Here’s the situation: you currently use a legacy ERP system that has been in place for over 20 years. When your customer places an order, you enter them into a field called “work order” in your ERP system. Everyone within your organization refers to these as “work orders” in their daily discussions.
Fast forward a few years. You implement a new ERP system as part of your digital transformation. In the new system, there are no “work orders.” Instead, the new system refers to these orders as “service orders.” This is inconsistent with the nomenclature that your company has used for decades.
This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. People will get over it. But multiply this one, tiny example by 1,000, and that’s how much change your digital transformation will experience. It’s easy to see why companies get overwhelmed with the degree of change that most digital transformations and ERP implementations entail.
Set aside machine language, blockchain, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and other sexy technologies – these are all major changes for most organizations. Instead, we’re talking a very rudimentary example of change that your employees need to get used to. Some changes are minor and incremental, while others are more significant. But the real pain of change is the sheer volume of changes that companies experience.
The end result for many organizations is death by 1,000 papercuts. No one change or problem is going to cause people to revolt against the change or for your project to fail. It’s the culmination of unmanaged changes and risks that kill projects with the best of intentions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re implementing one of the top ERP systems. Whether its SAP S/4HANA, Oracle Cloud ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365, or some other sort of enterprise technology, the changes and impacts will be significant. Even if your team wants to change – at least in theory – it will be difficult for even the brightest and most willing to keep up with changes.
Most SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and ERP consultants fail to address these problems. The good news is that a simple, 5-step plan can provide an effective antidote to those pesky papercuts:
These five steps are intended to cure your organization and team from the pain of 1,000 papercuts. Even more importantly, these steps will help you focus less on surviving a transformation and more on optimizing and improving your business. Executives and project teams tend to lose sight of this important nuance, but it’s an important one.