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Leveraging the HR Department in an ERP Implementation

Many organizations overlook the value of the human resources (HR) department and the positive effect it can have on both business process reengineering and organizational change management throughout an ERP implementation. Although HR staff may not consider a software implementation to be its top priority, organizations should seek to leverage team members’ skills throughout the project.

While many organizations lean on HR staff to communicate ERP information to end-users, there are more strategic ways to leverage their unique skill sets and relationships with fellow employees. Following are three ways organizations can use the HR department to drive process changes and facilitate organizational change management:

1.  Hire HR personnel with operational improvement experience – HR employees should be comfortable talking to managers, supervisors and end-users about operational improvements. Their expertise in this area will bolster HR-driven employee engagement programs. Organizations may also want to consider hiring a director of organizational development to help drive end-user buy-in, reassign roles and responsibilities post-implementation and help all staff members adjust to the process changes brought by the new ERP software.

2.   Automate lower-value HR tasks – To encourage the HR department to focus on operational improvement, organizations should focus on streamlining administrative HR processes in the first phase of implementation. The HR department cannot shift their focus to innovation and change until these lower-value tasks are taken care of; automating these tasks opens up time for process improvement and organizational change management activities.

3.   Build an organizational development group – This group should function as part of the HR department and be comprised of change agents and employees with operational improvement skills. The HR employees performing business process and change management activities should not be the same employees performing administrative activities. By separating transactional and administrative HR functions from strategic improvement responsibilities, an organizational development group can help accelerate operational changes.

The human resources department doesn’t typically lead change and process improvement initiatives, but the skills potentially found within employees drawn to the field present a clear opportunity. HR employees should be considered fundamental members of the ERP implementation team.

To learn more, watch our free on-demand webinar, Business Process Reengineering: A Key Component of ERP ROI.

Written by Jennifer Aldrich

As a creative and analytical-minded digital content strategist, Jennifer is experienced in writing, data analysis, communication strategy and social media. As the Marketing Lead at Panorama, Jennifer supports all of the company’s marketing and content development initiatives and regularly writes blog posts about best practices in organizational change management and other ERP implementation components. Jennifer holds a BA in Public Relations from Colorado State University.

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