One of the most difficult aspects of an ERP Implementation project is the organizational buy-in. ERP Implementation projects will produce a massive change in technical and cultural nature. Before beginning an ERP implementation project, it’s critical to clarify reasonings and future business strategies. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE. If key decision makers do not clearly understand and/or support the need for change, budgets and resource planning efforts will be negatively affected. If project members and end users don’t understand the objectives, confusion and resistance to change will prevail. Without sufficient organizational buy-in, an ERP implementation is set to fail.

For an ERP implementation project to be successful, the transition must have the complete support and commitment from upper management.  The new system will be the foundation for the organization’s future growth and must be a top priority for executives who will set the example for the rest of the organization, who will be much more likely to comply with new policies and procedures.

Communicate the Need for Organizational Change

Organizations will benefit from frequent, and progressive communication before the ERP implementation project begins. Clearly define the need for change and paint a picture of how bright the future is going to look. Include what the implementation project involves, the benefits of the project, and how the project is going to change daily workflows and processes.

Prepare to Address Questions and Concerns

Prepare for employees to have questions/concerns and be prepared to answer to those questions/concerns.

  • What are the expected costs?
  • What does the Return on Investment (ROI) look like?
  • How will the ERP software change day-to-day responsibilities?

Every organization’s situation, needs, and solutions are different and therefore each organization’s costs and benefits will be different.  If the return is sufficient to meet buy-in from leadership and employees, the project can be given the green light.

Identify Pinpoint Resistance to Change

Resistance to change is typically easy to find. An employee who doesn’t respond well to change will vocalize their opinions and disapproval of the ERP implementation project. To solve each unique resistance pinpoint, the organizational management team will need to create strategies and tactics to address and resolve these specific pains.

People are naturally resistant to change.  For this reason, it’s especially important to keep the people most affected by process changes, and end users, engaged throughout the ERP implementation project.  It’s important that you develop an employee engagement strategy to ensure that end-users are informed about process changes and expectations throughout the project.

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