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By Matthew V. Brown, Ph.D. & Jack G. Nestell

At Nestell & Associates, as highly experienced ERP practitioners, ERP researchers, and organizational change researchers, the significant value and impact of organizational culture on the success, or failure, of ERP organizational change projects is well understood. This is why we not only place emphasis on organizational culture within our implementation methodology, we also measure culture.

There is some great work that presents, suggests, and demonstrates the value of organizational culture specifically in the context of ERP organizational change success which would include:  Al-Mashari, 2018; Yongyi & Ying, 2005; Shao, Feng, & Hu, 2017; Ifinedo, 2016; Altamony, Tarhini, Al-Salti, Gharaibeh,& Elyas, 2016; and Stanciu & Tinca, 2013.

In a previous post, that kicked off this series, we provided a brief typology of corporate culture because not being able to distinguish the influences and perceptions associated with ACTUAL culture could lead to project errors and possible failure.

So, what can we do to better ensure ERP project success? Just like we do for assessing and evaluating legacy and new ERP systems, we can also assess the legacy culture [ACTUAL] and the new culture [VISION] culture. When assessing any firm’s culture, the assessment begins just prior to high-level project planning. The reason for this priority is that several “alignment” issues can be addressed before a project plan is conceived.

  • Alignment Pulse Issue 1.     Actual level of project urgency [priority]:
  • Alignment Pulse Issue 2.     History of change projects [learning]
  • Alignment Pulse Issue 3.     Executive level of authenticity [leading]
  • Alignment Pulse Issue 4.    Vision Culture Translations [navigating]
  • Alignment Pulse Issue 5.     Behavioral-based Roadmap [charting]

4. Translating the VISION Culture

Inhabiting that space between ACTUAL (what the organization is) and VISION (what the organization wants) cultures often consists of the perceived IDEAL culture idea of what an organization wishes to be and the REQUIRED culture of what is needed in order to absolutely provide the minimum acceptable value our stakeholders.

Leaders need to be aware of communicating using messages constructed within these different culture perspectives. Vision culture (and its communication) is about two things; realistic movement and commitment toward an improved culture. Vision culture is about what we have committed ourselves to become, knowing and accepting the challenges, and providing proper transformational space and support. Culture VISION realization requires deliberate and intentional tactical consideration.

We at N&A are committed to helping organizations realize their culture development objectives required for, and beyond, implementing an ERP technology. We will focus our efforts on how to realize the ROI that new ERP technology can deliver IF we properly address the positive cultural disruptions and work benefits these systems promise.

We do this by working closely with our clients’ stakeholder groups to help them translate the Vision culture into the firm’s actual culture. Some of this work can take place openly and will be facilitated by both company personnel and N&A professionals. Stay tuned to our future posts as we will be demonstrating our process in future publications.

More to come on the other alignment issues…….

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