Soarington’s experience in creating, coaching, and leading effective teams helped a large manufacturer overcome significant roadblocks to successfully executing a multi-year software implementation.
Multi-national manufacturer with $2 billion in annual revenue and over 4,000 employees.
The Problem to be Solved/Why it Mattered
The IT department of this global organization was in year 2 of a multi-year SAP ERP implementation and had significant challenges. The consulting firm they hired to guide them had adopted a domineering consulting approach with the client project management team and other employees assigned to the project.
There were numerous conversations among the management team within the client organization on how to best deal with the issue, as it was having a significant affect on employees and the reputation of the project outside of the head office from which the project was being managed. Morale, and consequently motivation, was low creating challenges in executing to the project timeline. The situation was not only emotionally draining to management and staff but was also costing the company money in reduced efficiency.
Additionally, one of the key work streams for the project, ‘change Impacts’, was not getting done and risks to the ability of the client’s regional sites to be able to understand the upcoming changes and be prepared to respond to them were increasing. With six months left before the first deployment of what remained to be a multi-year initiative, action was required to mitigate.
Soarington informally spoke with a range of employees to understand the root causes of the issue. They then met with the Project Manager and Change Management Lead on the client side to discuss observations and recommendations on how to address the root causes. Soarington worked with key members of the project management office and client management team to engage in the necessary conversations with the other consulting organization and client employees to work through the challenges that were inhibiting progress.
To address the lack of focus on change impacts, Soarington established a 3-tiered plan to create ‘micro-plans’ that would consist of actions necessary to reduce the risk to head office and regional sites prior to the first deployment of the software. Soarington then worked with the client to identify ownership for the co-development and execution of the activities in these plans. We then began to conduct extensive ‘deep dive’ meetings to understand the risks and issues related to each of the ‘change impacts’ so that customized actions could be identified that directly addressed the risks.
As a result of extensive coaching of management and employees, Soarington was able to eliminate or significantly decrease several project teaming effectiveness issues and increase collaboration between the consulting firm and the client, as well as address client cross-team issues.
Additionally, by creating a structured approach to managing the impacts of the change, Soarington was able to get that work stream ‘back on track’ and positioned to achieve all of its risk mitigation activities prior to the first SAP deployment.
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