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According to Garner, Organisations that underestimate the importance of organisational change management in ERP projects often fail to achieve desired business outcomes. Stakeholders must ensure that the majority of ERP projects are treated as business change projects.

Companies need to be drive change in such a way where the wheels don’t fall off the car, and the pace of change is calibrated to the capacity of the organisation to change.

The key message on large change management initiatives is that the more complex is your processes, in systems, in organisations, in workflow, in how you make decisions, the more time and effort and money you will spend on maintaining that complexity. That is why simplification is such a critical first step.

  1. Secure an executive mandate for change, starting with CEO.

    1. According to experts, without the backup of executive management any transformation project is at risk of failure.

    2. Former Hyatt CFO Gebhard Rainer agrees that you can’t underestimate the value of executive commitment to the success of IT-led project. Hyatt. “Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian is very data-driven, very analytical,” shares Rainer. “He supports [Project Unify] wholeheartedly, and senior management has helped drive it through the whole Hyatt organization. That support allowed me to really get much more into the analytics side and push the organization, press the organization to really focus on this.”


  1. Simplify and standardise your environment as much as possible before embarking on Cloud transformation.

    1. The key to success is to adopt systematic approach to business process transformation based on four key principles: simplify, standardize, centralize, and automate. “Automation for automation’s sake isn’t useful if the business process you are automating is broken,” notes Oracle’s Mahon. “A better approach is to simplify the business process first, using the best process available; then standardize it globally using a global process owner; centralize it in a shared services or center of excellence (CoE) environment; then automate it to drive adoption of self-service.”

    2. Mastering Change involves

      1. Simplify: one best process

      2. Standardize: avoid customization

      3. Centralize: move core processes to shared services or centers of excellence

      4. Automate: make everything self-service

      5. Repeat often: because transformation never stops

    3. At UK-based dunnhumby, the mantra of avoiding customizations has taken hold. “Our existing finance system was heavily customized, and we it found it difficult to upgrade or deal with compliance in other countries,” says Group Finance Director Swindell. “We’re keen not to make that mistake again, which is why we selected a single provider for all our cloud services. We’ll get a lot of integration right out of the box, especially in critical areas like business intelligence.”

  2. Build expertise in creating a culture of change management

    1. Skanska Sweden employs change “champions” across all parts of global operations to foster the right change mindset during major technology deployments. “We have change champions in all parts of the business that communicate with the program throughout the deployment,” explains CFO Lilja.

    2. Step one is to have the executive support to make this happen. But the next level down, all the business leaders need to understand what’s changing, why it’s changing, and express their support for the change. And then it’s just a huge communication exercise. Make people understand that it’s coming. Do that over and over again and do it as many as ways as possible because people need to have those messages reinforced.

    3. Colm, O’Higgins, CFO, SITA “I told my process owners, come into my office and in five minutes, tell me what’s changing, why it’s changing, what’s the benefit. That exercise got us to crystallize our messaging and bring that message out to the business, and I think that was an important learning in terms of change management.”

To succeed in the Digital Age, CFOs and organisations they lead must recognise the value of a holistic approach to transformation in Cloud. That can drive both operational savings and flexibility needed to change business models or shift in and out of markets quickly.


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