“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a carefully selected ERP system in possession of good data must be in want of Change Management”

(PRS, with apologies to Jane Austen) 


If Jane Austen had lived in our current times and was minded to write a book on successful ERP implementation, then I reckon this would have been her opening line. People who give it thought would almost certainly agree that choosing an ERP system is not to be undertaken lightly. And most would also agree that quality data is vital if you want to maximise the benefits of your new system and sort out the reporting and analysis that is so often a key driver for a new system implementation. 

But how many of us are convinced that addressing the people element of the change is vital to managing the transition to a new way of working? I suspect more than not, but why then is it so rarely considered as a core constituent of any system improvement project and usually the poor cousin who gets left out to seemingly save time and money? 

Is it because the “Change Management industry” invokes a certain level of cynicism often rightly laid at the door of many consultants? Or fear of the terminology and often selectively quoted ‘science’ associated with the subject? Or perhaps the opposite is true – “I know our people better than any consultant could in a few weeks and we don’t need anyone to help them adjust”.


Well, Gradient Transforming’s perspective is as follows: 

There are three core elements that must be addressed if you want to successfully upgrade or introduce a new business management system; the people, the processes and data, and the system. Getting all these balanced correctly will mean you’ve hit the sweet spot, and your project will run a lot more smoothly than if you’ve sliced it or caught an edge. The system vendor should (rightly – and hold their feet to the fire to make sure) confirm the technology is configured correctly and works for you, but they won’t necessarily do anything else than demand the data when they need it (of whatever quality or consistency it is), and look on aghast when your team don’t take advantage of the capabilities of the system (or still refer back to the spreadsheet that was effectively running the business without you realising it!). 

Choosing a system with you is our bread and butter – using our independent and systematic approach, you can be confident that our “Spec & Select” process will guide you to the right system and the right partner to support the technical implementation. 

We can help with the data and processes as well: Data Governance and management can be a complex topic, but we help simplify it and introduce you to the essence of what you need to get your data under control and ready for all the analysis and reporting you want to bring in. We also have some excellent tools to support process review and redesign where necessary. 


And Change Management?

Well, it won’t be a surprise that we can help there too, that’s the point of this article. As with data, Change Management can be a complex topic (and there is a lot of good science out there), but we make a point of speaking your language and demystifying the jargon to help you to the essence of what you need to get your system and new ways of working fully adopted. Actually, your team need to be at the core of your plans and thinking so that they are pulling for the change and improvements. And that is possible, with the right approach. 

Final quote (proper one this time) from Jane… “it isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do” (Sense & Sensibility) and that certainly applies to system implementations! 

Do the right thing – talk to us!