Saturday, July 31, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons learned, week 4, Nurcan Bozkaya

In the 4rd week we discussed about the strategic ERP implementation types such that;
• The Big Bang Method:
This method requires that doing the implementation one at a time in whole company. It requires relatively shorter time period than phased method of implementation. This generally helps to the long term cost shortages. Doing the implementation shortly also leads to less painful adaptation period. But also since it is a shorter time adaptation, the intensity of the pain might be more. Additionally this method is more risky than phased method and the result is less satisfaction with the crucial system’s abilities. Generally, applying this method can cause extra working costs and opportunity cost of not working since while implementing this method very fast might require most of the employees to have their full concentration to that job.
• Phased Method:
This method is followed slowly relative to Big Bang Method. This method is less risky than Big Bang method since it consists of the steps of implementation in a long term. Thus, if there is a big problem with the project, it allows stopping the project, and with this way the company can avoid from extra cost. On the other hand, making the implementation slowly may cause “change fatigue”, and employees may lose their interests about change.
Moreover we discussed about leadership, “what is leadership and what is leadership different than management?” subjects. And also we talked about the shared leadership concept;
First of all leadership is defined as “influencing others understand and agree about what should have been done, how this can be done effectively, and it is a process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish a shared objective” by Yukl. The difference between leadears and managers are; managers have formal authority but leaders do not, they have the inspire and influential affect on their employees. From the point of Global ERP implementations’ view, in global teams there are issues we should have to deal with. For that reason Self-managing virtual teams (SMV) are becoming more and more common. SMV team members have abilities on work methods, task assignments and schedules and also compensation and feedback.
There are 2 types of leadership behaviours which are:
1. Task-Oriented Leadership: Task-oriented leaders are focused on accomplishments. At this type of leadership the success depends on to the leader’s ability about demonstrating the competence and commitments to the team members.
2. Relationship-Oriented Leadership: Relationship-oriented leaders focus on the relationships among the team's members. At this type of leaders creates an atmosphere which formed by trust, dignity and respect. The leader encourages the members to build constructive relationships with each other also.
The other subject we discussed is about ASAP methodology. ASAP means Accelerated SAP which is proven and successful approach to implement SAP solutions across industries and customer environments.And also ASAP provides content, tools, and expertise from former successful implementations. ASAP methodology has 5 phases:
1. Project preparation:
In this step the objective is to provide initial planning and preparation for the project. At this stage project team trained and the initial hardware is ordered. The output of this stage is the high level project plan and the project team organization.
2. Business blueprint:
This stage is the documentation step which will be used while doing configuration in the realization phase. Blueprint workshops and prototypes are being done at this stage. FRICE (Form, Report, Interface, Conversion & Enhancement) control list and the business process definitions are the outputs of this step.
3. Realization: The purpose of this phase is to implement all the business process requirements based on the previous stages outputs. Unit tests, training the process owners, FRICE developments, integration tests, and data activities are being done at this stage. Final user acceptance is the output of realization.
4. Final preparation: The purpose of this phase is to complete testing, end-user training and finalize the readiness of the company before go live. During this phase, final system rehearsal, help desk support preparation and cutover should have been done.
5. Go Live & Support: At this stage the data is migrated from the legacy systems, the new system is activated, and post-implementation support is provided. During this stage, review system processes and continuos improvement, help desk support and review issue log should have been done.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lessons Learnt - Week 4


The first topic discussed this week was the concept of leadership, and how specifically this relates to the environment of self managing virtual teams (SMV teams). In these environments there is often no assigned leader. However, natural leaders will always begin to emerge. An interesting finding of the study was that although leaders are often perceived as showing more ‘leadership’, actual leadership is performed by many different team members; with ‘non-leaders’ often contributing more real leadership.

Strategic ERP implementation

Big Bang vs. Phased: is it better to implement in one big hit? Or one business unit at a time?

Big Bang implementation carries significant risk. If something goes wrong, the consequences are significant. However, Big Bang may be less costly than a phased implementation and the momentum and significance of the event can help motivate to employees.

Under this phased implementation, the ERP system is introduced to one unit of the business at a time. Phased implementation is significantly less risky and allows the business time to make adjustments to the system over the course of the implementation. However, there are some significant drawbacks. Phased implementation may have higher costs and users may have to use both the old system and new ERP system simultaneously (double entry). In addition, temporary networks between the old and new systems may have to be created. Also, during the implementation, the company does not benefit from the value of ERP integration (different units are still using different systems).

Implementing with ASAP method

Accelerated SAP methodology is a systematic approach for implementing SAP systems. It works on a 5 stage process:
  1. Project Preparation: This is the high-level planning stage. Teams are trained, hardware is ordered. Deliverables are set.
  2. Business Blue Print: This stage is concerned with the determining the details of how the business functions; it’s processes, work flows, etc.
  3. Realisation: Training begins in this stage. Business process developments from the blue print stage are also implemented.
  4. Final Preparation: Testing, rehearsal and end user training in preparation for go-live
  5. Go-Live and Support: This phase encompasses the launch and the period immediately following. The system should be carefully analysed after go-live to monitor and address any issues.
Finally, the company should plan for continuous improvement, where systems and processes are periodically reviewed and updated.

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 4

The difference between leadership and management can be summarized as follows: leadership is the process of influencing others, and facilitating collective efforts to achieve objectives. A leader should also consider what the team members want, and should have followers. Management is more related to work structure and systems, he has formal authority and subordinates. As a part of Global ERP Implementations, Self-Managing Virtual (SMV) Teams can be analyzed. They are not leader dependent teams but decision making is done collectively by team members. Besides showing leadership in virtual teams is harder. In shared Leadership individuals share the leader role. In self-leadership, you get yourself do something. These leaders create role-models for their teams.

There are 2 kinds of leadership behaviors: Task- oriented and Relationship oriented. Task- oriented leaders configure how to change processes. Relationship oriented leadership can be also used in SMV’s on e-mails, with a positive group atmosphere being created and asking people’s opinions and encouraging outsiders to participate. Relationship oriented leaders may also use boundary spanning which means they connect team to outsiders and act as knowledge brokers.

During the FNSS company presentation, we learned that ERP implementation may not necessarily reduce the number of processes or reduce the workload in a company. Rather it would be more useful in increasing the quality of data and quality of the processes in the company.

ERP Options in implementation strategy can be discussed under the following dimensions:
a. Timeline: In Big-Bang Implementation, the system changes all at once. The advantage is that it offers a shorter period of uncertainty. Phased implementation’s advantage is that it becomes easier for the employees to adapt themselves and through learning effects, each round there is an increasing performance of adaptation. Another advantage of phased implementation is that is easier to finance because you can make incremental payments. In fact this 2 approaches are two ends of a spectrum and companies should use a combination of both according to their specific conditions and needs.

b. Staff/Resources: Resources can be obtained by outsourcing or in-house. However, it is advised that using a combination of them. For instance, a company cannot do whole process by in-house, because everyone cannot be IT specialists, some consultants will be needed. On the other hand, it cannot be 100% outsourced, because some in-house knowledge will be always necessary.

c. Customization Level: should also be managed. The original ERP software can be added some modules or some integration points can be added to combine company’s old software with the new. However, it is costly to upgrade them and to use patchs; therefore, customization should be used only if it is absolutely necessary. Being somewhere in between fully customized system and as-is Implementation; and preferably being closer to As-Is implementation on the continuum is the best.
There is also a second continuum in this dimension. Customization takes place on one side and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) on the other side. If you do not customize, you need to change your own processes and it is better to be close to BPR side of the continuum while using a combination of both.

ASAP (Accelerated ASAP) Methodology includes the following steps:
1. Project Preparation: high level plan is prepared, project team is organized.

2. Business Blueprint preparation: Business processes are defined. FRICE control list is used in this phase (Form, Report, Interface, Conversion & Enhancement)

3. Realization : This step has a heavy workload including unit test (for individual transactions), integration test (testing for coherence among all business processes working together), stress test (to see whether the system can handle full-capacity workload), and support packs- upgrading testing (done after implementation a few times a year to detect bugs in critical cycles). Using simulation tools is recommended in this stress test. The realization phase ends after final-user acceptance is obtained.

4. Final Preparation: Final system rehearsal should be made in this phase and it is better to simulate how you would go-live. Final-system cutover should be decided, meaning a time to go-live should be scheduled to shut down old and to move to the new system. This cutover time should be chosen so that it does not disturb work-flow. For instance, it can be performed at the weekend. In this phase there is possibility of having parallel systems: old and new systems being used together for a certain time period to avoid risk of failure. However, this parallel structure is time-consuming and costly therefore, it should last only for a short period.

5. Go-Live &Support: There is a move from project environment to live production environment in this phase. For the first 1-2 weeks there should be a review of issue log, meaning periodic meetings at the beginning of implementation as status update. Help desk support by super-users should be provided.

6. Continuous Improvement and process reviews should be performed.

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned- Week 4

During the fourth week of the class, we discussed about the new concept of shared leadership, some ERP implementation strategies, and Accelerated SAP implementation methodology.

We learned that there are open source development teams that work on a virtual space without any face-to-face interaction. In these self managing teams, there is this concept called shared leadership and in this new management style, the leadership responsibilities are distributed between the team mates.

Apart from self management teams, we talked about some ERP implementation strategies. Companies can either go with a Big Bang implementation or a Phased Out implementation. Big Bang implementation happens when everybody in the organization goes live at the same time. Phased Out implementation occurs when the company switches to the new system step by step. Although most of the people in the class agreed that Big Bang implementation is better and prefer Big Bang over Phased Out, I still believe that Phased Out is a better approach since it gives time for users/ organizations to get used to the new system. In addition, the organization gains some sort of an expertise in implementing one phase and see what the problems and the difficulties are, so that they can be aware of those difficulties and take corrective action when implementing subsequent phases. Also, I think companies can have a better understanding of their needs after they start the implementation. As the guest speaker, Çiğdem, mentioned, it is like a continuum and companies want to implement more modules as they get into this ERP system. On top of that, the upfront costs in Big Bang are much higher than Phased Out implementation, and can be a burden for most companies. On the other hand, I agree that in Big Bang, the transition period is shorter and it is less painful. But the company has to manage all the problems that arise after it goes live, at the same time, and it may be too difficult to manage all at once. Another drawback of Phased Out is that companies need to create temporary bridges to connect the new system and the old one. But I believe companies need to go through this challenge and show determination during the longer transition period in order to get better results.

We also talked about the strategies in resourcing, whether outsource the staff or allocate in-house staff for the implementation. In order companies to not outsource, they have to have necessary technical skills to implement.

In addition, we talked about customization and how it is difficult to maintain once it is implemented since every customization brings its problems. It is also like a continuum between as-is implementation and full customization, and the optimum would be sticking in the middle by making compromises from your own business processes. In addition, customization is also like a continuum between full customization and BPR for the same reasons.

Another subject we discussed is ASAP- Accelerated SAP methodology, which is a proven and successful approach to implement SAP, and provides content, tools, and expertise from other successful implementations. This method has 5 phases:
• Project preparation- In this phase, the scope of the implementation such as which modules to be implemented are defined.
• Business blueprint- This phase is concerned with the documentation of the business processes and what is going to be implemented. The key deliverable in this phase is FRICE.
• Realization- In this phase, the output from Business Blueprint stage is used to configure the system. During this phase several tests are done to check the individual transactions (unit test), and the means (integration test). Stress testing can also be done with simulation tools.
• Final preparation- This stage is for preparing the organization to go live. In this phase, end-user trainings are completed and the cutover process is defined. (Cutover: Depending on the risk evasiveness of the company, it can run the old system in parallel to the new one or stop the old one and continue with the new one.)
• Go Live & Support- This stage is concerned with after-go-live support. Generally, it is recommended that consultants stay in the company for around 2 more months to resolve issues. Also, in emergency situations, it is important to identify and resolve the critical issues before the others.

Furthermore, there is actually another phase called Continuous Improvement, in which the company reviews its processes periodically and try to improve itself by getting extra support, implementing new modules, etc.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons learned, week 3, Nurcan Bozkaya

The Organizational change management has five initiatives. The OCM is consisted of both the hard (Blueprinting, configuring, client strategy, transports, testing, code changes, more transports, more testing, etc.)and soft stuff (Training, communications, security authorization, super user organization, business process procedures).

Here are the initiatives of the OCM;

· Business Process Procedures: is the documentation process of business. How each transaction is going to used in ERP system? Each documentation processes should be done properly and data should be stored also it should also be easily reachable.

· Communications: Communication is one of the most important part of the OCM. A good communication plan should involve these topics;

§ What is the content/ message?

§ Who is the audience?

§ How do we tell them?

§ What is frequency of the communication?

§ Who will deliver?

§ Where will it come from?

§ When are delivery dates?

· Training: training involves the core team training, management seminar, and end user trainings. The most of the budget which allocated to training is used for end user trainings. The core team training and management seminar tools are being done before the end user training. Also the end user training involves some analysis, their course contents must be developed well, after they deliver the training courses they should have done practices before they go live. Training has also several elements as follows;

· Core team training

· Management “seminar”

· End user training:

o Training needs analysis

o Develop course contents

o Deliver training courses

o After training - practice before go live

· Super User Development: For super user development firstly we should determine the objectives of the super users, and then identify the criteria. Super users has to good communication skills and they should be volunteer. %10 of the end users must be identified as super users. Super users are the links between the core team managers and end users so they know how and where they can get help.

· Security/ Role Development: The role developers role is to determine who will authorized to access the data and how many data that they can access according to the needs of implementation.

Risk Assessment is one of the most necessary element in a project. According to the results of the risk assessment we are going to give colors about how the risk of the project is high and take the precautions to lower the risk or leave off the project.

Risk assessment involves these steps;

1. What is the risk?

2. What is the impact of the?When it happens, what would be the damage?

3. What is the probability of the risk?

4. What is the risk index?

5. Create a mitigation plan

Resistance to change & Culture:

To overcome to change resistance it is very important to give information to the employees about the benefits of the new system. With this way they will be willing to do change management and they will be the part of the change management. Additionally company culture must also be take into the consideration while doing change management in the company. Because of the culture the viewpoints of the organization changes. Company’s culture is formed by the values, behaviors, beliefs and norms (norm means the unspoken rule of the culture) that permeate the group, for example entrepreneurial vs. bureaucratic. And it influences the companies approach and the way that they solve the problem. Also by the customers behaviours affects to companies culture.

Additionally communication is one of the other important way to deal with resistance to change in the organization. With good communication skills people can be convinced about the benefits of the new system and it is also important for understanding the employees needs and satisfy their demands.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons learned, week 4, Cemil Kanat Sarısoy

In the week 4, two styles of implementation attract me significantly and push me thinking on them. They are Bing Bang implementation and Phased implementation. Bing Bang means that a company implements ERP system to all modules at the same time. Surely, it has advantages and disadvantages. It is useful because the company can save time while applying it in one time in a clear cut system. The company can also provide an integration in the company for this change with the concept of a complete motivation equally. That is, everyone can get the psychology of changing and they can understand each other more comfortable while arranging the processes. On the other hand, it can not be useful because it is highly risky and it can cost the company dramatically if it will not be successful at the end. When we come up to the Phased implementation, it can be beneficial because if the company can not achieve, it costs very low. Moreover, the company can learn the stages, necessities and its falses in time and can improve itself in every level. However, it can not be beneficial because it can take very much time and the integration can not be developed over time because of serious differentiations in the company. I think that the decision about selecting the style, company's route, economical situation and long-term purposes are the determinative tools to approach the right result.

I also want to express my ideas in some other subjects for this week. ASAP methodology and its phases are worthy to explain something about them. ASAP name came from SAP and it means Accelareted System Applications and Products in Data Processing. It consists of 5 phases which are project preparation, business blue print, realization, final preparation and go live support. Project preparation is to identify team members and develop strategy as it works. Business blue print help to supply a developed strategy that can give a way to process one or more SAP systems with detailed documentation in a company. Realization works for blue print and it provides to implement all the business process requirements according to fundamentals of blue print phase. Final Preparation means basically end user training. Finally, go live and support is about supporting and optimizing the system.

At last, I want to finish my writting with mentioning on an important part of Yeliz Eseryel's article that is about shared leadership. Shared leadership symbolizes for me a new trend about leadership. In the lesson, Y. Eseryel point out that there are three aspects of Group's life in on going projects. They are task, relationships and individual needs. task is a need of accomplishing the jobs, Relationship is a desire to have a qualified and satisfied relationship environment. Then individual needs mean the psychology of intimacy, individual interests and acceptance in the group. So, if a group always have those compenents and there are appropriate leader characters to those three aspects, the leadership can be shared as to the situation and the kind of the process. As a result, in right time with right leadership characters' effectiveness and its acceptance can form a suitable, efficient and reasonable leading style. I believe that it is a subject that needs to be improved and should be opened more for assessing the real leadership concept in a complete manner with the vital contribution of creative and new thinking styles.

Dear Eseryel and Friends,

Thank you all for this integrated, informative, sincere and kind environment,
My leasons learned was not only restricted with the academic part of the lecture..


Cemil Kanat Sarısoy

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week3

During the third week of the class, we discussed the “soft stuff” and how they can turn into hard stuff in implementing ERP. In order for companies to overcome this problem, we talked about the importance of OCM- Organizational Change Management and its five initiatives.

It is known that around 80% of ERP implementation projects fail, and the reason is not because of the technical stuff but because of the people stuff for the most of cases. For this reason, organizations need to go through a change management program that prepares the company and its staff for the upcoming changes as a result ERP implementation. In this change management program there are five initiatives:

Business Process Procedures- this is the documentation initiative of the processes, i.e. how each transaction is used within the ERP system, to control and store all the business process procedures associated with the implementation. Once this stage is completed, the output can be used in making the training plans.

Training- The most important aspect of this initiative is to be able to address the needs of the trainees. The core team trainings and managerial seminars should be done in the early phase of the implementation. Later on, end users trainings should be made.

Security/ Role Development- This initiative is about identifying transactions for each role and giving authority to those identified. Note that, in this initiative, a help of a supervisor that is from the company is needed in order to consider the future needs of staff.

Super User Development- Super Users are the people within the company who are trained before everybody else in the company. They later are employed in the training of end users and act like an internal consultant during and after the project implementation. The selection of super users should be according to their willingness, whether they are well-respected and influential, whether they are responsible and communicate with others.

Communication- OCM is about encouraging staff to get involved with what’s going on in the company. Therefore, communicating the aim of the project and its benefits to the users is significant. As a result, they are the one who are going to use the new system and probably determine the faith of the newly implemented ERP system. Also note that communication methods should be different for each level in the organization.

We also talked about how to overcome the resistance to change. According to Palmer, there are 7 factors: leading change, creating a shared need, shaping a vision, mobilizing commitment, monitoring progress, finishing the job, and anchoring the change in systems and structures. He recommends companies to measure resistance in the organization by his scoring matrix, and advices that if they find out that their organizations are not ready for change, they should not go for it, and try to improve the situation.

During the class discussions, the following question emerged: What do you think the company should do if he both considers BPR (Business Process Reengineering) to make its processes lean and implement ERP. We concluded that it would be better if he does both at the same time since ERP already includes the best practices and can address the issues regarding optimizing the business processes.

Risk Assessment is another important measurement in implementing ERP. In this evaluation method, the company identifies what the risks are, their impacts, and the probability of it; then they estimate its index and determine how to mitigate those risks.

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 3

In managing the organizational change process it is very critical to overcome resistance to chance. A vision, strategy, goals and initiatives have to be carefully decided on. In addition, to overcome change resistance, employees should be told about how they will benefit from the new system and they should be involved in the change management system before finalizing decisions. The new system should be designed to address their needs and people should be empowered to take responsibility in change.

Organizational Change Management (OCM) involves the search for the answers of what, why, how, who, when and where questions for the ERP Implementation. Although people stuff (training, communications, security authorization, etc..) is misperceived as the soft stuff and technical issues (transporting old data into new system, blueprinting, etc..) as the hard stuff of the OCM, in practice this is not true. It is harder to confront people compared to technical issues and therefore the most important people initiatives should be identified and they should be made priority of OCM. Company culture (which includes values, beliefs and norms) also needs to be taken into consideration while managing the change. For instance, it can be especially harder to convince people on the benefits of change in a conservative/bureaucratic company culture, and issues must be handled with greater care in such an environment.

The 5 initiatives of OCM, which are interrelated and which support each other, can be addressed as following:

1. Training: core team training and management seminar should take place early in the project as an overview. End-user training which takes place later, is more time consuming, detailed and requires preliminary work such as training need analysis and course content development.

2. Communications: the determination of content/message, audience, communication channel (e.g. e-mail, lunch meeting, etc..), frequency, communicator, supporting material developer and messages and objectives constitute the elements of a communications plan. It is usually hard for the end-users to understand and embrace the system before go-live

3. Security/Role Development: the transactions that an end-user is authorized to complete should be determined.

4. Super-user Development: objectives, selection criteria (such as communication skills, being respectable, high knowledge level) should be determined and super-users must be trained. An open channel between super-users and end-users should be created. These super-users become the first contract of end-users in case of a problem. In return, they report key problems to technical analysts, who can ask the issues to business owners. The demand on super-users on the first months is very high and it is hard to estimate demand at that time.

5. Business Process Procedure: BPP should be documented to define the steps on how each transaction is used within the ERP system. This should be done before training process.

Risk Assessment: involves 5 steps which are; risk identification, impact identification, probability determination, risk index (result of impact) and mitigation of the risk (how to deal with risk).

Thought byte: Organizational Politics and Challenges

You are a junior staff member where you work. You are assigned to help with the implementation. You understand what great opportunity this is, but at the same time you are nervous. Having taken this course, you understand the scale of work that is involved. You are not sure how much your bosses understand this whole process.

What are some of the challenges you will face?
What are some of the initiatives you take to make sure you succeed?

Monday, July 26, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons learned, week 3, Cemil Kanat Sarısoy

Organizational change management creates a great impact on me in the week 3. To begin with its functions, change management provides to overcome resistance to change while trying to form a shared vision and a shared goal. It helps the company that workers understand the purpose and benefits of the company more consciously and from different aspects. Security role development, communication, super user development, training and business process management are the tools of change management that can apply a complete change management strategy. Ok, system seems durable, the tools are reasonable and it is manifest. However, the actual success is comprehending and solving the individuals' and cultures' effects about resistance to change. According to me change management should be handled importantly from that side of the subject for a long term, efficient and effective implementation. we have 5 compenents of Organizational Change Management as I mentioned at the top. "Communication and training" are highly critical to reflect the positive change perspective on the people. especially, a successful communication provides persuasing and it means a change voluntarily. In fact, according to some aspects about change manegement, "Change management=Communication" and I also think that communication is not only strategic but also psychological and those make it a useful and encouraging enforcement to smooth the norms mainly. Surely, communication has some opportunity costs, logistic costs and consulatancy hours cost but communication should be understood as highly essential implementation and a company shouldn't be very much strict about the cost policy of its communication plan.

As I mentioned, training part interests me significantly and I believe its great necessity as a compenent of organizational change management. training is like a reaction, it spreads. Firstly, consultants try to convince the General Manager and HR Manager why change management is a need and giv information about how it is managed. Secondly, Core Team which consists of HR manager, Marketing manager, Congress operations manager, IT head, Accounting Finanace manager, Procurement head.. Training is provided by consultants to Core Team about how to implement a change management and how will intervene it if there is a problem. Finally, End Users learned how to use the interface of the program from Super Users and Consultants. (Super Users are the people in the company who is skilled about the application of the systems.)

Risk Assessment is another important subject to point out for the 3. week. You sent us some questions about the 10 modules that want to be implement in a company has places in Ankara, İstanbul, Azerbejan and Russia. I think that it can be perfect to express my thoughts about risk analysis for a company. If we form an excellent risk assessment table, we can draw our way more clearly because when we analyse truly our Risk we can also notice company's specific sights manifestly. So, lack of a risk assessment, a company looks like a road without directions.

In conclusion, I want to share my feelings about my team for this week. we work together for the ERP presentation about change management and we compose and develop a team spirit with the concepts of patience, kindness, respect and friendship while being shared leaders and being highly informed.

Thank You Peter, Gün, Nurcan and Me.. :)
Thank You Dear Eseryel.. :)

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 3, Gun Gokmen

Week 3 started with the concept of change management.

  • As an introduction, we started with the source of resistance: why do people resist to changes in their workplaces, and we talked about some instances. A salesman, for example resists to an ERP system because entering the information to the system requires time, which can be traced to lost sales eventually. Or they may not want to share their sales or customer information with the others. There ale solutions to this problem, like communicating and convincing them that the system will benefit them eventually, and to show them how to get benefit from the system as a tool. Or these people could be given incentives to use the system.
  • Norm is a culture, which is not written. This affects the change efforts.
  • The change management also involves trainings for different levels in a company: Core team training, management seminar, end user training. I used to give end user trainings and remember my hard times because of the resistance of the users. They looked forward to seeing some problems with the software and not to use it. I learned that training the trainers sessions I've once attended was a mean of change management concept.
  • Business process reengineering makes business processes leaner.
  • Do biz process optimization or ERP implementation first? Best to do hand in hand, but getting ERP before could be better because ERP already provides "best practices"
  • Business process procedures (BPP): documents to define steps in processes. They also represent the actual business processes of a company because ERP processes REPLACE the old processes. A good transactional document also includes clues of the actual process.
  • The Silo Problem: Departments working distinctly of each other, doing their own work and "throwing off the wall" But they should work together.

Then we did Risk Assessment and analysis

  • 1. identify the risk 2. identify impact 3. identify probability 4. Risk index 5. Find its mitigation
  • Risks: technical or related to people
  • We did an example of network down for a day... Red index.
  • Risk assessment can be used as a project management tool. Could be done monthly, twice a year, in the phases of a project, etc.

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 3, Rostislav Smolin


One of most valuable assets to an ERP project is sponsorship. Project managers must involve and support sponsors from day one. Even a seemingly successful implementation can be halted if sponsors lose their influencein the company, so project team must inform executives about project successes allowing sponsors to maintain and grow their pro-ERP coalition.

Next in order of importance is the communication with the core team. These people will, hopefully, work long and stressful hours to make the implementation happen. They need to be trained, supports and informed about flow of the project.

End users training can be the most expensive item on the OCM budget, depending on the number of people trained. Effective training schedule can minimize costs as courses are grouped in related topics.

One important aspect of OCM is mitigating the risks associated with company culture. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast every day”, and sometimes cultural and structural changes in the company must be implemented in parallel with ERP.

ERP specialists can backup themselves politically by timely informing management of arising risks. The usual way to present risk is to follow risk, impact, probability and mitigation sequence.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 3, Derya Kaya

Organizational Change Management (OCM)
Organizational Change Management (OCM) refers to series of initiatives to prepare your organization and the individuals for changes.
Individuals' behaviours in the organization are Soft Stuff but always end up as "Hard Stuff"

How to overcome resistance?

  • Show people how they can benefit from it?
  • Involve the people ("The intention is to empower organizations and individuals [to take] responsibility for their own future". Hemamalini Suresh, Ittoolbox)
  • Understand their needs and meet them through the new system
OCM- Five Initiatives

Includes the training of all levels in the organization. These are core team trainings, management seminars and end user trainings. Core team training is about the overview of the functionality. Management seminar is about the overview of the system. End user training is about the business processes and the steps of the transactions. Department managers (Functional managers) could be trainers for the end users. Because they can answer to functional questions too. Before this they should receive the training named 'training of the trainer'.
Communication that we need for each level. We need to decide this and make a communication plan. Communication is very important to involve the people in the organization.
Security/Role Development:
For the groups of users in each functional area, we need to identify each transaction for each role. It is necessary to consider "what they do now" and "what they will do". And security authorization levels for each user role must be constructed.
Super User Development:
Super User Organization should be develop and be trained as Super Users. Super User training includes each of the transactions, how to get from one screen to other, and a list of business procedures
. For each training, we should have some strategic points like: 'Why are we doing this?', Why is it good? ...
Business Process Procedures:
It is about How to document, control the business processes. We should document the business procedures as part of implementation and provide them as part of end user training. After documentation we need to create an easy access for end users. For instance, this could be by intranet.

Risk Assessment:
Risk assessment is important method to seek the risks and to take preventive actions through the implementation. It is consist of five steps:
1. Identify the risk
2. Identify the impact of the risk
3. Identify the probability of the risk
4. Calculate the risk index (impact*probability)
5. Create a mitigation plan (reduce/eliminate the risk)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lessons Learnt - Week 3

ERP Week 3 – Change management
“Changes that fail usually do so because of human, not technical,
reasons” – Brien Palmer
Organisational Change Management (OCM) is a set of initiatives to prepare a business for a significant change, such as an ERP implementation. OCM encompasses both the hard (technical) changes and the soft (people) changes.

So how do we know if a business is ready for change?

Palmer recommends a 7 step model to minimise this risk. The model is designed to be used as a self-check score card for change management. The company should assess itself on each of the criteria, and if it is not adequately prepared, the change or new implementation should be delayed or scrapped.

Palmer’s 7-Step Model:
  1. Leading Change – the initiative needs a champion/sponsor with access to resources
  2. Creating a Shared Need – the reason, need, and drive for change must be shared throughout the organisation.
  3. Shaping a Vision – the desired outcome of change must be widely understood and shared
  4. Mobilising Commitment – there must be a strong commitment from all key constituents
  5. Monitoring Progress – benchmarks need to be set and realised
  6. Finishing the Job – once the change is in motion, ongoing learning and skill transfer needs to be implemented
  7. Anchoring the Change in Systems and Structures – systems such as Audits, performance reviews, IT and ERP, should be used to reinforce the change.
Palmer’s list is also an instructional to-do list for businesses; it’s a guide for the business as to how it can prepare for change.

Key elements of OCM:

Training: this includes training all levels of the company, from the Core Team, to Management and finally, the End Users. It is critical that the needs of each level are fully understood, and that training is administered in the most effective way for each audience.
Communications: In OCM, managing communications is about keeping all relevant parties informed as much, or as a little, as is necessary. The purpose of this is not just for reporting, but also to help create the “shared vision” as discussed by Palmer.
Security and Role Development: The most important role of OCM here is to understand each user’s before-implementation and after-implementation needs, and to ensure that they have the access to complete their old and new duties.
Super Users: To help ensure a successful implementation, super users should be selected and trained carefully. These people should be natural change agents in the organisation; their influence and leadership will help minimise resistance to change.
Business Process Procedures: in this area, the OCM team needs to make sure business processes are properly documented, stored appropriately, and easily accessible. The documentation should capture the transactional process as well as the core business process – this will help users to better understand why they are performing a particular business procedure, now just how to perform it.

Culture vs. Strategy

All elements of the change management plan should be tailored around a company’s culture. The OCM team must recognise the existing culture and adapt the elements of the change plan to foster an inquisitive culture. If this is achieved, employees will seek out learning, they will ask questions, and they will take responsibility for their own actions.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is an essential element of any project or major implementation. This process for assessing risks is as follows
  • What is the risk?
  • What is the likely impact?
  • What is the probability of the event occurring?
  • Calculate the risk index
  • Create a mitigation plan
Risks that score high on the risk index must take priority. If possible, the ‘expected cost’ of each risk event should be calculated and a mitigation plan created accordingly.

Friday, July 23, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Thought Byte, Cemil Kanat Sarısoy

We want to establish an ERP system, we have 10 modules that want to be formed, and we have 4 places that are in Ankara, in İstanbul, in Azerbejan and in Russia. According to my way of thinking, firstly, the company should start applying the system from the main places in Ankara and in İstanbul with the help of a careful, informative and controlled manner. But, all modules in case should be applied at the same time in terms of combining and dealing with different departments. Then, the departments will get used to comprehend the system while integrating with works and each other. Thus, modules can improve equally, timely, comparably and apparently. On the other hand, there can be some correlation and time usage problems in the company and it means complexity and "out of control". That is, processes rearrangement as to the new ERP system can be easier, more useful and more reasonable in terms of feasibility.

After catching durability with the system in Ankara and in İstanbul, and if the results' efficiency and effectiveness make sense in short-term and it seems hopeful and returnable in the long-term, the company must think about bringing the ERP system in Azerbejan and in Russia also.

It will be very useful to point out that there are some hidden parameters exist for whole subject.. For example, are the operation styles similar in Russia and in Azerbejan according to Turkey? How training and implementation will be supplied in different cultures? How is the perspective to the change in Turkey, in Russia and in Azerbejan? Do the company really need an ERP system or does it really need an ERP system in foreign country? and does it really need all the modules? In fact, how is the works in Ankara and in İstanbul? which is the center? do they similar?

In conclusion, I made my comments according to my "imaginative company" standards. I imagine some companies such as Borusan and Efes Pilsen.. Then my ideas based on those at the first paragraph. In other circumstances, a company should masterly answer the questions that I asked in the second paragraph. Yes, ERP is an excellent technology. It provides you an integrated and complete way of working atmosphere efficiently, but if you decide its size, its cost, its necessities and its application techniques perfectly, appropriately and timely.

A Thought Byte from Yeliz - Which Implementation Strategy?

Hi All,
Here is a scenario I would like you to think about.

You are implementing an ERP system in a global company which has offices in Turkey (Ankara, and Istanbul (Headquarters), Azerbaycan and Russia. You want to implement about 10 modules.

How would you implement? Would you implement only one module first and then the rest of the modules? Would you implement in one location first? If so which one? Would you implement all modules at the same time? in all countries at the same time?

Let me know what you think by posting comments. Tell me why you choose the alternative you choose (what are the benefits and disadvantages of the alternative you choose?)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons learned, week 2, Cemil Kanat Sarısoy

Enterprise architecture affected me mostly in the second week.. Especially, the connection and meaningfulness between the ERP and EA makes sense on me.. Yeliz Eseryel and Nancy Wolf's "Enterprise Architecture as a context for ERP implementation" article about the EA and its relationships with ERP, in addition to Mr. Scott's EA cube enlights the situation for me in an excellent manner. The article expresses that Enterprise Architecture has theoritacally and methodologically roots in strategic, Business and technology planning. Even this definition we can easily comprehend that EA should have much correlations with ERP. Then, it has. EA includes informations, applications, infrasutructure, products and services. it is integrated with the concepts of database, ERP modules, data translation, strategic goals and infrasutructure that ERP is consisted.

EA is a perfect tool to discover your ERP system's usefulness or which ERP system can be useful for the company. In terms of proccessing the change management, EA and ERP works for you together positively. So it supports you twice. Consequently, I think that, EA is a good friend and supporter of ERP.

Relevantly, if it is essential to point out the Organizational Change Management, I can firstly express its components: Security/role development, communications, Super user development, training and business process management and improvement.. As it seems, it is about an organized strategy and development in different modules which emphasize on occuring an efficient and effective skill upgrading management systems for different types of corporations.

Finally, for this week, I want to mention shortly about some analysis that are the strongest ways to implement your ERP system. Those are SWOT analysis and GAP analysis. SWOT means STRENGTHES, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS.. The SWOT helps you to define your strategy and your real purposes.. GAP analysis is in case give you an opportunity to be conscios about the organizations actual performance in return to potential performance.. It is perfect for the usage of knowing about industrial and market potential..

Cemil Kanat Sarısoy, week 2 comments

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons learned, week 1, Cemil

ERP(Entrprise Resorce Planning) is a system and it can be simply defined as complete and integrated applications which is related to the modules, such as finance, accounting, sales and etc.. The term comes from MRP (Meterial Requirements Planning). Actually, there were two MRP systems: MRP1 and MRP2( HUMAN AND ECONOMIC APPLICATIONS also addes as to MRP1) ERP2 is in case a more skilled system manner which includes CRM(Customer Relationship Management) and BI(Business Inteligence) as to MRP1 and MRP2. Relevantly, if it is necessary to express BI: provides reportings for logical and designed DM(Decision Making) for its users. After explaining BI, it will be useful to point out Datamining. It is the process of extacting patterns in a great amount of data partials. and it converts this complexity to a reasonable information. When we come up to the point of why ERP is useful and offerable, we can easily say that it makes corporates and people more fast, more focused and more organized. Those Positive things have also some costs surely such as training, licensing, consulting and etc..

Another important points about the first week is about SAP (Systems Applications Products). SAP is one of the most durable and significant player of the market which established in 1972 to form a real time business data system. It has a lot of ındustry specific solution systems. For instance, in aerospace, defence, automative, banking, media, insurance sectors.. Then, it has modules on finance, controlling, meterials management, production planning, human resource, sales and distribution, customer service, production lifecycle management, project systems and etc.. SAP is a system that is appropriate for medium and large size corporations which need a detailed and powerful ERP system. However, there are some other kinds of ERP systems that is useful and meaningful for small types of corporations in terms of cost and easy procedures.. A company should carefully decide that it needs an Open Source, Small Size or Large Size system to apply it in an excellent manner..

Some other key words and symbols which not mentioned at the top of week 1:
DB (database)
CRM (customer relationship management)
GIGO (garbage in garbage out)

Cemil Kanat Sarısoy, Week 1 comments

Monday, July 19, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 2, Rostislav Smolin

Back in yearly 2000s when the demand for ERP consulting in Russia was high my future employer, now a leading consulting company, would walk away from projects in which the client could not clearly define the (strategic) objectives of implementation. This tactics allowed the company to maintain a perfect project success rate (although as we have learned in class, the success itself is rather subjective). If you are an outside consultant, or a company employee, remembering that “no is always a possible answer” is good to keep the options open.

There are good reasons to implement ERP (business growth, increased complexity, improving financial control) and good reasons not to (high cost, resistance to change, insufficient staff, strategic misalignment).

Resistance to change is almost always an issue. I remember meeting a colleague on a parallel implementation project and ask him which stage of they are on. “Sabotage” – he answered rater casually. Employee age, in my experience, is not a defining factor: I’ve seen old inefficient government owned firms embrace change with enthusiasm, and young and seemingly dynamic companies create political barriers to implementation.

If the organization processes grow complex and diverse Enterprise Architecture framework can be employed (in parallel with ERP) to understand how organization functions and how processes can be improved. Since 1987 when John Zachman introduced his framework many alternatives appeared; some were developed specifically for the needs of government organizations, others are for use in business companies.

Typically, analysis on EA is done in context of following components: Goals and Initiatives, Products and Services, Data and Information, Systems and Applications and Networks and Infrastructure. The process is repeated for each business unit of a company.

Business problems that can be solved with either ERP or EA may have similarities. Given that implementation of wither ERP or EA requires significant resources, a choice can be made between the two by carefully analyzing business requirements.

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 2, Derya Kaya

Why would a company has an ERP System?
The reasons could be one or more of the followings:
  • Growth in the company
  • To be able to handle the load
  • To have higher complexity
  • Opportunity to improve the business processes
  • To reduce costs
  • To increase financial control
The reasons above could be initiative to implement ERP but it's very important ERP to be a strategic decision.

Why not ERP?
  • Resistance to change
  • High integration&development costs
  • Strategy of the company and ERP are not in line with each other
What is Success for ERP Implementation?
If you meet the requirements, meet the budget, and meet the timeline: YOUR IMPLEMENTATION IS SUCCESSFUL!

What are the Tools on deciding if ERP is a solution or not?
  • SWOT Analysis: An analysis is done from nternal and external aspects of the company. SW (Strenghts, Weakness) are internal to company, OT (Opportunities, Threats) are external to company.
  • GAP Analysis: Shows the situation about 'Where you are (AS-IS)' and 'Where you want to be (TO-BE)'. ERP is one of the tools that helps you on 'how you get there'
What is Enterprise Architecture (EA)?
EA includes the Strategy, Business and Technology Perspective and is a framework. The whole idea behind EA is strategic decions.

Comparing EA and ERP
  • EA is a framework; ERP is a system
  • EA is a tool for strategic planning; ERP mainly provides system integration
  • Both EA and ERP requires top down support in the organization.
  • Both EA and ERP requires 'Change Management Plan'
  • ERP includes Super User Development in the Change Management; but EA does not need it.
What is the Content of Change Management?
  • Training (How would the job be done?)
  • The documentation of the Business Process Procedures (How you go to each transactions? What is the relationship between the business transactions? etc.)
  • Communications (How do you communicate with executives, regular employees, project team? Will you have an intranet page, posters...? etc.)
  • Super User Development (Identifying the super users, training them, and supporting them) (Super User/Power User: Assigned people from the organization from the area that he is knowledgeable. The main goal for using 'super users' in the change management process is to have them as internal consultant. Super users are trained before the others in the organization.
  • Security/Role Development
What kind of Change Management actions could we use for EA?
EA does trigger change in the organization. Therefore there is need to have Change Management Plan for it.
Here are the change management actions for EA:
  • Business Process Documentation
  • Communication
  • Training
  • Role Development