Combatting Change Management Resistance in the Public Sector

When it comes to ERP implementations, we've seen organizations struggle with more than anything is the whole change management piece. It is human nature to be resistant to change - even people who work in the software industry still complain when Microsoft Office changes the menu ribbon. Back to ERP, these are very complex systems, and sometimes the changes you need to make are non-trivial. You're basically doing something fundamentally different, especially if a customer is coming off a long time legacy system and you're trying to implement Infor Government Essentials. Because of this, change management is one of the core components of a successful ERP implementation.

From a change management perspective, there are certain activities that that you need to be focused on for the core project team. For the extended users and ultimate users of the application itself, this arena encompasses everything from a project team perspective. One way to get people involved up front is through the project charter, a key tool for change management. This charter outlines what the project goal is, as well as executive support for the project vision.

The Project Charter outlines the flow of the implementation and denotes when key activities take place. There's an old adage about change management that everyone is okay with change so long as someone else does it. When the core project team gets involved in training and design decisions, sometimes there can be confusion over who will do what. That is why it's vital to quickly establish what each individual's responsibilities are when it comes to change management, especially when it comes to resources who are familiar with an ERP implementation and those who have no experience with this type of project. Successful change management stems from knowledge and comfort in what you're about to do and how you're going to do it.

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