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Business readiness plus change management equals successful transformation

What is your success outcome?

You’ve started investigating ERP solutions, and your C-level executives are focused on finding the right technology solution. But have you started a conversation about business readiness and change management? If the answer is no, you have probably not defined a successful outcome.

A success outcome is how you define and measure success. If you’re planning to implement a new ERP, what business problem are you trying to solve for operational efficiency? It is important to be clear on success because it becomes a guiding principle in solving a business problem. Once you know what success looks like, you can start discussing business readiness and change management.

Business readiness vs. change management

Business readiness ensures successful change by engaging people to minimize operational disruption. Business readiness doesn’t always follow a structured approach to managing organizational change. It refers to the state of the organization's infrastructure, resources, and people to support the transition to Cloud-based ERP. It encompasses various aspects, such as technology, operational, and cultural readiness. Business readiness focuses on items that must be in place to minimize operational disruption and employee distress.

Business readiness focuses on

  • Preparing the business for change.
  • Measuring the success of all business readiness activities before going live. 
  • Aligning business end-user roles to processes and ERP features. 
  • Enabling success by being transparent with employees on what operational success looks like.

Change management is a focused and structured approach to aligning people, processes, and technology to move employees from their current state of doing things to a new state. It refers to the methods and activities that prepare an organization for a significant change, such as migrating to a Cloud-based ERP. It involves analyzing the impact of the change on the organization, identifying potential risks and opportunities, and developing strategies to manage the change effectively.

Change management focuses on

  • Using the defined success outcome as NorthStar.
  • Commitment to efficiency and effectiveness of operational processes. 
  • Enabling technology as one method of solving a business problem – allows you to map features to specific process steps.
  • Mitigating risk – analyzing all the business-critical operational risks and mitigating them to ensure business continuity.
  • People – people are at the heart of managing change. Thinking about the impact of a difference on employees and how each employee will react to the change is critical for success.

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Assessing readiness for change 

As a CIO, defining a success outcome and measures of success is critical because it allows for all levels of leadership to start discussing the impact of the change and what it will take to get the business ready. The number one gap we see when implementing a new ERP system is a lack of planning on what processes need to be improved or created. This gap occurs because what success looked like was not communicated down, or the organization did not assess the business for change.

By assessing your organization's readiness for change, you can identify potential roadblocks and develop a plan to overcome them, ensuring a smooth and successful transition to Cloud-based ERP. It is a crucial step in maximizing the benefits of Cloud-based ERP and staying competitive in the rapidly evolving business landscape.

How to differentiate between business readiness and change management

A straightforward way to differentiate the two is that business readiness contains the tools and tactics to gather data about what people need to adopt a change, and change management is a structured way of managing change to minimize disruption and focuses on aligning people, processes, and technology features. 

Where are you on your journey?

If you are starting to evaluate ERP vendors, here are some tips to help you.

  • What business problem are you trying to solve with a new ERP?
  • What is your success outcome for your business problem?
  • What people and processes will be impacted by the change?
  • Have you documented the current vs. future state to enable success?

It’s important to pause and consider these questions because the answers will shape how you approach change and influence the features you need to enable operational effectiveness through realigned processes.

Want to know more? 

To learn more about Unit4 ERP and moving to the Cloud, you can book a demo here or click here to read more about our suite of solutions.

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