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Change Readiness for ERP System Implementation

Piilo Group helped Parliament in saving an ERP program to Modernize Operations. 

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Introduction to Change Readiness for ERP System Implementation:

The South African (SA) Parliament implemented an ERP system in 2007-2008. However, the implementation failed due to the absence of stakeholder buy-in and support. As a result, SA Parliament approached Piilo Group. The goal was to conduct a Change Readiness Assessment to identify the reasons for failure. As well as determine the current readiness of the organization to support a new ERP solution.


SA Goverment mandated the Parlament to modernize operations through system and process automation. Current operations were manual and used fragmented systems and processes. It was viewed that an ERP solution would fast-track the modernization of their operations. There was, however, limited engagement of critical stakeholders to ensure their understanding of the project. And its impacts on operations, as well as the benefits of implementing a standardized ERP solution. The selected ERP solution was perceived as not fulfilling business requirements. This caused a lack of sponsorship and support across departments. As a result, the project failed and was stopped.


Piilo Group conducted a thorough readiness assessment of the failed ERP implementation and evaluated the current readiness of the organization to support a new ERP solution. In addition, we used our change management frameworks and methodologies to identify potential barriers and enablers of change.

  • Identify reasons for the failure of previous ERP implementation
  • Define potential barriers to a new ERP implementation
  • Define possible mitigating actions to ensure future success
  • Engage key stakeholders to ensure understanding and alignment
  • Establish sponsorship within each department
  • Engage Parliament staff to get increased support for the process


The objective of the change readiness assessment was to identify the reasons for the ERP implementation failure and assess the current readiness of SA Parliament employees to accept a new ERP solution.

  • Identify reasons for the failure of previous ERP implementations.
  • Determine sponsorship requirements across Parliament.
  • Determine alignment of leadership at the department and ministerial levels
  • Identify maturity and gaps in operations.
  • Gather information about training, user competence and user enablement.
  • Assess employee readiness to implement a new ERP solution.


Piilo Group established sponsorship for the change readiness assessment across Parliament. A robust communication plan and messaging supported it. The communication plan used Parliament communication channels to inform ministers and their departments of the purpose and desired outcomes of the readiness assessment process. It created clarity around the input required, critical timelines and expected results. The assessment progress was communicated to key stakeholders during the engagement. The readiness assessment outcome was shared and aligned with Parliament’s culture and protocols. All key stakeholders were informed of outcomes to ensure alignment and preparation for a new ERP implementation.


The change readiness assessment identified the following reasons for the previous ERP implementation failure:

  • Director-General and Minister level executives were not involved in the selection process
  • Absence of sponsorship across the organization
  • Insufficient resources allocated for change management
  • Change impacts not identified, anticipated and addressed
  • Inadequate end-user training and support post go live
  • Limited communication between the project team and key decisionmakers
  • Employee resistance to change due to lack of leadership support

Lessons Learned:

The change readiness assessment highlighted the importance of involving key decision-makers throughout the ERP implementation process. Due to its complex operating culture, it also emphasized the need for substantial change management as part of any future system implementation at Parliament.


The change readiness assessment conducted by Piilo Group helped SA Parliament identify the reasons for the previous ERP implementation failure. It provided the basis for strong stakeholder engagement for the new ERP new project. The readiness assessment identified mitigating actions for both operations and the project. By implementing the recommendations, SA Parliament delivered their modernization strategy.