Nessie, Sasquatch and the ERP System Integrator who Effectively Manages Change

So, which one sounds more elusive? I had a friend in college who had all the necessary documentation that Bigfoot exists… grainy photos, heat maps, testimonials, etc. There was simply no changing his mind. We all believe that we are right in our own minds, and in many cases trying to convince someone otherwise will only strengthen their position.

Likewise, we frequently encounter organizations implementing ERP who are adamant that their software reseller can manage their project implementation along with needed change management. Their system integrator tells their customers that they can handle the change – and the customers believe them. This put customers in a precarious situation since organizational change management is the #1 key to digital transformation success.

If this is you, please just consider the following:

1) Having an “OCM methodology” does not constitute the ability to delivery change management, and a methodology or approach can be acquired anywhere. Try typing it in your search bar now. What really matters is the execution of these plans. Several firms are now promoting PROSCI certification or similar methodologies. PROSCI requires a 3-day class and acquisition of a toolset, and you then have a certification. It does not require any actual experience in using the tools or effectively delivering change management.

2) Training is not “OCM.” It is a key component and we do recommend that you engage your SI to help with system training. However, it is only a piece of the OCM puzzle. This is a big reason why so many organizations and their consultants underestimate the importance of organizational change management.

3) Change management is NOT a system integrator’s core business. They are in business to sell and implement software. Consider where they are putting their efforts in terms of hiring and training for their own team- most likely not on the OCM front. OCM has become a very developed acumen and is more important to a successful ERP implementation than ever before. Consider hiring experts for that purpose. It is important to understand what your system integrator can’t do – and what to do about it.

4) It is simply a bad idea to hire your SI to perform change management. Even if you are working with a large system integrator such as Deloitte, Accenture, or Capgemini, and even if they allege to have a “change team,” you do not want to give this level of control to one organization. Getting the system up and running quickly and getting users acclimated can be a conflict of interest. Consider a case where users are pushing back on an off-the-shelf process, where they either learn to accept it or the SI performs system modifications to align with the way things were done in the past. Who wins this battle?

If you do believe in Bigfoot, consider the source of information that you are using. And if you are currently implementing or considering a new ERP system down the road, consider the importance of a change management expert rather than your systems integrator.

Brian Potts

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