Chances are your organization’s ERP project team knows the value of cross-functional system training. Employees need education to understand how to complete transactions and perform day-to-day business processes in a new ERP system. Although training enables this level of understanding, much more is required to ensure end-users fully embrace the new software and actually use the system to do their jobs.
Communication with employees ensures that they understand the value of the new software and discourages them from relying on time-consuming and potentially hazardous workarounds. Communication is just as important as training so it should definitely be incorporated into your organizational change management plan.
Throughout implementation, the project team should communicate with employees on a regular basis. Most importantly, employees need to know how the new software will affect their business processes and day-to-day jobs. Memos, meetings and employees intranets are useful tools for educating employees about upcoming changes.
In addition to employees, the project team also should communicate with other key stakeholders. Customers, for instance, need to be prepared for any changes that the new ERP software brings to their interactions with the implementing organization. Topics that should be addressed include: precautions being taken to ensure on-time deliveries and how the new system changes the way orders are processed.
Although communicating with end-users and customers goes a long way in alleviating anxiety and confusion, there is one more important stakeholder group that organizations tend to overlook.
Panorama has yet to see a successful ERP implementation that did not involve executives. Executive support and buy-in is the key to keeping project goals in sight and ensuring your organization realizes the most business benefits possible from new ERP software. Your organizational change management plan should include regular updates and meetings with key executives and upper management that address their questions about risk, return, project budget and timeline.
Although the benefits of correctly-implemented ERP software are clear and compelling, the project team must realize that no matter how effectively they communicate these benefits, it doesn’t change the fact that unfamiliarity is intimidating. Communication requires determination and perseverance. Even the most informative and encouraging messages can take time to sink in so patience is a key virtue for your project team to practice.
To learn more about Panorama’s internal communication expertise, visit our Organizational Change Management page and be sure to download our white paper, A Guide to Increasing User Acceptance of ERP Systems.