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One of my favorite books is The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein. The book details the psychological and cultural aspects of societies in relation to systematic change. According to the author, it is extremely difficult to impose systematic cultural and economic changes within a society without profound “shock and awe” or some sort of significant event following the implementation of sweeping changes. Running the risk of oversimplifying the tactical roadmap Ms. Klein lays out in the book, the idea of “shock and awe” is that there has to be a profound event in which members of a society set aside current beliefs or traditions, whatever they may be, and accept the implementation of a radically different economic system with “eyes wide open” in order to achieve the desired benefit realization of the given theory. While Ms. Klein references many instances of historical global economic events, a thought-provoking parallel certainly can be applied to successful ERP implementations.

ERP implementations in large domestic or international organizations are arguably one of the hardest technical and organizational change initiatives that a corporation can embark on. If an ERP system on this scale has a chance of being implemented correctly (i.e., realizing the largest possible amounts of desired benefits), there has to be a significant shift in how employees look at and process the act of “doing business.”

At Panorama, we’ve created our own “shock and awe” in the form of an exercise called Executive ERP Boot Camp. Our consultants provide this service for an organization prior to an ERP implementation to lay to rest the status quo. Leveraging the sobering notion that it’s a flip of a coin if an ERP implementation will be successful (as detailed in our 2012 ERP Report), we draw a direct parallel from Ms. Klein in explaining that if the perceived benefits of a new ERP system are to be achieved there has to be acceptance from the highest level that significant changes are going to have to transpire prior to implementation. This is a cornerstone of any organizational change management program and thus we take great measures to ensure that the executive team understands that business process management is a sweeping change that has to happen before the software is rolled out on any scale.

So what is business process management and how does it relate to ERP software? Simply put, business process management entails business process mapping, business process improvement and business process optimization. At Panorama, the output of business process management is what we call an ERP business blueprint or roadmap for how an ERP system will most effectively enable the organization to realize the maximum possible benefits. During the process of creating and adopting this blueprint, business processes, roles and responsibilities from top to bottom of the organization, and the strategy behind resource allocation are all evaluated and refined.

While business process management is a monumental and stressful undertaking for any organization, an ERP implementation should be attempted once and only once the business is prepared to effectively and efficiently receive the software.

Panorama provides personalized on-site ERP Boot Camps for our clients as well as three-day Boot Camp training sessions in Denver for all interested parties. Find out more about our next ERP Boot Camp, which will be held September 12, 13 and 14.

Written by Jason Henritze-Hoye, Senior ERP Consultant at Panorama Consulting Solutions.