Wednesday, August 04, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons learned, Week 4, Derya Kaya

ERP Implementation Strategy
Big Bang and Phased Implementation
  • Big bang: There is focus in the organization. It is needed to take too much attention Phased: Phased implementation doesn't take too much attention.
  • Big bang: It provides integrity; because all the modules are implemented together. Phased: In case of conflict, it is necessary to go back to old system. Because each module is implemented separetely.
  • Big bang: Huge change might be difficult to handle with
  • Phased: There is learning and the first one will help to second round.
Staff/Resources (Outsourcing/In-house)
  • It should be get consultants for their expertise but ERP experts should be kept for in-house support. (after go live)
Customization Level
Customization level should be decided well before customize the system. If it is strongly needed to customize, then it should be done. Because everything you customize, you change yourself. It is not easy to handle very much customization. Customization brings higher implementation and maintenance costs including more time with itself.

In the new leadership approach, the important thing is 'extending the pie not sharing the pie.' There are two kinds of leadership behaviours: Task Oriented Leadership and Relationship Oriented Leadership. In addition to those terms, it was interesting to learn that at this era, the leaders were just showing themselves without being pointed as leader, and they had different points for leadership. They did not have all the leadership features but they had some of them. Therefore, it could help to create value in the organizations more than before.

ASAP Methodology (Accelarated SAP)
ASAP methodology has five phases:
  • Phase 1- Project Preparation (Obejctives, key activities, key deliverables should be defined)
  • Phase 2- Business Blueprint (Business process documentation) (This could be old documentation+ BPR)
  • Phase 3- Realization (Unit tests, Integration test, Stress Testing)
  • Phase 4- Final Preparation
  • Phase 5- Go Live&Support (The new system is active and post-implementation support is provided) (Parallel processing is good way to survive on crashes if something goes wrong; but the disadvantage is double maintain and it is costly.)
!The organizations should always think about continuous improvement. It should be asked to consultant: 'What other functions there are that could be useful?

Monday, August 02, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 4, Gun Gokmen

Leadership Behaviors and Perception in Self-Managing Virtual Teams

  • Leadership are two distinct concepts. We discussed the differences of each other.
  • Our project teams sre examples of "Self-Managing Virtual Teams" (SMV) Leadership is more challenging here, since there is no defined leader and one should grab it himself.
  • The important point is that, what people observe is behaviors. Two concepts here: task-oriented (getting work done) and relationship oriented (knowing who knows what, directs you to the right person; for example our department secretary).
  • IBM Sametime is a similar program to Teamviewer
  • Emergent leadership: becoming a leader later, emerging yourself.

Guest Speaker: ERP Implementation in FNSS Defense Industries

  • Cigdem came to talk, she's an HR specialist in the company.
  • FNSS had MRP systems before, making one think that change would be easier. But turned out to be not, end user resistance was high.
  • The selected ERP system was IFS from Sweden for its flexibility and defense industry experience. (FNSS's designs changed frequently, was doing engineer-to-order) They went live on May 2009
  • The most important thing is a dedicated team for implementation.
  • It was expected 8 months, but turned out to be 13 months.
  • the biggest problem with HR process was the organization chart. The relations were very hard to link, it took3 months.
  • Choosing consultants is very important. "You have to love them, you spend too much time with them. They shoould be flexible, should know empathy."
  • The benefits of the system won't be well understood until 18 months after implementation.
  • According to Cigdem, it is not good to change everything at once, go one by one.
  • 2 important points: Customization is expensive, master data cannot be changed.

The Lecture:

  • Cost ingredients for Cisco: software, hardware, integration, headcount. The biggest cost was integration at Cisco.
  • We should be prepared to pay twice the budget we estimated.
  • Three trade-offs in ERP implementation:
  • big-bang vs. phased (roll out) implementation
  • outsourcing vs. in-housing staff and resources (cannot do full in-house, must outsource to some extent)
  • high vs. low customization level (must be closer to implementing as is. )
  • Also there is customization vs. business process reengineering. (changing the company for the program)
  • We also talked about Accelerated SAP methodology and support pack upgrade.
  • Realization: unit test - you only test ones that are critical.
  • Final system cutover: switch from old to new system. Old system is shut off. It can also go in parallel for some time, but is more costly and time consuming.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons learned, week 4, Rostislav Smolin

Three big considerations must be taken into account in ERP implementation:
- Big Bang or Phased Implementation: Big Bang (all at once) minimizes risks of integration issues at a higher cost. Phased Implementation (one by one) allows real options on each stage, allowing managers to “pull the plug” if the project goes the wrong way and minimize losses, but at increased integration risks.
- Outsource / In-house: Outsourcing may lower need for internal resources but increase dependency on outside consultants. In-house may increase dependency on key personnel if, for example, no succession plans are in place or knowledge management is not facilitated.
- Customization Level: Higher customization mean higher implementation and maintenance costs. If possible, customization must be kept to the minimum, while satisfying business needs and retaining sponsor support.

All three considerations are in continuous. For example, in one company big bang may be used for financial module, but production is implemented factory by factory.

One of popular SAP implementation methodologies meant to minimize costs and risks is ASAP. It contains 5 stages: project preparation, business blueprint, realization, final preparation and go live & support. Continuous improvement can be considered as 6th phase.

Leadership behaviors exist in real as well as virtual teams. Leaders manifest themselves in communication (babble hypothesis) as well as activity (activity hypothesis). To be perceived as leaders, participants must exhibit communication and work activity. Temporal lag exists in the process, and perceived leaders exhibit leadership behavior over a period of time. However, perceived leaders exhibit less than half of all leadership activity in the team, because the whole team participates in the process.