Blog contribution by Jessica Bojic, Senior Director - Business Performance Services, NTT DATA, Inc.

 

Mention the words “change management” in support of an SAP project, and many consider training to be the key deliverable. To be certain, training is a key component of an OCM strategy. However, having only a strong learning program is not enough to prepare your users to as they transition to a new way of working.

 

According to Lapointe & Rivard, “Employees resist changes when they believe the changes will cause either a loss of status, loss of revenue or loss of power” (A Multilevel Model of Resistance to Information Technology Implementation, 2005). Therefore, a critical step in setting the stage for effective learning is identifying and answering questions, concerns, anxieties, and perceived threats – all things that need to be identified by OCM, voiced by your employees, and discussed among all impacted stakeholders – both business and IT – before training starts.

 

Leading the way

 

Lack of visible, vocal management support for business process and system changes results in an increase of user resistance. Employees look to their formal, and often informal, leaders for help in overcoming feelings of stress and fear associated with change; it is critical for management within the organization to have a solid understanding of the points of resistance, impacts on their departments and employees, and how these changes are expected to benefit their groups and the organization as a whole. Once management has this understanding, they can mediate and help employees understand the reasons behind the need for change.

 

Setting the stage

 

How do you know your employees are ready to attend their role-based SAP training? Effective adult learning takes place when employees have clear answers to the following questions:

 

1) How will my job processes change?

2) How will I, my department, and the company benefit from these changes?

3) What will my job role and system tasks look like in the future?

4) How will I be supported to perform these successfully?

5) Why do my leaders say the change is needed?

6) What are my peers saying about the new processes and future state?

 

Building the foundation

 

A strong OCM strategy lays this “foundation” for learning through:

Change-related communications

Organizational and job impact analysis

Leadership & Change Network engagement

Measuring and monitoring ongoing change readiness

 

A well-rounded, fully executed OCM strategy cultivates a positive and willing attitude among your employees, ultimately preparing them to learn the new skills, processes, and behaviors allowing for a smooth transition into SAP.