There is No Easy Button (Conclusion)

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Posted by: briansittley Comments: 0 0 Post Date: May 14, 2015

3 STOOGESAs noted in our prior post, based on a piece written by Panorama Consulting, it is critical that companies implementing a new business management solution make sure they’re putting their cart in front of their horse.  Which it to say… you have to start to look at business process reengineering early in the process.  That means resisting the ERP salesperson’s suggestion not to think too much about future business processes until you get your software installed.
Indeed, the most important thing is to understand those current processes, and determine what they’ll look like in your future state, before you spend any money on software.
We’ll conclude this post today therefore by noting a couple key points made by the folks at Panorama, in a post we’ve summarized, but you can find here.  As they write:

“Too many organizations think that they will simply start with a clean slate and throw out their old business processes. We get it: your current business processes and systems are outdated, inefficient and ineffective – and you want nothing to do with those broken business processes going forward.

However, too many organizations throw the baby out with the bath water by neglecting those things that have made them successful. In addition, employees won’t understand the future state business processes unless they are communicated and trained in a way that connects them to the current way of doing things – or those processes that they understand best.  Even the best-designed business processes will be ineffective if your employees can’t understand them in the context of how processes work today.”

So, what should you do?  The author posits three ways to help ensure your team avoids the pitfalls of a Ready, Fire, Aim approach:

  1. Remember to address both your current and future business processes. This should help illuminate the gaps between them which “is critical to ensuring your employees understand what is changing and how.”
  2. Begin defining business process improvements prior to your ERP implementation. Doing this early in the process will make your entire evaluation process that much more effective.
  3. Use your reengineered business processes as the foundation for your organizational change management and training strategy. Once business process changes have been defined and documented they should serve as the premise for training, communication and other organizational change management activities.

Wise advice from a firm that deploys big ERP systems, and which could not be more apropos for all smaller companies as well.

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