All implementation project managers must focus on people, processes and technology. It is the people aspect that is often the most complicated. Any enterprise software endeavor creates a wave of resistance. The difference between success and failure is determined by how you manage the change process.
There are many methods, but one useful method is the Kotter Change Management Methodology. This method was developed and documented by John Kotter, a noteable professor at the Harvard Business School. According to Mr. Kotter, the Eight Steps to a successful change are:
1. Create a Sense of Urgency
2. Pull Together the Guiding Team
3. Decide What you will do
4. Communicate for Understanding and Buy-in
5. Empower others to act
6. Produce Short-term wins
7. Don’t let up
8. Create a New Culture
His latest book, shown here uses a fable to illustrate how to manage change is a wonderful book that gives the high-level understanding of change management. Using a penguin colony in Antarctica as the setting, the author uses this analogy to any change occurring with groups of people. It is worth a read, but more importantly it is worth your project team reading and discussing together. Using the eight steps outlined above, with a cohesive understanding of how change affects teams, together you can undertake any enterprise software rollout.
Be sure to read John Kotter’s other books on Leading Change.