ERP Implementation Tip #15: ERP Change Management Plan – Six-Stage Surgical Approach

Tip #15: ERP Change Management Plan | Six-Stage Surgical Approach

One of the biggest hurdles – and arguably the biggest hurdle – in any ERP implementation project is meeting the people challenge.  It is a multidimensional issue that oftentimes requires new job descriptions and new people.  Also, it often calls for a redrafting of the organizational chart.  At the end of an ERP implementation project, your employees may find themselves working with new people, reporting to different managers and, in some cases, calling a new facility “home”.

Transitioning employees to the organization’s new state is complex.  Time and geographic project constraints magnify this complexity.  For example, one of our clients will soon be implementing ERP at four North American facilities, seven North American satellite offices, and one China-based facility.  The employees in two of the major facilities have never worked on a modern-day ERP system and, as a result, require significant training.  Notwithstanding these constraints, all training must be completed before the company cuts over to the new system in 2011.  In this case – and in all cases – effective change management will largely depend on execution of a well-conceived change management plan.

The ERP change management plan should provide a detailed, actionable roadmap to the desired future state.  We advocate a planning approach similar to the one used for business process mapping.  Specifically, the change management plan should be based on an analysis of the gaps between the “As Is” and “To Be” environments.  Given time, cost and geographic constraints, the path to change should also be the shortest, most surgically-precise path.  A change management plan should contain, at a minimum, the following 6 components:

  • Part 1 Gap Analysis –  Analyse “As Is” to “To Be” gaps in skills, jobs, structures and personnel
  • Part 2 Job Assignment – Assign individuals to the “To Be” jobs
  • Part 3 H.R. Alignment – Create new job descriptions, plan employee transitions and begin the recruitment process.
  • Part 4 Communications Plan – Develop a plan to notify existing employees of changes and provide them with a forum to communicate feedback.  Develop a plan to broadcast recruitment needs.
  • Part 5 Training Strategy and Budgets – Determine whether training is to be delivered using in-house or outsourced resources.  Consider geographic, time and other physical constraints.  Budget costs, including those relating to materials, time and travel costs.
  • Part 6 End-User Training Programs – Draft fulsome participant lists, training schedules, training plans and training effectiveness assessment reports.

At this point, your organization has mapped how it intends to transition to its future “To Be” environment, from both the process and people perspectives.  You are now ready to have your project teams move onto the next project phase: the walkthroughs.

In next week’s ERP implementation tip, I will offer tips on how to lead the walkthroughs – the phase during which the core team members demonstrate how their respective departments intend to use the software.

Remember: if you have any questions about your ERP project, feel free to contact our ERP experts – they’ll be happy to help.

Good luck with your ERP implementation projects!

In this series of weekly ERP project management tips, we walk you through an ERP implementation project using Pemeco’s “Milestone Deliverables” project management methodology.

You can buy our project management book and CD of template forms “Milestone Deliverables: The Hands-On Approach to Implementing ERP Projects”. Click here to learn more. Learn about our ERP implementation services by clicking here.

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