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Help Me, Help You: Preparing for Large-Scale Technology Transitions: Part 1

This is a three-part series on identifying and addressing key issues that all organizations should consider when planning a large-scale technology transition.


I’m often reminded of a memorable phrase from the ‘90’s romantic comedy Jerry Maguire when working with new clients. Sports agent Jerry Maguire seeks the cooperation of his troublesome star client by exclaiming repeatedly in an emotional scene, “Help ME, help YOU”!


When embarking on large-scale technology transitions many organizations are so focused on the future state that they fail to identify and address existing organizational issues that can, and often do, negatively impact outcomes. A fundamental change management task that Organizational Change Management (OCM) consultants frequently perform when supporting organizations through transformative change is a current-state analysis.


Current-state analysis includes an assessment of the culture and how the people in the organization get work done. Often, that analysis highlights specific organizational health issues. My Jerry Maguire moment comes when we present a description of these issues, their potential impact on the success of the implementation, and recommendations on how to address them to organization and project leaders, but the leaders choose not to act, hoping that the technology transition will somehow solve all problems.


Many (although certainly not all) of the issues identified by a current-state analysis center on the organization’s people, rather than systems or tools. The following list identifies areas often overlooked when organizations embark on large-scale technology transformations such as implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.


Ignoring any one of these focus areas can mean the difference between success and failure, where failure is defined by the inability of the organization to realize all the promised benefits and productivity outcomes, not to mention the unanticipated negative impact on employees and employee morale.

  • Organization culture
  • Internal communications
  • Current business processes and policies
  • Alignment of policies and operating procedures with the new business processes
  • Ongoing technology and process governance

Part 2 dives into the first two focus areas and recommendations on how to address them.