Friday, July 30, 2010

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.

1 comment:

Cheapermobiles said...

Thanks a lot, i would like request you to provide more informations. I am working in ERP Software Developers Chennai