noted that the most difficult part of managing change for these organizations tends to be in eliminating barriers that keep employees from using new ERP software. They say the most successful organizations tend to invest in lots of communication and training to ensure that ERP gains buy-in across the organization:

“Organizational changes are difficult because people naturally resist change. Employees may refuse to learn new processes, or they may speak negatively about the project amongst coworkers. We recommend identifying business process owners, business sponsors and change leaders willing to participate in the project’s success.”

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What is Change Management?

Change management and project management are both required when deploying an ERP solution across the entire organization. The Prosci definition of change management: the process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change to achieve a required business outcome.

According to Prosci, change management and project management are tools that need to be applied independent of the actual change that you are undertaking. Anytime you alter processes, systems, organization structures or job roles, you need a structured approach to manage both the technical side and the people side of the pending change.

The 2019 ERP report found that the most difficult part of change management is identifying and eliminating the barriers preventing employees from using new ERP software. This involves extensive communication and training aimed at developing new organizational digital competencies. We recommend developing an organizational change management plan before you begin ERP selection.

Don’t let technology challenges distract from people and process challenges. Focus on all three components of ERP success (people, technology, processes), while paying close attention to people and processes, in particular. Here are some more helpful tips:

Create an ERP project team and devote time for software training

By gathering your top notch experts and stakeholders in the implementation process, you can ensure that you meet all the requirements possible. Figure out who needs to be involved, engage them, enlist their help, and create a schedule for meetings and updates. Training end-users to embrace and employ an ERP solution as completely as possible is not easy. We suggest gathering some training resources and figuring out how much time and money you can dedicate to the process, and how you will track understanding and engagement of the new software.

Poor Adoptions Yield Poor Results

Employees are the ones that use the ERP systems the most, so they assume the position of determining its success. If your employees aren’t comfortable using the system, you won’t see the benefits that you’d hope for. Furthermore, your employees should also feel a desire to use the new software. If they’re happy with the current system, then there’s a slim chance that they’ll take kindly to the new technology.

Proper training can be crucial in bypassing this issue. Working with a third party trainer can help your employees get a better handle on how to overcome a lot of the problems your vendor might not have a solution to. Consultants are usually pretty well versed in all of the ways an implementation can go wrong, so if worse comes to worse, look to them for some best practices in dealing with these situations.

Download the 2019 ERP Report.

Looking for more? Download our ERP buyers guide for free and compare the top-24 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide includes four key capabilities to look for in an ERP solution, plus five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask the software provider before purchasing. It’s the perfect resource for anyone looking to find right ERP for their business.

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