Friday, February 17, 2006

Change Management

I recently took up a new assignment with a global major and market leader in the segment in which they operate. A fairly efficiently run operation with a legacy ERP that has served well for a decade. The ERP today does not resemble the original having gone through a number of customizations to adapt to the ever changing business and competitive environment. Quite a few have been imposed by regulatory changes which are a necessity to do business in the country. Many satellite systems have been developed using multiple technologies over the decade to overcome some of the inflexibilities of the system. 50% of the IT staff is devoted to supporting this application and continuous development in some cases assisted by external service providers.

The global parent moved to a newer ERP system a couple of years back and over a period of time have transitioned the many country operations into a consolidated instance. This enterprise has resisted moving onto the global system over the last year or so citing many a reasons, some rational and a few which stretch the imagination. Everyone however realizes that its a matter of time before the transition will have to be done, but are trying to prolong this as much as they can. The country management team is frustrated attempting to balance expectations between the global parent and the local business heads. One of my defined objectives is to align to the global system and retire the current ERP.

A quick survey of the senior management team members reveals that they do not see any benefit in moving to the new system since the current one has served well for many years and is adapted to their modus operandi. The new ERP will enforce global policies and probably also take away the flexibility that is currently exercised by the local management in how they run the business.

It appears to be a scenario wherein the basic principles of change management will have to be reinforced to ensure some momentum and progress. The questions that we are beginning to ask are:

1) What will change when we move to the new system ?
2) What will become possible that we cannot do today ?
3) What will NOT be possible once we transition to the new system ?

To bring about change, you have to believe in the change with passion to create the same within. Mandates can create inefficient transitions but will not change mindsets and people. Successful change is always brought about by people who believe in the new world. The WIIFM question needs to be answered everytime. If your future appears brighter than today, it's due to the promise of tomorrow. If it was darker, you would resist the movement or attempt to go out and create the vehicle that will drive the darkness away.

WIIFM : What's In It For Me !!

No comments:

Post a Comment