We often look for third party guidance when heading into an ERP software implementation or other forms of digital transformation. We read blogs (thank you), we search online for success stories as well as failures, and we ask our network for tips on what has worked in the past.

We too strongly recommend researching and doing your homework using these methods, but you may also consider some alternate forms of gaining confidence and motivation before entering these waters- such as watching movies.

Maybe not by hoarding the boardroom and firing up the latest Avengers film, but on your own time drawing analogies through movies can be fun, can alleviate stress, relax, and help you prepare for what’s to come. Any good movie will carry a message and impact those who watch in different ways.

Following are a few of my top choices that, albeit loosely, can carry illustration or resemblance to digital transformation. Enjoy:

Saw (2004, or any sequel)

Definitely not for the faint of heart, children or any number of people who don’t take well to gore, but this series does carry a message regarding sacrifice. Jigsaw would put people through excruciating pain and difficult decisions in order to save their own lives.

Ultimately, you too will have some tough choices to make during your transformation. Taking the easy road or doing nothing, as in the case with the captors of Jigsaw, will likely result in failure. Not to the same degree as in the movie, thank goodness, but by not taking action around areas such as investing in proper organizational change management (OCM), not doing due diligence during your software selection or not bothering to complete the necessary rounds of testing just to save some money, will likely lead to a worse outcome than if you had made the right choice and endured a bit of “pain” initially.

The Shining (1980)

Think of yourself as Jack Nicholson as you begin your transformation. If you try to navigate a transformation of this magnitude alone, you will probably drive yourself crazy. You cannot leave an ERP project manager to run an entire project without backup, without a strong core team or executive support.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

One of the strongest messages we give regarding achieving a successful digital transformation is to learn from those who have succeeded in the past. Bill and Ted travel back in time, meeting historical figures, each who bring a unique skill set, experience or philosophy to help Bill & Ted pass their history class. Likewise, we should always look to accumulate success stories and best practices from those who have completed transformations in the past.

Miracle (2004)

Whether you are a hockey fan or not, this movie bleeds inspiration. If the 1980 United States hockey team can overcome such odds, so can you. This movie teaches what it takes to succeed and surmount odds that are initiated against you.

The importance of strong leadership, a coach who is able to make difficult decisions, and the value of absolute, unrelenting preparation hold very true to an ERP implementation. This movie also depicts the importance of strong teamwork and complete alignment amongst your team members. A fantastic story for realizing success through organizational change management.

Titanic (1997)

I am guessing I don’t need to summarize this one, but where many people consider this a love story, this was really a movie about a terrible disaster. And a disaster that could have been avoided. There are continuous discussions regarding why the ship sank, including:

  • It was traveling too fast
  • The crew dismissed warning signals
  • It took the wrong route
  • The builders tried to cut costs
  • The crew was unprepared for the disaster

However you chose to look at this, there are lessons to be learned that can also be applied to your ERP implementation. First off, don’t have unrealistic expectations of your ship (i.e. technology). Even the greatest ship in the world cannot compete with an iceberg, and the best ERP systems in the world cannot reform lazy people or bad processes.

Second, make sure you have the right ERP project team to lead you. If you leave the fate of your ship to an untrained crew or your implementation in the hands of first-timers, get ready to sink. Finally, don’t skimp on cost.

Thank you for reading and feel free to share your own favorites that may help others through their coming journey. And, as always, please contact us to brainstorm ways to steer your implementation through the ice fields and to reach the Third Stage of your digital transformation.

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