Challenges in Enterprise Communication Can Lead to ERP Failure

To ensure project success, it is important to foster open and honest communication between all departments and team members. This is especially true when enterprise resource planning (ERP), implementation, takes place. Solid communication plans can increase the business benefits that your software brings to your company.

ERP communication can be difficult. We'll be sharing with you the problems of organizational communication that can cause project failure.

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Five Challenges in Organizational Communication

1. Insufficient executive buy-in

Employees can feel anxious about change. However, if they see their leaders supporting the ERP software, they will be more likely to do so. Executives must be there at every stage of the implementation, and they should be the biggest cheerleaders.

Your C-suite won't be fully involved in the communication plan. Even the best communication plan can fail to take root if your bosses don't support the ERP project, you can't expect employees to join the cause.

The executive must attend the meetings of the steering committee, make important decisions and answer employees' questions.

2. Underemphasizing OCM

Communication with frustrated team members can be difficult. As they deal with their fears and worries, anything you say could be misinterpreted.

This is a common problem with any enterprise software implementation. Employees are often resistant to new workflows because they fear that automated tools might make their job easier. They may also be hesitant about new technology because they fear it will make their job more difficult.

These anxieties can be eased by project leaders, but they must also be strategic in their approach. Organizational change management (OCM), is the solution. This approach puts the people's side first and ensures that employees have the resources to adopt new technologies.

OCM involves more than just communicating clearly and consistently. It also includes providing appropriate training for all employees. An extensive skills assessment will help you determine what each employee knows now and what skills they need.

3. A vague enterprise strategy

Project communication must be seamless in order to be successful. It is impossible to have one project leader say one thing, and another contradicts it.

Before you start talking with your employees about the project, ensure that all members of the project team are on the same page. This can be achieved by creating a strategic plan that addresses large questions such as:

  • How big is this project?

  • What ERP software can we use to achieve our short-term as well as long-term goals.

  • How much change management do you need to achieve this?

Only after you reach a consensus on these questions can you build a united front. Everyone involved in the project communication must know why it is happening and what the next steps will be.

4. Not all employees reached

It is easy to underestimate the impact ERP implementations will have on employees. While you may be aware that ERP implementations will impact upper-level managers, what about employees reporting to them? How about their coworkers?

It can be hard to track who is communicating with whom during a business day. This is particularly true for large organizations located in multiple countries.

Business process management can be used to help you understand cross-functional workflows. This can help you see the interdependencies and handoffs that happen every day, and allow you to identify all those who will be affected by the changes.

Once you have a good understanding of the changes that are occurring, you can create a communication plan with personalized messaging for various stakeholder groups.

5. Refusing to Change Employees

There may be some resistance at first, but with encouragement and support, they will eventually accept the idea.

There are also long-term naysayers who will threaten to sabotage all your efforts. These people are vocal critics of the software and will let everyone know.

It's easy for people to ignore their opinions, but it's important that you listen to what they have. Sometimes, detractors might have valid concerns that you didn't consider. Listening to them can help you determine if they are really concerned or just complaining.

If this is the case, your team should create a strategic communication plan to reduce the negativity. Although there will be some resistance, someone who complains all the time can cause others to feel down. This is something you don't want.

Poor Communication Can Derail Any ERP Project

You'll be better equipped to avoid the problems of organizational communication if you are aware of them in advance. The right communication strategy for change management is all that's required.

Our team of consultants of ArionERP in change management can assist you with this strategy. This will ensure that you reach every stakeholder at the right moment.

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