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Organizational Restructuring - Aligning People with Technology

"Processes don't do work, people do." - John Seely Brown

I have been on too many technology implementation projects where Change Mangement, Organizational Transformation - or whatever you want to call it - is simply seen as "Training". Seeing Organization Change Management (OCM) during a system implementation as simply writing up new business processes, procedures and training people - is setting your new system up for failure!

OK - maybe 'failure' is a strong word. But doing by this, you are simply not maximizing your system investment.

Why spend a good percentage of your gross revenue on a great new ERP system, that hopefully has been built, configured and implemented using best practices, and then spend a fraction of this investment on the people who will make or break you new system? So, apart from training our people on how to use the system, what else can we do - you may ask. Well, here are a few things :

  • Involve the people who will use the system in the system design and configuration. In this way, you ensure that their requirements are baked in, AND they start understanding how their jobs will change. The sooner people understand this the better.
  • Develop 'powerusers' by involving them in system testing. These 'powerusers' will be your first line of system support, and will be key in establishing the new system as part of daily business.
  • Involve people in the design of new processes that must change with the implementation of the new technology. Understanding how their daily jobs will change is part of managing any resistance to change.
  • Avoid class-room style training.
  • HIRE people who understand the new technology and business processes!
  • MOVE people around as new skills are learnt and utilized.
  • Compentate people for these new skills - retain & develop your investment in people.

Involving people in all aspects of a system implementation - even if it takes longer - will allow the new "champions" to shine, and to develop your greatest resource to ensure success after a system implementation.


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