Although they may be concerned about the transition interfering with their functional areas and ability to realize their objectives, executive managers must continually articulate the imperative of change. This is because effective sponsorship from executive managers can determine the success or failure of the change process (Young, 2013). Also, managers and particularly subordinate workers often desire to see and feel their executives commitment to the change initiative (Young, 2013). The influence and authority they exhibit spills over to rest of the change management roles. The role of executive managers constitutes the first critical contributor to success with their active and visible participation cited essential to the process (Kerzner, 2013). This is important at the initial phase where employees need motivation.
Eliminate policies, procedures, and behaviors that undermine change efforts
PMs in other sub-business units are better positioned to carry out these functions primarily because they are tasked with managing the technical side of the change and offer direction and management. Furthermore, functional managers are also close to the action hence expected to be in charge of how their team undertake their tasks for the change to succeed. Moreover, they support their team members and respond to any issues that arise during the change management process. Therefore, they need to effectively communicate and liaise with their teams, advocate for the change, and manage resistance by ensuring that their teams adhere to set policies and procedures and address behaviors that might compromise the change process.
Maintaining adequate human, financial and material resources
Equally, PMs are tasked with maintaining sufficient human, financial as well as materials resources specifically because they are foresee the technical side of their project to ensure that all the necessary and appropriate capital, personnel and other important tools (such as business case, schedule, and project breakdown structure are available to enable the project team to support the technical team forward. At the initial phase, the PMs are the experts who design the actual change project - design how policies and procedures will be carried out. As such, they need to effectively manage the technical side, contribute knowledge, and engage with the management the management to facilitate all the necessary resources.
Forming a coalition of supporters and experts to counter any opposition
Functional managers match this task because they are the people that assign a member of their staff to the PMs project team. Additionally, functional managers are intermediaries between project teams and the executive managers (Kerzner, 2013). At the initial phase, it is imperative to acknowledge that opposition can arise from both these two groups. A good example is where executive managers become concerned that the transition might cause disruption in their respective areas and ability to attain their goals. Similarly, junior staff might also perceive the change as a threat to their abilities and work, hence amount resistance. Effective intervention to mitigate employee resistance or opposition stems from their immediate supervisor. Nonetheless, stipulating the role each member has to play, their personal goals, and providing necessary information, training and feedback might leverage this option.
Celebrate milestones along the way
Executive managers need to celebrate milestone along the way to show the organizations commitment the transition from the JDE Edwards system to the SAP ERP system as well as appreciation of their personnel. This is because unlike PMs or functional managers who are in charge of the functions or a particular function or business unit, executive managers represent the whole organization. Therefore, leveraging this option calls for ensuring at least a manager or supervisor is on board.
Staying the course in spite of perceived difficulties
The IT staff who are currently conversant with JDE must stay the course despite perceived challenges because they will be directly involved in the process of transitioning from the JDE Edwards system to the SAP ERP system. Since they are the custodians of all technical support and expertise, they are subject to any uncertainty or challenge that might arise in the course of the project. This option can be leveraged by availing all dedicated resources and managing the personnel well. Research results show a correlation between the success of change projects and how effective human resources is managed (Kerzner, 2013).
Incentivizing workers with recognition and rewards
Although motivating workers through recognition and rewards might take numerous forms and can be done by any person in the management side such, including functional managers, PMs, and any supervisor, the impact of the incentive can be much better if this practice is performed by executive managers (Young, 2013). However, executive managers, functional managers, and PMs can perform this task effectively. By recognizing and rewarding the staff, they demonstrate the organizations not only commitment to the project, but also appreciation of the individual input of their employees. It is imperative to evaluate all personnel effectively and award them accordingly so as to leverage this option.
Keeping the process transparent
PM is the stakeholder specifically to keep the process transparent because this is the person who not only design the change project, but also maintain important resources (human, information, capital) regarding the entire projects. They are expected to ensure that all resources and materials assigned to their team are utilized effectively (Young, 2013). Furthermore, given their direct involvement with the team members, including the IT personnel, they are likely to be the first managers to be briefed about any issues during the project that might call for disclosure. As a result, this option calls for appropriate framework and principles for maintaining accountability and transparency in all project transactions and activities.
Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Young, T. L. (2013). Successful project management (Vol. 52). Kogan Page Publishers.
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