How Company Leadership Must Change with ERP Implementation
ERP serves as a catalyst in transforming and optimizing the processes of any enterprise or business. ERP comes forth as a pivotal change in the way digital technology has been absorbed in the enterprise environment, often shaking it to the core, only to emerge better.
And as it is famously said,
‘If you don’t change, you don’t grow. If you don’t grow, you are not living.”
Accepting the change brought in by ERP implementation is essential for businesses not just to sustain but thrive and achieve their goals.
But a successful ERP implementation is no child’s play. There are multiple factors and people within the organization that contribute to the successful implementation of ERP. The company’s leadership shines out as one of the critical components that upholds the success or the failure of ERP implementation.
And while familiar is good, new is exciting. This is exactly the reason why company leadership must change with ERP implementation. But that’s not all!
Here are some critical ways in which, the company leadership must change with ERP implementation
Actively manage and define scope, requirements, and budget
One of the determining factors of a successful ERP implementation starts miles before the actual implementation. It is the decisive moment (or series of them in fact) where the stakeholders zero on why they require ERP in the first place. And as this requirement mapping begins, the company leadership should actively take control to understand the requirement by liaising with different teams, define the scope of the implementation, and, more importantly, decide a budget for the same.
No matter how cumbersome it is, this step is extremely critical, and the company leadership should be ready to spare time for this crucial activity.
Embracing new changes and systems
ERP implementation means an overhaul of legacy processes and systems. This is not limited to the staff but also the leadership team. When the company management expects the staff to accept and embrace the changes in processes, the leadership team should be the first one to reflect the change with minimum to no reluctance. This is where ‘lead by example’ is going to come into play.
We are well aware of how digital transformation lays the foundation of ERP implementation, and one of the first elements that are impacted by digital transformation is the leadership team. The more aware and profound the company leadership team is about the change, the more trust they will gain from the employees.
Identifying dedicated change-makers/influencers
Change management is one of the most important steps for a successful ERP implementation. Any change is bound to meet with resistance, and this will be no different. The company leadership cannot possibly take all the burden of informing, educating, or guiding the entire staff and various stakeholders. And hence, the company leadership should embark on off-loading the responsibility of change management to key employees across various divisions. The company leadership should identify influencers within the company and create a dedicated change management team.
While at this, it is also important to involve a domain expert to streamline the ERP implementation. Their expertise in finding the right solution to leading the change management is very critical to the effectiveness of ERP implementation.
Structuring transparent communications
While the change management team takes up the responsibility to educate the entire organization for embracing the change brought forth by ERP, the company leadership still needs to be vocal in communicating the change, its implying benefits for both the company as well as the workforce. The company leadership should structure transparent communication, host AMA (ask me anything), share implementation timelines, and communicate via flex boards, strong messaging in internal channels, and magazines related to the change.
This will help the employees gain trust in the company leadership. It will help them understand how the change impacts them and their individual career paths.
Build and reward employee competencies
Competition can drive interest amongst the workforce, and ERP implementation is no exception. The company leadership can be forthcoming about structuring a performance/change acceptance incentive to reward employees who have quickly entwined with the changes and updates to the processes. These rewards can serve as a recognition of the hard work and motivation for the entire workforce.
This is also a good opportunity to detect employees who are highly resistant to the change, and the leadership team can focus on working on the areas that bother these employees the most.
Preparing for Success
ERP implementation can be a monumental step for any organization, and it is important that every single element is involved in the same to drive the change with speed, accuracy, and effectuality.
The company leadership is the glue that can hold everything together, and hence their change and acceptance can create a positive ripple effect for ERP implementation.