The implementation or upgrade of an enterprise financial and/or HR system (commonly called ERP) is a significant technology change. There are several measurable reasons for doing so; such as technology obsolescence, maintenance or support costs, and functional requirements.
However, the investment required to change the technology provides the greatest return of benefit when business processes are streamlined and optimized during an ERP implementation project. Certainly, today’s software technology design includes so-called “industry best practices”. While this is true, often the software technology can be configured to suit individual organizational needs. These needs include workflow, reporting, organizational culture and other unique attributes of any enterprise.
The companies with 20/20 vision at the start of the change journey are those that will travel well and arrive at the destination of successful, profitable benefit from the project. Well-executed strategic visioning mitigates the risks of initiating changes that sacrifice past experience, significant sunk costs, employee morale, and the company’s internal sense of identity.
For a time, the approach to software implementation and configuration was Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). The idea was to start with a clean slate, look at the end objective of the process, and then redesign from the ground up, creating a “process revolution.”
Business Process Transformation (BPT) is an end-to-end methodology to create the best fit of software functionality with the unique needs and processes of the enterprise. This means an evolution, not a revolution. The BPT process involves six steps within our overall implementation methodology:
1. Establish the vision, a clearly articulated description of the desired future state of the enterprise; we document measurable objectives and strategies as part of our Strategic Visioning (SV) exercises.
2. Documentation of the current (As-is) process and workflow; for this we utilize our Brown Paper Process (BPP) documentation technique
3. Identifying where and how the new software can enhance the performance of the process, and defining the future workflow utilizing the new software (To-be).
4. Development of business process scripts or scenarios utilizing the Conference Room Pilot (CRP) technique
5. Integration testing and User Acceptance Testscripts are iterative refinements of the CRP scripts.
6. End user training maximizes the ability of the end users to understand and utilize the new system is the ultimate focus for project success. Implementation teams need to develop an end user training matrix at the planning stage of the project. How many users? Who are they? When do they need the training? What facilities will be required? Then develop customized training materials utilizing educationally sound training techniques and methods template.
Following the steps above will require some effort. The reward will be commensurate with it.