Going through an ERP upgrade or implementation can be transformational for your business. Companies need these strategic systems to increase effectiveness. However, these projects can be disruptive and difficult if everyone on a project team, internal or external, isn’t fully on board. This is a pretty common occurrence with any major change.
So, as an agent of change, how do you motivate reluctant team members to support your initiative? Cynicism about change can result in a myriad of project roadblocks. These barriers can come in the form of reduced satisfaction, less organizational commitment, less motivation to work hard, and more accidents/errors. All you need is one problematic team member for the entire project to go awry.
When team members resist organizational changes, their attitude can often be traced back to a fundamental lack of understanding or ‘fear of the unknown’. The skeptics will tell you that change initiatives “always result in people getting fired”, “we’re putting in a system that we don’t know how to use” or the ever popular “well this is the way we did it before and it worked”. At the end of the day, they’re not exactly sure what is going to happen due to a gap in understanding of the common goal. Keeping team members involved in making decisions that affect them is a major component in facilitating that understanding.
Although some of these tips will be obvious to you, I think it is worth keeping them in mind when dealing with these change averse team members:
- Understand their concerns
- Engage them early in the project
- Create and distribute a communications plan for the duration of the project (see image below)
- Understand the value of team member input
Here is an example of a communications plan that we would typically employ during a project
After 23 years of implementing and upgrading PeopleSoft, BTRG still relies on these fundamental tips for guiding change management within an organization. If you would like to learn more about our approach to enterprise systems projects, feel free to contact us through our website at www.btrgroup.com or visit our forum at http://btrg.discussion.community.