Change Management For ERP Systems
MI-GSO | PCUBED was contracted by a leading oil & gas company to provide Change Management services, preparing the business for the implementation of an Oracle ERP System and its associated processes. The challenge – deliver a successful change program after being hit by a hurricane.
Over the course of a decade, our client had grown both organically and through several mergers and acquisitions. The most recent of which more than doubled the size of the organization. As such, the client was looking to integrate their system across 7 of their divisions who still operated as semi-autonomous business units.
Prior to our involvement, 4 divisions or work groups had been migrated onto the ERP system. Initial deployments had not met stakeholder expectations for a successful launch. As such, MI-GSO | PCUBED came on board to support the final 3 implementations. Our remit was to lead the approach to prepare the business teams for the technical implementation. In addition, our goal was to minimize, and reduce, the negative feedback from stakeholders resulting from the implementation.
Our team, once on board deployed best practice change management interventions, improving readiness of the organization for the ultimately successful Go-Lives. Measuring the impact or our change interventions included not only adoption by the over 4400 employees, but management perception.
In implementing the previous ERP roll-outs the client faced many challenges. There was a relatively low maturity in Project Management and Change Management practices. Due to the various mergers and acquisitions, each team had their own semi-autonomous leadership team and set of processes. As a result, everything was done differently each time the system was rolled out to one of the divisions.
To compound the challenge, within divisions the teams were geographically dispersed. This impacted not only adoption and engagement, but training delivery and knowledge sharing.
MI-GSO | PCUBED designed and deployed a Change Management approach around a series of change cycles. What worked well in the first deployment (#5 for the client) was evaluated for change effectiveness and stakeholder acceptance. Anything that didn’t work well was scrubbed. For the most part though, the team tried to maintain as much consistency in the final two deployments (#6 and 7) as possible.
Packaging up a set of change management interventions and linking those activities to the program Go Live dates allowed the team to improve the client’s Project Management and Change Management maturity.
One of the key Change Management interventions included the deployment of a Change Readiness Assessment with defined Role Mapping. The role mapping activity was designed to allow the team to get a clearer picture of the future state business processes, any associated tasks and the resources who will end up performing those tasks. This helps in ensuring details regarding the process changes are not missed. In addition, by assigning resources to the roles it aids in the development and scheduling of role based training.
A word of caution: in an employee led market, your client may be impacted by turnover during your implementation. One should account for completing the role mapping exercise a number of times in the change strategy or plan. This will help to ensure that any changes in staff due to organizational redesigns or turnover can be accommodated in time for the Go Live.
Communications Strategy and Plan
Second, the MI-GSO | PCUBED team defined a Communications Strategy and Communication Plan to drastically increase the flow of communication from previous implementations. To take one specific example, the team created sneak peek or early access guides to highlight work in progress while the system was offline and in testing. This gave stakeholders a feeling of an insider view of what was happening with the program and helped to increase engagement.
Not only did the team have the think about the messages being delivered, but they needed to address the way the message would be delivered. Because of the geographically dispersed workforce the team found that they could not rely on one source or medium for communication. The team needed to be creative with the types of communications to make sure that all remote employees were made aware of the implementation. This included not only printed materials, texts, and emails, but also peer communications to ensure all distributed stakeholder teams knew what was happening, what to do next and where to go for help.
By far the most successful part of the communications strategy and plan, was the implementation of the Change Readiness Network. The MI-GSO | PCUBED team created a network of key resources in the business to serve as sounding boards for strategy and deployment of all communications and training. The network would meet in person roughly every two weeks. The group would then help both position and deliver the content to the dispersed teams. This helped to create a stronger relationship between the teams and the business. The stronger relationship helped to overcome any residual resistance from the teams.
Finally MI-GSO | PCUBED developed and deployed a comprehensive kit of Go Live collateral. No training collateral existed from the previous implementations so the team needed to start from scratch. They decided to break the training catalogue into 3 Phases: Pre Go Live, Post Go Live and Reinforcement Training. The team then developed, scheduled and delivered training across all business units.
One month prior to the Go Live a hurricane hit, impacting most of the organization. The client decided to proceed with the first Go Live on schedule, while recovering from the hurricane. The ask – complete the training of the complete organization supporting the launch within 3 weeks.
The result – the team reduced the timeline for training to meet the original dates. As a result, all follow on Go Lives were able to be delivered on time and deemed a success. The successful Go Live and post Go Live activities received recognition at the highest level of the organization. No negative feedback from the divisions ensured that management perception remained positive on the launches.
“Thanks for everything you have done on the project, I know without a doubt we would not be where we are today without you. You made a world of difference with your drive, determination and overall skill set!”
– Project Champion
For further information on this article and MI-GSO | PCUBED