When it comes to ERP and CRM implementations we are all hopeful of change; change for new and improved operational processes that give increased efficiencies, better performance insight, and transforms how users interact with data, ultimately creating a more productive and happy workplace. While all this change is viewed in a highly positive way, the question is how are YOU managing the change and are your users ready for it?
Whether you are implementing Dynamics NAV or CRM, upgrading to the latest release or rolling out a new phase of your ERP/CRM project you are undergoing change in your organization. As a professional services firm that delivers solutions, Altus Dynamics solutions and services inevitably create change in your organization. Based on the guidance of John P. Kotter, a pioneer of change management, Altus Dynamics has adopted 8 key steps to help accelerate change in your organization when it comes to ERP or CRM implementations.
- 1. Establish a sense of urgency – by understanding the catalyst for a new ERP or CRM solution or expansion of these solutions you are articulating the sense of urgency. For example, implementing Dynamics CRM in your organization will enable you to increase more donors or increase fundraising productivity - you are establishing the sense of urgency and by sharing this across your organization will get the commitment from the organization as a ‘whole’. Communicating the answers to ‘why change’ and ‘why not change’ will help to create the burning platform for the change.
- 2. Form a powerful coalition – by assembling a group with enough power to lead the ERP or CRM system change effort you’ll get the commitment from your team(s). It is often said that major change is impossible unless the head of the organization is an active supporter. At Altus Dynamics, we don’t recommend an ‘outsourced model’ for this coalition. It needs to be within your organization and if needed, help from outsourced partners.
- 3. Create your Vision – by creating a vision for your ERP or CRM project you help inspire people to take action. Without a sensible vision, a transformation effort can easily dissolve into a list of confusing and incompatible projects or scope creep that can take your organization in the wrong direction.
- 4. Communicating the Vision – using every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies will ensure information is appropriately shared and learned. Try to ensure your communication is heartfelt, constant and consistent. Communicate to everyone that is impacted by the new ERP or CRM solution. We recommend to be a ‘broken record’ because you will get through to the team. State your vision for the ERP or CRM project everywhere – project updates, all staff meetings, dedicated space on your intranet, trainings, one-on-one conversations. Always walk the talk and address the naysayers by inviting them in and respond respectfully.
- 5. Empowering others to act on the Vision – by removing any barriers to change or changing systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision you can empower others to act on the Vision. This enables increased acceleration to change. We see common barriers as – Mindset: people don’t believe the ERP or CRM solution or project will be possible; Systems: the formal structures don’t make it possible or Bosses: key players are discouraging employees from behaving differently. While at Altus Dynamics we are big proponents of project management and the role it plays in our projects, it is not enough. Changing your culture and behaviour demands much more than just project managing these ERP or CRM projects.
- 6. Planning for and creating short term wins – at Altus Dynamics, we are advocates for more planning for quick wins. Think about how your ERP or CRM project can deliver a quick win, then build your projects from there. Look for opportunities for visible performance improvements and recognizing and rewarding employees for these improvements.
- 7. Consolidating improvements and producing still more change – hiring, promoting and developing employees who can help implement your Vision will help to consolidate improvements for continuous change. Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes and change agents will help towards the movement to change.
- 8. Institutionalizing new approaches – Altus Dynamics recommends articulating the connections between the new behaviours and corporate success.
Posted by: Nicola Dickinson, Founding Partner, Altus Dynamics