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How to Manage Change During an ERP Implementation And Data Cleansing Initiative

No matter how big or small a company may be, an ERP implementation and Data Cleansing initiative can bring on a significant amount of change to all departments and individuals involved. One of the key factors to a successful implementation is to properly manage change throughout the company, ensuring a smooth and comfortable transition.

1) Clearly Define the Benefits of Change for Both the Business and the Employees

When employees don’t clearly understand the benefits and reason for change, they automatically assume that there is no reason to move away from what is currently working. By clearly defining the benefits, not just for the business, but also for the employees, there will be a greater understanding of why the change is in fact necessary. Gaining buy in from your employees is one of the most critical factors in an implementation as these are the individuals who will have to learn and utilize the new system and process on a daily basis. If you can’t gain buy in from those individuals, you may be in for a long haul.

2) Educate, Educate, Educate

Education is quite possibly the most important success factor in any change management program. By providing proper education and training materials, you are instilling knowledge and confidence within your employees to face the coming change without fear or negativity. When providing educational and training materials, it is important to keep in mind that you are dealing with several different skill levels, which all need to be addressed. Although some employees may catch on quicker than others, make sure that your training materials are geared towards your lowest skill level to ensure that no detail is missed. As a change management professional, try to spend a significant amount of time testing and learning the new system and process by yourself so that you are prepared for any training questions that may arise. The more confident and knowledgeable you are as a trainer and change management professional, the more comfortable and likely your users will be to ask questions.

3) Provide Ongoing Support During the Transition Period

Offering ongoing support during the transition period allows employees to stay positive and comfortable asking questions. The transition period can be quite stressful for many, so it is important to make sure that they don’t become frustrated or demotivated. Make sure your employees are aware that there is support staff available for any questions, training, or technical assistance. Throughout the transition period, gain employee feedback to assess how the transition period is going, and determine whether additional training seminars or updates are required. Giving your employees a voice and make them feel as though their feedback is important to the company. Not only can this be a significant motivator, but in many cases, their feedback will bring new ideas to the forefront that will significantly benefit the organization.

In any situation, change can be a scary thing, especially for those who have been with the company for a long period of time and have become comfortable in their current environment. While it may seem scary, change is inevitable and it is the only way that society and business can continue to progress. Since we can’t fight change, we might as well embrace it with a proper change management program to ensure successful implementation, transition, and end results.

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