Any type of company-wide technology change is an extraordinarily complex process, requiring careful consideration and detailed planning to be successful. Adding or upgrading an Enterprise Management Planning (ERP) system can provide tremendous efficiency and value to your business, but achieving these goals requires change management.  

 

At a high level, change management is defined as the controlled identification and implementation of required changes. A project of this type takes on the form of outlining the specific goals and objectives of the change and each of the roles that will be impacted.  

 

Without strategic change management, the company-wide transition to the new ERP system can be rocky and expensive in terms of time and resources and result in poor employee adoption. The following are three critical steps to ensure the success of your ERP implementation. 

 

Support and involvement of company leadership 

 

The IT department typically does the majority of any ERP system adoption or upgrade. Having clear insight and understanding of your organization’s technology needs in terms of functionality, accessibility, and data security makes them ideal to lead the project from planning through completion.  

 

However, the commitment of business leadership to the project is equal to the importance of IT support. For any organizational change to be successful, it must have the full support and involvement of the C-Suite.  

 

The complexity of planning an ERP implementation requires clear and concise decision making.  

In addition to setting high-level goals and determining the project budget, when leadership takes an active role from the planning phase through sustainability, it ensures that all organization-wide goals are met and sets the tone for successful utilization across all functions.  

Clearly define an agile project plan

 

The scope of an ERP system implementation impacts multiple business functions throughout your organization, so it must include a plan to ensure efficiency and consistency for all involved parties. At the same time, it also needs to allow flexibility for iterating and evaluating the plan as needed throughout the project.  A successful ERP project plan should: 

 

  • Define the need for change by documenting the new system’s overall goals compared to your current process. From there, options to consider include upgrading or migrating to a new system, cloud vs. on-premises hosting, vendor selection, and in-house vs. partner-led implementation, just to name a few. When determining each of these factors, it is essential to consider the impact on each role it affects and weigh the pros and cons of each. 

 

  • Include a step-by-step outline for the project, including timeline, departments, roles impacted, onboarding and training, and overall expectations; these guidelines will provide consistency throughout the implementation process. 

 

  • Have a strategy for sustaining the change after launch that includes onboarding, training, and technical support procedures. 

 

Involve impacted employees throughout the project

 

Employee resistance is a common challenge to successful ERP Implementation when change management best practices are not followed. However, this can be easily mitigated by involving your employees throughout the project.  As end-users of the ERP, your employees are a valuable resource for feedback during planning and implementation and troubleshooting after launch. 

 

For additional insights on streamlining your technology change management, download our free resource, The Business Owner’s Guide For Replacing Accounting Software. 

How painful is it to move to the cloud?

If you have outgrown your current ERP system you may have found yourself asking this exact question, and we are here to give you some answers. Download Acumatica's whitepaper on why "A new ERP System doesn't have to slow down your schedule- or business". Get insight on how a phased implementation and flexible Cloud ERP system can strengthen your business processes. 

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