Change can be challenging, especially when people within an organization have been using the same processes and systems for many years. It’s why change management is the most fundamental aspect of an ERP implementation. Without it, most large scale projects are doomed to failure as people cling to old processes and old ways of doing things.
Information leaders in the Five Eyes Community have observed that rigorous change agendas have supported successful implementations. Well designed and implemented programs for change management not only prepare individuals, but get them working as proponents and advocates of the ‘to-be’ desired end state.The success of change management effort is typically tied to:
“We used not to understand the full power of the data,” explains Terry Halvorsen, the Chief Information Officer at the US Department of Defense. “The challenge [was] getting the right set of data aligned with the right parts of the business.” For a defense organization, making sure the solution is aligned with user needs, and then ensuring the users recognize the value and buy-in to the solution, can help the change process move more efficiently.
Within the New Zealand Defense Force, solutions are driven from a back-to-basics way of thinking, which has helped make change more accepted across the organization. “The Warfighter will say ‘If you make this work, then I will listen,’” says Victor Vau’au, CIO of the NZDF. At the same time, it helps that “New Zealand’s relative scale – the proximity of the users to the decision-makers – contributes to a culture of innovation.”
As a starting point, defense organizations should determine if their people are ready for change. This can help them develop a tailored change management strategy that will help the ERP implementation succeed. The change management strategy should consider all elements of the change (e.g. strategy, structure people, processes, technology) and outline step by step how the organization will move from where it is today to where it wants to be after the change.