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Why is Change Management difficult to get right? (part 1)

by | April 3, 2020

Change Management often has a tough time when it comes to change in Source to Pay (S2P) software implementation projects.

At one end of the spectrum it’s fluffy and vague – an after-thought to the main party, and at the other end it can be overkill which can ironically result in resistance to change. But get it right, somewhere in the middle of those two, and it’s a necessary and key part of successful projects. Source to Pay Implementation Consultants can help you hit the right balance.

Firstly, let’s look at why it can be difficult, and then we’ll walk through 5 concepts and principles that you could bear in mind to deliver change in a Source to Pay context successfully.

It’s often thought about as training and communications.

While both these aspects are important and necessary, it is really about engagement and energising people. Engagement is more successful when it’s driven from the inside of a business, so change management has to work out how best to engage with everyone affected and get them on-side.

Additionally, it often fails to consider the needs of advanced or specialised users and that some quite focused and specific coaching is required to supplement the basics.

Most people affected by a S2P project have not chosen to be affected

They are having to do something new as a result of someone else’s decision. Worse still – it’s for work. This means people are far less likely to be self-sufficient in working out what to do, for example, than if it was a new app they had chosen to download on their phones.

As a result, there is likely to be at least some level of resistance.

There are a lot of stakeholders in a S2P project

It’s likely to cover specialist departments across Finance and Procurement, and these functions sometimes have different, and even competing, objectives.

Secondly, it impacts 1000s of casual users – individuals who may only interact with it once every month or so to raise a recurring order or confirm an approval.

Finally, it includes your whole supply base – likely 10,000s of suppliers from the largest businesses in the world to the local florist. There are a lot of people to engage with.

Often the right people aren’t available to deliver the change management

Small organisations tend to have less change management experience and can therefore be less sure how important it is (and therefore have very light change), while large organisations sometimes have experienced Change Leads who really understand change methodology, but don’t necessarily have the specific knowledge of S2P that allow the right focus and expertise in the right places.

It can be difficult to get this balance of change and specialist knowledge right. Source to Pay implementation consultants have the expertise and knowledge to cover both areas.

This all sounds a little negative, intimidating and perhaps scare-mongery. But we see these issues time and time again, and they really do have an impact on how well and how quickly organisations see the benefits from their Source to Pay investment.

So, what can done? Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog as we talk about 5 principles that companies should bear in mind to deliver successful change in a Source to Pay context.