Implementing EAM Change

There are a lot of articles touting Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Systems and how they will save or make your company money. Many people will try to provide you tips for making sure the purchase and implementation go smoothly. Tips are great but the real challenge is understanding that the purchase process and implementation of an EAM system, such as Transcendent, is a function of “Change Management”. Who is conducting your change?

Change Management falls under the category of strategic planning. Thinking through the idea is critical to avoid costly and time consuming mistakes. Strategic planning is not done by one person and involves many people in a company to execute properly. Too often a product is purchased based upon a need and then assigned a project manager who is not given the authority to cross all organizational borders to ensure success. Additional information can be found at “Best Practices of Change Management“.

What happens when a major change is not thought out? Cost overruns occur due to reactive management, full functionality is never installed, training is wasted, employees do not buy into the change resulting in turnover, discontent, and possible sabotage, and most importantly your ROI drops like a lead balloon.

You may be able to avoid all this by deciding ahead of time who in your company should be involved and at what stage. One solution is to perform a work flow analysis, identify the specifics of the pain that creates the opportunity for improvement. For instance, breakdown your planning into 3 major groups (Analysis, Implementation and Follow-up)

Analysis -Due Diligence

EAM system analysis (system compatibility with other systems – ex: billing, scalability, solution architecture, vendor technical support evaluation, service agreements, training costs, add-ons)/

Suggested team members: (depends on scope of the project): CIO, VP of Engineering, Operations Manager, Human Resources or Training coordinator, Legal Council. Management can bring any experts they choose to enhance analysis (staff members). It is important to assign each member a responsibility or question to be answered. Upon the collection of all the pertinent information – The Team makes a decision – you now have buy-in from all the critical areas.

Implementation –What gets measured gets done

Implementation – initial set up: determine the personnel to be involved, set up benchmarks, process flow, work flow analysis (before), outline conversion process (staged roll out or all at once), Gant charts, identify forms and procedures to be converted

Team members: Engineering, IT, Project Manager, HR, Operations, Vendor Project Manager

Implementation – action plan: system set up, conversion processes, training, issue resolution, install tracking mechanisms

Team Members: Project Manager ( company and vendor), HR or Trainer, IT, Operations, Line staff

The scope of the project may determine the level of the people involved. The critical success factor is making sure you have buy in at all levels.

Follow-up after the Conversion

The third of the major planning functions is “Follow-up”. How many system conversions, procedural changes, mergers, re-engineering projects have obtained less than desired results? A poorly planned or executed follow-up is a recipe for failed conversion. All the measurement tools and benchmarks established during implementation have to be monitored to make sure employees do not return to their former patterns or manual systems due to a lack of training or a technical issues.

Follow-up is like preventative maintenance. A person of responsible charge should be assigned on an ongoing basis to monitor results, enforce routines, make adjustments, re-evaluate, tweak, and report . This person must have the authority to perform these tasks. The person responsible for this is the person accountable for the ROI.

Do you have additional thoughts that you would like to share? Please comment.