ERP practitioners (and the ERP field in general) need to think differently about how we approach ERP organizational change.

ERP Organizational Change = Selected ERP Solution + Selected ERP Implementation Process + Organizational Culture

Generally speaking, ERP practitioners (and the ERP field in general) need to think differently about how we approach our trade, ERP organizational change. One of the objectives of Nestell & Associates is to share with our clients, organizations, and practitioners why we say this and what to do about it. The practice of ERP organizational change needs to focus on and think differently about the triad of ERP success factors: technology, process, and people/organizational culture.

Does perfect ERP organizational change exist? No. And to establish this idea with an organization is being dishonest, disingenuous, unrealistic, and unreasonable. Are there successful ERP organizational change efforts? Of course. Do even the most (what will turn out to be) successful projects normally take significant time, require a great deal of effort, have significant challenges, and take on risks in order to accomplish that goal? Yes. Are there too many failed ERP organizational change efforts? Yes. This is supported by a great deal of objective research and case study. Furthermore, the industry, academic research, organizations, and practitioners are spending significant amounts of time, money, and effort in the ERP success triad (people/organizational culture, process, and technology) in recognition of this challenge.


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The below quotes are from four different professionals.

For a simple illustration, we would like to share some quotes with you. During some recent research correspondence regarding successful ERP organizational change, we would like to share the below few quotes used with permission. The below quotes are from four different professionals consisting of a member of a Board of Directors, a medical doctor, a private equity partner, and a business executive. These are from people with great organizational change experience and insight.

On being a part of ERP organizational change success:  “I don’t have any – they have all been terrible.”

On the significant challenges of ERP organizational change success: “I think ERP is a tool that needs to be killed or significantly changed. I know a CEO who spent, $150m, waaaay over budget and lost his job.”

On the consensus of ERP organizational change success: “I have never had unanimity in any ERP implementation. There is always someone unhappy and always unforeseen issues. Typically as multiple departments are involved and third-party implementors along with a battle on resources……”

On a point of bad data (hence perhaps bad implementation and process):  “I’ll bet you’ll learn a lot about how nobody really cares about their bogus ERP systems as long as they’re collecting their paychecks and bonuses.” And, “The ERP system is a very handy excuse for, well, just about anything.”

Quite powerful quotes. The fact is, we can’t take anything away from this honest feedback and perspectives… provides further insight (and confirmation) for us in the ERP organizational change field that we have work to do. These quotes are based on personal account support objective research. However, these all too common types of thoughts, feedback, and perspectives based on personal experience can (and must) be countered and mitigated. For starters, ERP organizational change practitioners and organizations need to understand the incredibly significant (real not perceived) knowledge, motivation, and organizational influences that contribute to success (or failure)…..and then proactively be prepared and do something about it. More to come in future posts on ERP organizational change knowledge, motivation, and organizational success factors.

As ERP practitioners, and within the ERP space, let’s be honest. Whatever the real, not perceived issues are that cause risks and failures (and poor perspectives as in the above-quoted examples), we’ve got to do a better job. After all, it is all about the success of the organization and the people in it!

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About Nestell & Associates

Where People, Processes, and Technology Align

Nestell & Associates is a strategy and management firm. We can help you take your portfolio companies to the next level by demonstrating how to execute a scalable, methodical, and disciplined approach to ERP Organizational Change and Digital Transformation success.