Managing IT Change—A New Role for HR

Date01 November 2015
Published date01 November 2015
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published online in Wiley Online Library (
DOI 10.1002/jcaf.22112
Managing IT Change—A New
Role for HR
Art Worster, Thomas R. Weirich, and Frank Andera
This is the second
installment in a
series of articles
that will appear in
the coming issues of
JCAF. Art Worster
and his associates,
Thomas R. Weirich
and Frank Andera,
will address matters
that arise during and
after the implemen-
tation of integrated
IT applications in a
Any implementa-
tion of an enterprise
resource planning
(ERP) application
will require changes
to virtually every business
process that define the back-
bone of the operations of any
business. In the first article of
this series we discussed some
of the conceptual or cognitive
changes that are necessary in
our thought process in order to
fully understand how and why
these changes are necessary.
Further,if we were to try and
understand the new data defi-
nition requirements without
changing the fundamental way
we think about things such
as master data, standardized
transactions, unintended con-
sequences, level of detail, and
others, we would end up losing
some of (or often much of) the
value that we can gain by using
these applications. In addi-
tion, however, to the general
changes in the thought process
that span the new applications,
there are some very specific
opportunities in dif-
ferent functions that
will provide oppor-
tunities to create
value for the enter-
prise. HR is one of
the most important
of these, and the one
that we will discuss
in this article. We
will discuss two dif-
ferent ways in which
HR is impacted and
then discuss how HR
can lead in develop-
ing programs to mit-
igate some impacts
on the rest of the
organization. While
much of this relates
to HR leaders, it is also the
case that most of what will be
discussed here will affect both
overall costs and ultimately the
financial success of both the
organization and the project
itself. Without the understand-
ing and active support of
senior financial leaders, most
of the HR programs discussed
here will simply flounder and
often fail to produce projected
This article presents some new and different
approaches to workforce management during the
times of dramatic change introduced by the imple-
mentation of enterprise resource planning (ERP)
applications. It requires strong leadership from a
combination of both HR and financial leadership
to develop and sell these programs; and once the
outlines are developed, tools to monitor and pro-
mote program progress should be developed by
HR. We have found that often there is resistance to
these programs by functional leaders if two things
are missing: (a) HR fails to define and oversee the
program; and (b) financial leaders fail to develop
the cost benefit justification and do not manage
the cash reserves necessary to fund it.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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