Developing a Change Management Program for Caterpillar’s SAP Rollout


2006 - 2007


In the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world of business, managing change effectively is crucial. In 2004, I faced one of my first significant challenges as a young professional: designing and implementing a change management strategy for several global Six Sigma initiatives that redefined Caterpillar’s sales and operations planning processes using SAP technology. The scope included five countries, five business units, 12 manufacturing facilities, and over 400 business users. With a looming launch date, the change management plan needed to be implemented swiftly and effectively.


Phase 1: Immersion

  • Deconstructed Projects and Impact: Immersed myself in understanding the Six Sigma projects, the systems, processes, and the people impacted.
  • Learned the Organization: Studied the business model, organizational structure, and the change management methodology used by Caterpillar.
  • Guidance and Training: Worked closely with a Change Management Consultant, attended workshops and courses on the LaMarsh Change Management Methodology, and built a support network.

Phase 2: Action-Taking

  • Developed and Executed Communication and Learning Plan: Created a strategic communication and learning plan to accelerate acceptance and sustain changes.
  • Organized Meetings and Training Events: Planned and coordinated meetings and training events to build consensus and cascade the strategic vision across the organization.
  • Maintained Comprehensive Documentation: Documented findings in Stakeholder Maps, Readiness Assessments, Risk & Impact Analysis, Root Cause Analysis, and Desired & Future State Analysis.

Key Projects and Accomplishments:

  • Promotional Video: Crafted the storyboard and key message for a promotional video with the CEO.
  • E-Learning and On-Site Training: Co-led the development of e-learning courses, on-site training sessions, and training materials.
  • Consensus Building: Coordinated multiple meetings and events to build consensus across all organizational levels.
  • Communication Materials: Created various communications, including articles, interviews, videos, presentations, and visual media.


This experience significantly influenced my career, shaping my approach to complex challenges and solidifying my passion for change management. Although I eventually left Caterpillar for another opportunity, the skills and mindsets I developed during this project have stayed with me, guiding my approach to organizational change and strategic problem-solving.

Mindset #1: Enterprise Thinking: Deconstructing the organization’s internal infrastructure to understand connections was both challenging and exciting. This experience has helped me become a true enterprise thinker, focusing on both enterprise and departmental goals while viewing organizations as interconnected systems with multiple dependencies.

Mindset #2: Change Management: My change management experience has proven invaluable in my marketing roles, where gaining buy-in from leadership and generating support across departments is essential. Change management techniques have made me an effective “internal marketer.”

Mindset #3: Empathetic Marketing: The process of stakeholder analysis in change management parallels strategic marketing, teaching me to empathize with end-users and targets. Understanding how employees think, feel, and act has enhanced my ability to create empathetic marketing strategies.

This foundational experience at Caterpillar prepared me to tackle complex challenges and manage change effectively, providing a solid framework that has benefited my career ever sinc




2006 - 2007




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