According to a 2014 Business Process Management Report produced by Panorama Consulting (available here)
“Organizations that effectively define and document business process improvements as part of their enterprise software initiatives are much more likely to complete their projects on-time and on-budget…. [and] are more likely to receive the business benefits that they expect from their ERP systems.”
Panorama lists three reasons why business process reengineering is sometimes overlooked (and then list 3 things you can do about it):
- Business process reengineering (or Business Process Analysis) appears to cost more time and money – at least on paper. After all, if we configure and implement ERP software without spending time to analyze (and change our processes), won’t the implementation go faster?
- Less experienced implementers defer to the ERP software to deliver business process improvements. This, Panorama points out, is like the “easy button.” The software is so robust, surely it will fix all our problems, right? In fact, the complexity can be overwhelming, and will cost you a lot more money if your processes aren’t well-defined before you design and build the phases of your implementation.
- Too many organizations think that they will simply start with a clean slate and throw out their old business processes. The truth is, you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. Sure, some of your old processes may be outdated or inefficient. But don’t neglect those things that have made you successful. Your people need to be trained in a way that connects your “future state” business processes to how things are being done currently. Here, communication and training become key.
Panorama then provides 3 tips to help ensure that your team avoids these pitfalls:
- Don’t forget to address both your current and future business processes. Identify the gaps between current and future state and ensure employees understand what is changing, and how.
- Begin defining business process improvements prior to your ERP implementation. (At our firm, we always start here. That Business Process Analysis is the critical first step – it builds the roadmap for the ERP implementation and all that follows.)
- Use your reengineered business processes as the foundation for your organizational change management and training strategy. Document and communicate to all persons what’s changed, how it’s changed, and how things work in the future. It’s all about training and communication. Whatever you do – don’t ignore these critical elements.
Just like Panorama, our long experience bears out their very good advice. Take it to heart.