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.


Anonymous said...

Enterprise architecture is not a tool. It has many tools and Zachman is just one theoretical model that may be used to work through a problem space. Executives are leveraging enterprise architecture as a strategic differentiator to enabler stable transformation

Enterprise architecture enables the design and implementation of the structures that link an organization’s strategy with its execution. This vital link captures the organizational strategy as blueprints that include enough guidance and detail for the various parts of the organization to execute while facilitating collaboration and innovation. Enterprise Architects use specialized practices to determine where the company is today, scenarios for where it will be tomorrow, and they provide roadmaps that lead from one stage in the journey to the next:

Long -Term: Where are we going?

The Enterprise Architect (as a strategist) provides long term stability to ensure strategies are clear:
• Creating the operating model and transformation plans
• Developing strategic technology plan
Near-Term: How will we make sure we stay on track?

The Enterprise Architect (as a tactician) facilitates near-term efficiency by ensuring the operating model is flexible:
• Increasing executive awareness of technical and operational issues
• Managing technical risk associated with new and updated technology
• Determining measures for performance and responsiveness

Continuum: How do we get there in the most efficient and effective manner - without damage?

The Enterprise Architect, (fully empowered) manages the architecture and governance through operational excellence and risk mitigation
• Structuring governance, at the enterprise level
• Ensuring that technical solutions align with fiduciary responsibilities

How do Enterprise Architects lead a strategy of improving business results? Answer: By formalizing the enterprise's architecture, driving structural innovations, and overseeing investments in change! The Enterprise Architect serves as a point of differentiation and contributes to your executive team by ensuring that the organization and the operation strategies are clear and in alignment; assuring that the operating model is flexible enough for work to be done across the organization.

Cheapermobiles said...

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