New UNSSC case study on ERP systems and change

Date: 
Friday, 26 May 2017

Turin | UNSSC Staff College

The United Nations System Staff College has launched its latest case study which focuses on enterprise resource planning systems and the significance of change management - “Delivering Successful Change with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems.”

Most organizations in the United Nations have invested in ERP systems, expecting that the integration of data and business processes would help contain costs while improving operational performance, efficiency, and internal controls.

In reality, numerous challenges have been encountered in pursuing these benefits.

A 2012 Joint Inspection Unit review found that most of the ERP systems functioning in UN organizations at the time had been implemented over budget and over schedule. The extent to which benefits accrued depended largely on the approaches taken to change management.

The pathway to reaping the benefits of such systems has since shifted, as the ERP market now offers more ways of achieving the necessary functionality, such as cloud-based software as a service (SaaS). These options offer advantages and disadvantages, and hence, varied challenges for the management of change.

The latest case study from the UN System Staff College looks at how change management can enable the best possible returns on investment from ERP systems, by reviewing the experiences of four UN entities - UN Development Programme (UNDP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

These four entities are diverse in nature as are their choices of ERP solutions. They offer lessons that date from both before and after the Joint Inspection Unit review. By comparing these experiences, the case study highlights the change management challenges that UN entities can expect to encounter when implementing ERP systems and offers guidelines on how to achieve the desired results.

To read the full case study, CLICK HERE.

For those interested in learning more, the UNSSC offers the following programmes: