Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 3 Learnings - OnurOzensoy

For implementing a business information system solution, we should first consider two states via SWOT analysis of business currently and an estimated/desired SWOT state. Either analyzing each solution separately to see if one fits or devising a workshop to determine which provides best benefits/cost ratio, help us to see what is the ideal tool to reach "future desired state".
Strategic alternatives are; keeping legacy systems with no change, employing "best of breed" solutions packages which are not thoroughly integrated, employing an ERP or utilize in house development team to devise an ERP or non-integrated solutions package. Among these ERP implementation has the difficulties of requirement of change in the organization and an extensive process to adopt ERP. Best of breed solutions, on the other hand, will require many consultants, a larger group of admins and maintaining personnel, potentially higher costs and more comprehensive work to upgrade the system whereas it does not offer integration between functional groups. It is important to note that a best of breed application may be implemented to a compatible ERP system, if it is more desirable to do so.

In the vendor selection process, a core team will assess the potential vendors. This, of course, requires an awareness of vendors and their products at the first place.
Typically, a firm will learn about opportunities via vendor presentations, mouth-to-mouth or attending seminars. Sales people are to be communicated carefully though since they probably are not familiar with implementation and compatibility issues. Another key issue is to map your business processes before starting the implementation as consultants for implementation will need them and success will mostly depend on "doing your homework"

We talked about difficulties in making sales people adopt CRM and some other cons of it.

Organizational Change Management
This is perceived as a last and easy step; "soft stuff". But typically it will turn out to be the "hard stuff" as people will realize that changing other people is the most difficult part. Since most employees will be afraid of losing their job or doing something that they are not used to do, there will be friction in the organization. This is not a solely technical issue and it is about culture. Using right people for it is important.

We analyzed OCM process in Welch Allyn which is an Syracuse medical company dealing with medical diagnosis devices. There are five parts of OCM.

-Training: It involves core team training, which is about presenting the system with its capabilities and opportunities, goes on with management seminars and end-user traning to support adoption and ease of usage. Practice course must be the main element with theory.
Attendance and attention to courses should be followed via surveys or simply taking attendance.
-Communication: It should involve bottom-up and top-bottom parts. Communication must be devised so that fears will be overcome and adoption of program will be successful.
Of course, communications should be designed on a audience basis.
-Security/Role Development: It involves grouping different tasks and transactions and giving authority to appropriate person to view appropriate data. There will be many requests to examine other transactions than previously planned ones but as long as job did not change, it should be rejected.
-Super User Development: Super user is a computer literate, helpful person who is responsible for communicating the system to people and for helping fellow employees to use the interface. The person does these along with his/her regular tasks. This is an important part to over come friction in the organization via communication. Super users should be trained further, though.
- Business Process Procedures: It is mapping business processes of the company (workflows) so as getting ready them before training. Also, pre-ERP business processes and post-ERP processes should be mapped along with implementation.

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