Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lessons Learned Posting (June 23, 2008)

We have completed our discussion about strategy and potential analyses about strategy: The organization should first make a SWOT analysis for its current state and for a future state that is planned. In order to be able to make these analyses successfully, workshops may be arranged before these SWOTs. Then, considering both of the analyses for current and future states, options for ERP (keep legacy – best-of-breed – ERP – in-house development) should be evaluated by asking the question: “Will it help us to reach the future state?” and the provider can be chosen at last.
We have also discussed when choosing the provider, how can a firm get to know the provider firm. We have talked about the presentations, seminars, meetings, etc. by giving the SAP Users Group.
It was also noted in the discussions that, there is the risk of losing your bargaining power as an organization once you signed the contract with the provider – especially, with a major provider in the sector. This again brings us to the discussion that being a small customer of a major provider may include high risks associated. In order not to lose the power within the relationship, the company may choose to work with a small vendor, but as we discussed in the first two days, this has its own disadvantages too.
We have discussed about the “homework” of the organizations before the implementation. This includes to analyze your business processes well by making workshops and to ensure the knowledge exchange with the consultants during the implementation. If the organization has not done its homework, the consultants should be making them to do that.

Organization Change Management (OCM)
· It is clear that organizations go into a radical change when ERP implementation decision has been made. The change should be managed as well as the implementation project itself. The change should be treated as an individual project and be managed accordingly. There should be a dedicated team / leader to the change management.
· We have discussed the Welch Allyn case that OCM has been applied very successfully; but it was clear that managing it (with the trainings organized, the communication capabilities involved, business processes analyzed & documented) isn’t actually as simple as it seems.
· In the Welch Allyn case, OCM was implemented in five parts: (1) Training, (2) Communication, (3) Security/Role Development, (4) Super User Development, and (5) Business Process Procedures (BPPs).
· In analyzing the change, the culture of the organization should be emphasized. It may prevent the implementation of the strategy as it is. This may be seen in all of the five parts of OCM. When trying to manage the change, strategy may cause things to change from planned: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast everyday”.
· Training: Training is so important that, it should be treated and managed as an individual project itself. There are several stages of training: core-team training, management training, and end-user training. Culture, as mentioned before, plays a significant role in the success of training programs. Training and getting efficient results from it is indeed difficult since the employees would be reluctant for training due to their busy jobs and workloads. Also, the training materials and the design of the classes/class hours, the shifts should all be organized well and according to people’s programs. Training materials should include thing for practice as well as the theory of the system.
· Communication: It is needed very importantly in order to gain the commitment of everyone within the organization. Having a communications plan is a must; it states the communication channels defined for each group of audiences within the company and the schedules. Communication channels differ according to the audience and the specific goals of the communication with that audience group. In the Welch Allyn case, the success of the communications plan was not tested, but, in the class, we have discussed that it can be tested through different measures.
· Security/Role Development: This includes identifying the accesses of every employee to the system and it comes with defining the roles of everyone within the system. In order to define the roles, the transactions should be grouped and analyzed by looking at each individual and their participation of each flow. Then, we may decide about their roles and the relevant accesses to be given to them. Accesses may differ as monitoring access, modifying access, deleting access, etc. Each line manager should be included in this process since they are knowledgeable about the processes. Also, there needs to be a process to change or modify the accesses after they have been assigned to everyone – there should at least someone assigned for this because needs for modification will definitely occur after implementation as people start to practice their everyday-jobs with the system.
· Super User Development: It is the key component for communication. Super user means a person responsible for leading the implementation and helping to the people to start to use the software in their everyday practices; on a departmental basis. Approximately 10% of end-users should be chosen as super users to help others. This also reduces the otherwise significant workload on the helpdesk. Super users may be selected among best knowledgeable people; but not always, since they may not be enthusiastic; the motivation of the employee to become a super-user is in most of the cases more important. There should also be some super-user workshops and trainings and some benefits (like bonuses or additional fringe benefits) may be given to the super-users in order to motivate them and to make their job more appealing.
· Business Process Procedures: They are the documents specifying business processes; that are, specifying how each transaction is used within SAP system as configured in the company. This is about documentation management; documenting the workflows/business processes.
· The meaning of the workflow is similar with that of the business process.
· Preparing the business processes should be a concurrent process with implementation. The goal is to get them ready for training purposes and Go Live use; the output of BPP is an input for training.
· Plan for OCM should have a separate budget; at least 10% of the implementation budget.
· Identifying key people is crucial in OCM.
· The main failure would be to consider OCM as solely a technical project.

1 comment:

Mansour and Farhad said...

Hi,

I saw your blog. Have a look at http://www.erpchange.blogspot.com/.

too.