Implementation Of Integrated Enterprise Systems: Change Management
The main criteria for success in business professional management, the ability to provide efficient workforce, properly identify, design, implement, and improve business processes to effectively conduct institutional and economic activities became. In these conditions, modern information technology and created on their basis integrated information systems are becoming an essential tool in ensuring the strategic objectives and the sustainable development of companies and organizations.
The main purpose of executives, managers – to make every effort to ensure that the business model, which he is building in order to improve their business, would fill with the help of information technology real contemporary content.
Number of new products in the field of IT solutions for business, allowing to build or improve the Integrated enterprise information management systems is increasing day by day.
Implementing of an integrated enterprise management information system is a problem that is facing by top executives of many companies and has a simple and clear solutions. The current situation in the market is characterized by two things: on the one hand, a lot of proposals for the development and implementation of solutions of class ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), the other – not too great experience of their successful realization (Isern & Pung,2012).
Let us consider the reasons for this situation and the possibility of a systematic approach in the changes.
First of all, it should be noted that the change management – the process of constant adjustment direction of the organization, updating its structure and finding new opportunities.
Studies show that (Lientz 1998):
1. Change is by nature non-linear, very often it is impossible to identify any of their beginning and no end. The changes consist of a series of small steps to the embodiment of the great goals that are making by more and more people.
2. Most effective changes in an organization are composed of many smaller changes. Improvement in one area creates a need for improvement in the other.
3. The process of change takes place from the top down and from the bottom up. The process should start from the top to oversee and from bottom – to encourage the participation of employees and gain their support. In the final analysis, change management – the collective responsibility of all who work in the organization. Otherwise it will not work. The entire organization needs to move forward to a common goal.
4. Changes in the organization are very important for every employee. The more serious change, the more important is to enable employees to reconsider their views on life. For the beginning of work of the organization in the new environment, it is necessary first every employee to adapt to them, and learned to work in them.
5. The use of rating systems is the key to successful and continuous process of transition to the new conditions. The larger organizational goal and objectives are quantified and the more is dependence of the implementation of these goals and objectives of the productivity of each employee, the more likely that the process will go smoothly and without delay.
Despite the relatively high level of supply and a potentially high level of demand, only a few top managers decide to carry out the required changes (The Standish Group International 2010):
– Managers, who already operate any information systems face a dilemma: either spend a considerable amount on the “integrated solutions”, the effect of which is not obvious, and yet spurned the “good old” programs that do not meet current level of implementation, but are time tested and “work”, or leave it as is, and forget about the modern concept of ERP, e-business and other achievements in the field of management and, therefore, lose some competitive advantage.
– Managers of the companies in which up to now, at best, only accounting work is computerized- are generally poor understanding technology implementation of IT-solutions and resources required.
– Finally, the managers who have gained experience in a failed implementation of the known systems have a special view on this matter, and it seems quite a challenge to find the reasons and arguments that would lead them to believe in the possibility of success of the changes and try again.
Information technology implementation projects involve significant change management issues, and often are accompanied by great economic losses, which, according to some sources, could reach $ 100 billion a year.
Over the past few years there have been several surveys of enterprises in order to generalize and describe their experiences in the field. In a study conducted in 2009 by Deloitte Consulting, 85 companies that have implemented EPR were surveyed. The survey showed that the main benefits expected from the implementation of new features brought by such systems were: improving the quality and accessibility of information, improving business processes, better integration of the system in the organization, greater uniformity of information, the ability to better respond to the needs of consumers (Deloitte Consulting (2009).
The survey also revealed that the main useful results for the company from the introduction of systems were reducing number of personnel, the size of inventories and process costs.
The main difficulties in the implementation of systems, were psychological or technological in nature and were relatively small in scale. Problems related to the human factor, refers to the management changes, the adequacy of staff, the team, involved in the implementation of projects, training of workers. And all that refers to the process of implementation, was due to project management and modernization of production processes. Summarizing the above, it can be argued that the main problems in the implementation of such systems are related to the management and human factors.
People who work in the company, should be aware that IT applieed by it, are insufficient.
Studies show that a person is more inclined to adopt new technologies, if he is convinced of their usefulness to him. If employees are satisfied with the IT in the company, but management anticipates that this technology will soon become inadequate, it is obligated to invest time and effort into it, to familiarize staff with the expected challenges in the future, prove to them the inadequacy of existing IT solutions for them and explain how the company sees its long-term prospects. This knowledge generates enthusiasm of employees.
Employees of the company should imagine the results of the project for the future of the company.
Implementation of ERP is perceived by personnel as the destruction of the existing state of affairs in the company, especially if it is connecterd with the restructuring of the existing business processes. That is why it is so important that employees understand the priority of the project and its strategic importance for the company. It is even possible to provide bonuses to opinion leaders in the department in case of successful completion of the project (Wood & Caldas 2011).
Moreover, the company must have the human resources with the necessary skills for the project fulfillment.
The implementation of such large-scale projects require significant additional effort from all the personnel. The company should have adequate technological capabilities and the people who can provide project management and associated changes. It is necessary to realistically assess the resources held by the company, and to choose an appropriate strategy for the project fulfillment.
It should be said also about favorable conditions in terms of labor relations in the company.
Labor relations imply agreement between employers and employees, and IT implementation project may be unworkable, if the agreement is replaced by confrontation. Management should avoid situations where the interest of senior management in changes is used as a lever for the revision of collective agreements.
Moreover, management must clearly demonstrate their support for the project.
Projects of this type, taking a long period of time and facing with numerous obstacles, require solidarity among senior management and clearly expressed priority of it. The priority of the project in any case, should not decline, because the workers will treat it as a secondary event.
During the project realization the company should not be any other significant change.
Organization’s ability to adapt to change is limited and must be assessed realistically. It is undesirable to burden of staff directly involved in the implementation of new IT, at least at the stages that require the most intensive efforts to implement the tasks of other significant changes. Otherwise, there is competition among the ongoing projects at the same time, not to mention the fact that they could lead to situation when the effectiveness and sustainability of the organization will suffer.