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The four windows of organizational change in training for ERP transformation

Managing users’ apprehension to change has always been a challenge for large scale ERP implementations. Moving the users out of their comfort zone of legacy systems requires appropriate mechanisms to ease out the transition.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” This saying is perhaps most appropriate in ERP transformations. For any organization undergoing large scale ERP transformation, careful planning and risk mitigation are essential to minimize potential business disruptions. Users, having been accustomed to certain ways of working and technology environment, find it very difficult to embrace changes.

Managing these apprehensions to change has always been a challenge. It is often considered that training can be a ready solution to address these challenges. But unfortunately, it has been observed that owing to pressure for the timely completion of the system development and other “hard” deliverables, training preparation is often assigned a secondary position. The project team usually has to rush through a quick training need assessment, followed by content preparation and training delivery. As a result, a gamut of important aspects of training that can contribute significantly to the organizational change remains ignored. Project delivery is affected and the entire effort risks failure.

In this white paper, we explore the role of training in ERP-driven change - by moving a step ahead from the traditional
approach - from knowledge transfer to competency development and to organizational change.

We discuss the opportunities for organizational change through training as four different windows:

  • Association: This focuses on how to include the users during preparation for training and provide them with the opportunity to be vocal about their expectations and needs. If this window is shut, users fail to see the association with training and remain passive receivers.
  • Expectation: This refers to managing the expectations of users on the process and system changes. Several components of the solution remain a makeshift arrangement during the solution design phase that surface during training. These points must be identified and communicated clearly to the users to prevent mismatch in expectation and the resultant disappointment.
  • Holistic: This enables users to view the end-to-end picture of the solution, the linkages, dependencies and future processes. If this view is missed out in training, participants’ understanding of the overall business objective and benefits remains incomplete.
  • Enthusiasm: This focuses on those elements of training that can generate excitement in the learning process. A “wow” experience in the beginning may go a long way to create a positive impact for change.

Each of these provides a view, which illustrates a key component of organizational change that can be addressed through training.

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