Tamlin Change Management Design

ERP Change Management: Never Skip the Design and Development Stage

By Linda Bryan
Chief Executive Officer
Tamlin Software

Good news! You’ve completed the assessment stage, the most humbling phase in your ERP change-management plan. You’ve asked the tough questions. You’ve interviewed every key player from your senior executives down to your shop floor workers. No stone has been left unturned and you’ve identified issues across the board that must be solved to implement your new ERP system.

The work doesn’t stop there. Now it’s time to design and develop a thorough rollout plan. This is the most critical stage as 90% of the success of your ERP change management plan depends on it. Without a clear rollout plan, you can’t expect your managers to know what, how, and when to train those who report to them on how to adopt a completely new approach to managing key manufacturing processes.

Your design and development phase REQUIRES a thorough rollout strategy and plan for training and migrating your entire organization to embrace a totally new paradigm. There are several things you must consider.

Change needs champions.

If you expect major changes in culture, processes and technology to happen enterprise-wide, you need to have cheerleaders on your side. Identify those who you know will embrace your new technology and give them opportunities and incentives to interact with peers who might not be so fast to buy in.

Training has layers. Lots of them.

Training is easier said than done. It takes a major investment in time and resources, and a carefully thought out plan in order to succeed. Ask yourself these questions.

  • What is your approach and timetable?
  • Who will train who?
  • How will you train the trainers?
  • What will actually be taught during the training process?
  • How often will training take place and how long will the process take?
  • How will you measure success in training?
  • How will you offer sustainment training after the initial rollout?

Be realistic, but hold people accountable.

Another common mistake is that companies set unrealistic goals that actually hinder, rather than help, the learning process. Set realistic goals for success—including a realistic timeframe—and make sure you have accountability standards in place.

What does the design and develop phase accomplish?

Simply put, the design and development stage is about creating the solutions you need to close any gaps that could get in the way of a successful ERP implementation. In a sense, design and development is about creating a plan before the plan. A successful ERP change-management plan requires a thorough strategy that allows for leadership, training, accountability, and measurement. Without a clearly defined plan to make it happen, it’s more likely to fail than to succeed.

Coming up next…

Next week, we take a look at the delivery and sustainability phase of the 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!