- We started with "Decision Making in the Evaluation, Selection, and Implementation of ERP Systems". We learned some decision making models for selecting and implementing an ERP system.
- Secondly, we talked about "Potential Impact of Cultural Differences on Enterprise Resource Planning Projects". When we were talking about this article we made a great discussion about how culture effects the decision making process. Since we are coming from different countries we were able to analyse the subject with many points of view avoiding the stereotypes. We saw that generally power distance, hierarchy, and authority issues influence implementing an ERP system, and most cultures are resistant to change.
- Finally we talked about "ERP in China: One Package, Two Profiles". This article was also related to the previous one. But this time we looked to two different company cultures in the same cultural environment. We understand the differences by the way of thinking between private vendors (PVs) and state owned enterprises (SOEs) in China. For example; PVs form cross funcional teams for implementing the system and this team is more involved in the process while the SOEs have a team formed by the senior management that is more likely to control the system, without much involvement. Somehow the system failed in China. The reasons of its failure are business processes, lack of involvement of senior management or key people of the organisation, no improvement of business.
Besides the articles, we talked about super user selection. We concluded that a super user should have high communication, teaching, and leadership skills, knows about the processes and information systems, have a long-term career planning in the organization and well respected. And in the selection of the core ERP team experience with projects, success, authority to change management, being in different departments (to understand the different needs of all departments in the company) issues should be considered.
Today we talked about strategic ERP implementation choices. Today was mostly dedicated to the analysis of pros and cons of several things. :)
First we analysied pros and cons of Big Bang and phased implementations. We concluded that the advantages of Big Bang implementations are; being easier and faster to implement and its disadvantages are being more risky and the need of big training initiative. The advantages of phased implementation are being able to learn about the system, cash management, and stability while the disadvantages are being costly and time consuming.
While we are implementing an ERP system we can face some problems like decrease of productivity, bugs in the system, and resistance to change in the organisation.
Second we talked about the pros and cons of outsourcing and in house. Outsourcing can be useful because the people are more experienced about the subject and they can look from a different point of view to the company and they sometimes have more credibility in the eyes of employees (I think this was a very bad translation but I couldn't say it in another way. Sorry for my poor english) as it can be more costly, people can feel less responsible for the consequences, and they may not fit in the company culture. On the other hand, in-house has its own advantages like better understanding of the company needs, higher credibility among employees, and they have the advantage of existing work relationships.
Last, we talked about two different implementation styles: centralised and decentralised implementations. During our discussion about this subject we faced some conflicting ideas. Like we couldn't exactle figured out which could be more costly. In my opinion centralised implementation is likely to be more costly because we are thinking globally and when an office needs to make a decision they have to wait for the response of the head office which takes time and it can have an effect on the work done, and for the implementation process traveling costs can be high.
After a large pros and cons discussion we made a team work which was about the implementation of the system in different countries. We looked at the differences of management styles, strengths and challanges of doing business in different countries. This helped us understand the different cultures and so we realised that it is important to understand the structure and needs of different cultures before making a change.
During the last hour of todays class we had a discussion about Harley Davidson Company's software selection process. Everybody specified their choices of providers and why they would choose them. We wrote down the advantages of each provider on the board and defined the most important issues to consider. Than we made some calculations and select provider 2 which was the same decision that Harley Davidson made. But then we learned that even provider 2 was the most useful one according to the functionality of the system, problems occurred because during the implementation process they couldn't really fit in the company culture.
Todays class was so fun. I want to thank everyone for the lovely environment of the course. Of course our tutor played a big role. Her teaching style was effective and very satisfying. I learned many things about implementation of ERP systems. I am really flattered to see how a turkish teacher can make such a great job.
That's all for today.
Hope to see you all tonight at the party. If you are not coming I have to tell you that you are goint to miss so much. After a hard week I think we deserved to have fun. If you are still not coming I'll see you tomorow in the exam.