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The Big Picture of ERP Success

In my tenure on this earth I’ve heard the phrase “big picture” thrown around about as loosely as Charlie Sheen’s moral convictions. Needless to say, defining the idea of what this “big picture” encompasses is something that greatly differs based upon the type of stakeholder I am engaging. What is their world like? What type of sphere drives their business decision-making process?

Through the ERP implementations I’ve managed, it has become consistently evident that my clients’ project team typically is focused on the technical aspects of the implementation. For any project team that is about to implement software as challenging and complex as an ERP system, concentration on the technical aspects both is inevitable and absolutely necessary. But there is the pervasive perception that just getting the system up and running is and should be the number one goal given the effort and time that takes. What gets lost is the “big picture.” What gets lost is the perspective of how large of a change the organization is about to digest. What gets lost is the attention to the ripple effect caused by a change this large and the necessity of “softer” type of countermeasures to create ERP success.

What excites me is when I engage a client and they fundamentally understand the “big picture” of their ERP project. They understand the transformation that is about to happen, they realize that simply forcing the technology upon their organization is a recipe for failure, and they recognize that organizational change management is a critical piece of that transformation.

So what is organizational change management? At Panorama, we define it as follows:

  • The management and improvement of business processes
  • The assessment, design and support of the organization with regards to the ERP system implementation, usage and benefits realization
  • The measurement and optimization both of ERP performance and organizational performance
  • The analysis of training needs and the development of customized training materials
  • The delivery of training (including testing, accountability measures, etc.)
  • The planning and execution of related communications
  • The design and implementation of the business case
  • The performance of a post-implementation ERP audit to track and report progress vs. the business case
  • The identification of obstacles and solutions throughout implementation and beyond
  • The creation of process and organizational enhancements to fully optimize new enterprise technologies

Unfortunately, some of the activities listed above aren’t thought to be on the “critical path” when it comes to an implementation so they are become the first casualties in the war against bloated durations and budgets. But when clients get the “big picture,” their priorities shift. They come to understand that they can buy the best software system in the world, but if their people and organization can’t change in order to realize the benefits, they will never realize their desired ROI.

Learn more about the proprietary methodology that underpins Panorama’s organizational change management service offerings and be sure to join Panorama president Eric Kimberling for Thursday’s free webinar, Five Key Organizational Change Management Challenges With ERP Implementations.

Written by Jason Henritze-Hoye, Senior ERP Consultant at Panorama Consulting Solutions. 

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Written by The Consultants' Corner

The Consultants' Corner features blog entries direct from our ERP consultants. These blog entries provide real-world examples and advice related to ERP software selection projects, ERP implementations, business process reengineering and optimization, IT strategy initiatives and organizational change management.

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