Change Management… several times I have managed projects and decided on behalf of the customer the feasibility of projects.
A clarification has to be done: the Change Management I’m talking about is that one related to the implementation projects of ERP systems, in the specific instance of SAP software.
The true reality is that SAP projects hardly follow, as best practices suggest, BPR interventions or shake up ones but they often start before and make them indispensable. Such organisational interventions of company adjustment to the processes designed by the new information system are required just to the Change Management.
I started to approach Change Management in the early 2000s, I analyzed methodologies and projects carried out in complex and multinational realities. I read books and I worked together with HR Change Management specialized partners. All this study led to my knowledge of how to best approach Change Management projects in a wide range of SAP implementations.
For the peculiarities of this kind of project I’m suggesting a hard profile based approach, strongly pragmatic, process oriented, functional to the technical, vocational and organizational training planning and to the definition of properly structured roles and authorizations.
With this methodological statement it is possible to have a complete integration of the change management with the master project (SAP) that is difficult to obtain when the main aim is the IT procedure operation.
Several times in my project management courses I quote the statistic that reveals that out of 100 IT projects that do not reach their goals, more than 65% fail for non-technical reasons, our goal is to minimise this percentage.
Those in Change Management have the task of preparing the stakeholders and showing how the change will benefit the company environment (new information system, modified processes, changed responsibilities).
The main goal is just to manage change, encourage acceptance, prepare the staff for the new etc… All this through a precise plan of action aimed to the minimization of project risks and the mitigation of impacts on people.
To obtain these results, the Change Management team must have the ability to become an essential support to the IT project in the execution of their activities, but how?
The mapping of processes based on expressed business requirements and the system solutions identified, collected in the Business Blueprint, will help to identify any gaps analysis before it is too late. This mapping will also be instrumental for the identification of SAP “job roles” responsible for single SAP activities.
The process flows design will have to be made by the change management team in great detail – including an early version of authorizazion list (SAP roles + transactions) that will serve as the basis for the development of authorization profiles (activities in charge of the implementation project).
The success and measurement criteria of a change management project in IT can be considered the following:
- Identification of either processes (mapping and description), SAP roles and individual activities
- Identification of changes of assignment of responsibilities or extension of the same ones
- Identification of the cultural changes resulting from the project
- Effective training
- Users profiling adhering to the “to be” organizational model
Through these “tools” you can ensure understanding of change, acceptance, or at least the knowledge of what will change and, de facto, the correct use of the new information system according to the “to be” model.
The essential ingredients for successful Change Management are: speed of execution, pragmatism and a compliant methodology with the specifics of an IT project.
This means that we should not pursue the dogmas of an organisational project, but adapt them and make them functional to the IT project, so the risk of project failure for organisational problems and/or human resources management will be minimized.
Finally it is essential that the company makes adequate resources available with different skills to support this project stream. The ideal is that you have a team of business people, to verify the processes completeness and operation, HR people for the analysis of impacts and organisational coherence, and finally IT technical function people who know the operation of the new system and support the analysis that we talked about.