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February 15, 2011

Change Management Program Vital to ERP Software Implementation

By Raja Singh Chaudhary, TMCnet Contributor

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions have now become a necessity for the enterprises today, when they need to simplify the process of streamlining business operations. Usually, before implementing an ERP software solution the companies go through comprehensive research and planning, still they do miss a few vital points during the process, such as implementing a change management program.

According to Michael Krigsman, a business IT expert, enterprises must consider the adoption of a thorough change management strategy as a crucial element when they decide to implement ERP software, as a number of ERP projects fail due to a company’s failure in providing staff with proper training. Krigsman noted that after the introduction of an ERP system within an enterprise, its employees need to adopt new business processes, communications channels and software tools that gets more and more complicated as the company grows in size. Also, the organizations can’t address these issues by themselves by offering technology-based training to the workers, as the skill level of the staff is as important as that of the software. 

“Many organizations underestimate the need for a comprehensive change management program and suffer as a result. Don't fall into that trap,” added Krigsman.

Recently, Jeanne Hedman of Panorama Consulting had commented that the failing to provide staff with training on ERP software is likely to create a ‘hotbed of poor performance’ for the enterprises.

“One of the least scrutinized and most important areas during the ERP software selection process is training; specifically, each vendor’s program offerings and ability to provide training at all levels,” said Hedman. “Many, and dare I say most, ERP vendors assume that the project team members will learn as they go. They leave the end-user training up to the team members. What many companies fail to realize is that the team members are so busy trying to make the system do what is necessary to accommodate their processes and needs that they often don’t learn all the ‘tips and tricks’ shortcuts, and problem-solving techniques imbedded in all software systems.”

In other industry news, earlier this month, Gartner (News - Alert), a well-known research firm, published the results of a study, indicating that sales of business management software like enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is set to witness remarkable increase. The analysis report published by Gartner highlighted the fact that across the globe ERP software revenue will soon shoot upwards to $253.7 billion, which is an increase of 7.5 percent when compared to that of 2010.

Raja Singh Chaudhary is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raja's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

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