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ERP and the Business of Change

I saw an article over at SmartChange™ about ERP and the Business of Change. It got me thinking of the culture and business practices I witnessed at my last job at USG.  All three main points Marcelino Sanchez reviewed hit very close to home.

Individual Change… An individual may be confronted with a new user interface, a new “best practice”, a different way to make decisions, or any number of new requirements. When this is the case, individuals will tend to experience one or more of the following five key factors: fear, anxiety, confusion, loss of control, or erosion of power or influence in the organization. The more an individual feels any of these emotions, the less likely they are to accept the new way of doing things. Lack of acceptance will diminish or delay the benefits of the ERP effort…

Individual Change was something I dealt with on a daily basis during the implementation at each of the plants I was involved with.  To overcome the fears, anxiety, confusion, and loss of control or power, one of the things I stressed during my training sessions was how much impact the employee had during the process.  I made them aware of the many things that occurred in the background when they processed a transaction; including raw material consumption and inventory movement.  I also explained how that transaction impacted the rest of the business processes such as costing and planning.

This additional, non essential, information, made the employee realize not only how powerful the system was, the but the importance of completing the transaction accurately and in timely manner.  A side benefit of knowing what happened as the transaction processed and what impact a transaction had on other business processes,  was the ability to think, on the fly, of how to correct a problem that occurred outside of the typical business process.

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