Change Management - The key to a successful ERP project.

More than just a software project:

ERP projects are usually huge projects that run slowly and not always smoothly. As an honest partner our task includes telling you as a customer honestly that you yourself are also responsible for the success of the ERP project which leads to change management.

You have a lot of work to do, which we can’t do for you any more than any other ERP provider. After all, in the best case scenario, a new ERP solution will initiate change processes in your company and you should take your employees on this journey of change. To ensure that you are well-prepared and have a realistic idea of your upcoming project, we would like to give you an overview of our experiences as well as dos and don’ts in change management.

Make it better:

Learn from past ERP projects.

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    Targets not sufficiently defined

    ERP projects can fail if goals are defined too superficially. If there are no goals that are transparent and comprehensible for all employees, the project is already doomed to failure.

    Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and scheduled. A goal in this sense is not process optimization. That would be too vague and in the end it would be difficult to understand whether the goal was achieved or not.

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    Lack of or poor communication

    ERP projects can fail if there is no communication about why the project is being carried out, what benefits it brings to the company and the individual, and what tasks need to be done. Why? Changes are always associated with emotions and are not easy for many people to manage.

    Communication is therefore very important when it comes to an influential project like that and plays a decisive role in whether an ERP project succeeds or fails.

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    Lack of cooperation from the customer

    ERP projects can fail if the employees of a company cannot provide sufficient input in addition to their regular daily business. This includes testing functions, learning how to use the application and providing feedback. No software will achieve the desired goals if the willingness to do so is missing.

    We as an ERP vendor can provide the best software in the world. However, it is of no use if the company and its employees do not participate in the project. Experience shows that we speak of a 50:50 task sharing. You as a customer must show commitment and know what you are getting into and what an ERP project means.

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    Resistance of the employees

    ERP projects can fail if resistance from employees opposes a project. If you confront your employees – to put it bluntly – with the news only on the day of the software launch and determine from the top down that everyday life will now be completely reorganized by the new software, you will encounter resistance. Your employees resist, are dissatisfied and the ERP project is doomed to failure.

    Why? People are creatures of habit. This applies to all of us and is not reprehensible. You as a manager only have to make use of this fact and counteract. This is where communication comes into play again.

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    Technical difficulties

    ERP projects can fail for technical reasons (e.g. problematic interfaces to other systems) or due to hardware problems. However, the chance of this happening is small. After all, the technical possibilities are constantly improving and there are hardly any requirements that cannot be implemented.

Ask Theo:

What is change management and why does it have to exist?

It’s me again, Theo. Although I am a technology interpreter by nature, I am also very familiar with the psychological, human component of an ERP project and would like to explain it.

The focus of change management is, as the name suggests, change. It includes all measures that aim to bring about change or transformation in a company. An example of such a change would be the introduction of new software.

Why is a discipline like change management necessary? Far too often the term digital transformation is reduced to the digital only and the ongoing transformation of a company is swept under the carpet. This is not surprising at first – after all, most management teams only accompany such a large project a few times, so they lack the experience in leading change projects. However, as a result, important steps such as goal setting, communication, changing mindsets and culture often fall by the wayside if not sufficiently explained.

 

4 phases to success:

How does successful change management work?

Recognize needs

In this phase a company recognizes an urgent need for action. You realize that your corporate culture and mindset as well as technologies have become sluggish and need to be changed promptly.

Create awareness

Build a responsible team and create a sense of change and common goals. Find a provider who can fulfill all technical aspects of your project and with whom the chemistry is right. Then take your employees on the transformation journey by communicating your convincing goals, an appealing project name and action plan.

Initiate change

Leave your status quo and process the change measures according to priority. Maintain motivation and communication throughout the project to achieve openness and acceptance in your team and to ensure the necessary input. To counteract resistance and disorientation, it is also advisable to obtain regular feedback.

Find balance

Have you reached your goals? Accustom your employees and anchor or secure the change in your corporate culture. This stabilization is important to avoid relapses, to establish a new balance and to ensure a certain ability to change in the future.

Are you convinced?

Our offer for a successful project.

Initial executive briefing

For a successful project, it is important that the management and other key decision-makers are familiar with the philosophy and the approach, and that they argue the joint project in their own company and call for committed cooperation. After all, the work is as much the responsibility of the customer as it is of us. In addition, the executive briefing discusses the human and social factors that always play a role in a long-term collaboration and identifies possible areas for action.

Comprehensive kick-off meeting

For us, every software introduction begins with a kick-off meeting, which, in addition to the organizational obligations, also addresses the expectations of all persons involved in your company. At the same time, the kick-off meeting serves to create the necessary understanding for the challenges and prerequisites so that no misunderstandings arise and harmonizing groups work together.

Regular feedback

By cooperating with the Start-up Echometer, we can offer you a powerful feedback tool that measures the mood in the team throughout the entire project. Our goal is to measure the satisfaction of the participants and to counteract any difficulties that may arise as quickly as possible. This allows your employees to get involved and help shape the course of the project according to their wishes.

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Individual support

There is no standard scheme that fits all companies. You must find your own way to achieve your goals and success. We can support you in this process and advise you. But as already mentioned, we cannot do the work for you. We are happy to share our experience of more than 20 years in business, but every company is individual and therefore every project is different.

These

are further information about a successful ERP projekt.

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