Andrea Wachob Kaelin
, February 1, 2024
Share this article

Often a technology implementation can become so focused on the technological part of it that organizations forget the most important element: people. Using change management and training can help employees feel like they have some control over the transition process. Change management invites them to partake in the movement and decisions the company makes as it works toward change. It allows for feedback, questions and suggestions from the people affected to influence the greater process.

What is change management?

Change management is the structured process a company uses to smoothly implement change within its organization. This practice uses knowledge from disciplines like psychology, engineering, and behavioral science to make logical adjustments to business functions and help people cope with and adapt to differences in their environment.

Change management encompasses a number of elements including training and communications to build awareness and excitement for the upcoming changes, to help the organization to understand what the future will be and to teach them the skills to accomplish the desired future state.  

Why is change management important?

Organizational change management is a necessity for company success, growth, and employee morale. It helps employees understand the need for change, aligns their efforts with the company's goals, and provides the necessary support for them to navigate through transformative periods. This, in turn, leads to higher employee morale, productivity, and overall business performance.

Additionally, change management directly impacts key stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and business partners. By effectively managing change, an organization can maintain strong relationships with its stakeholders, ensuring their support and collaboration during periods of transition. 

Increasing technology project success rates

Change management can increase project success rates for an organization by ensuring people are prioritized throughout the change. It provides a support structure that employees can rely on while progressing through the implementation process.  

Encouraging belonging

When confronting change, how you feel about the transition can be just as important as the steps you take to make it happen. Involving key stakeholders aids transparency by helping people understand the need for changes as well as the environment and culture of the company. It helps to foster a shared commitment to learning and evolution to achieve the desired goal. When employees are actively involved in the change process and understand the reasons behind it, they are also less likely to experience job-related stress. This leads to improved morale as employees feel valued and supported throughout the transition.

Understand the vision

Most organizations make changes because leadership members have a different vision for the future or success for the company. Learning how to share this vision and interpret it in the context of change and development can help people understand what they're working toward. This may help them move more smoothly through the change management process.

The role of training in change management

Comprehensive learning and enablement activities engage all staff within an organization or team, as well as supervisors and leadership across the organization. They can include things like breaking down the changes in business processes and establishing the understanding and skills to move through an organizational change, thus achieving adoption more quickly.

Change management and training in action at a North American client

When a large North American client first approached Alithya, it was for help with a second attempt to implement an ERP. They not only understood the challenges this change could present, but they also ensured the proper support was in place to guarantee success. Change management and training specialists from the client and Alithya worked collaboratively to prepare the organization for the future. The client set out to provide a single ERP across three business units with very different current states, providing a more stable and supported solution for all. We tackled the implementation and change management with a three-step process.  

Tackling change management is as easy as 1,2,3

To ensure people who will be affected by new technology not only understand what is happening and how it will change their roles and responsibilities, but also embrace the change, there are three important steps:

1. Culture

First, the values and work practices of the organization are critical to ensuring the change is a success. Every organization is unique and understanding where they have been, how they relate to one another, and how they expect to achieve success is the cornerstone of a solid plan.  

2. Communication and training

Second, understanding how an organization communicates and how they learn is different in every organization. Leveraging what is already working is an easy way to start, then understand gaps and add new tools to make communications and training more interesting to end users. Additionally, understanding the change at a transactional level enables you to create communication and training plans that address it with a coordinated mix of materials.

3. Collaboration

Finally, you simply cannot have success without collaboration. A vendor and client must establish trust while holding one another accountable and having some fun on the journey.

We helped the client to deploy a singular ERP system across all business units to manage core financials and non-merchandising procurement. By transitioning to a new, cloud-based solution, the client empowered their finance teams to capitalize on the benefits that come with a singular, modernized system. This includes a reduction in enterprise risk due to the system's enhanced stability, improved SOX controls facilitated by automation and workflows, and dependable support solutions. The new system also allowed the accounting and finance teams to utilize a modern system which yields operational efficiencies for the growing business.

Furthermore, this system overhaul has significantly bolstered the client’s capacity to support organizational expansion. At the same time, it has enabled the organization to consolidate processes across diverse companies, paving the way for operational efficiencies and a transition to a shared service environment. Their new ERP also harmonizes with EPM to promote stronger automation, thereby delivering a comprehensive financial suite that ensures a singular, accurate version of financial data across the enterprise with enhanced general ledger dimensionality to improve its ability to report business outcomes.

Given the robust characteristics of the modern ERP system, our client has ensured future readiness to incorporate other applications, such as inventory systems, into the platform. This added flexibility represents another substantial advantage of this system transition.

Change management and training increases the rate of success by setting behavioral standards in the workplace and promoting employee engagement. To learn more about change management and Alithya implementations, contact Alithya's experts.

Share this article