“Action is easy. Thought is hard.” – Goethe, Wilhelm Meister
There’s no question that an ERP software selection and implementation project is daunting. But as daunting as it is, once it’s decided upon as a course of action, many organizations want to roll their sleeves up and jump in. Their initiative and gusto is great. The problem is the fact that, as Goethe noted, jumping in is the easy part; actually thinking about what the business needs, how it works, how it should improve and how an ERP system is going to support all of its operations is the hard part. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking to spend millions on a new ERP system; it’s not very exciting or nerve-wracking to complete due diligence about your own business. But it is that due diligence of figuring out how exactly a business is designed and structured – as well as how it should be designed and structured to maximize both efficiency and profits – that ultimately determines an ERP system’s success.
So, where to begin? How does one even start to map out the architecture of a business?
Panorama has defined a number of steps one must take to build an ERP business blueprint. In a best case scenario, these steps should begin before talks with ERP vendors so that the organization has a clear idea of its needs prior to being bombarded with all the possibilities available in modern enterprise systems. By taking the time to define the processes, roles, teams and plans necessary to a smart ERP implementation, organizations also will put themselves at an advantageous position at the bargaining table. Think about it this way: the more you know about your requirements, the more you’ll be able to tell if an ERP system is actually the right fit or if the sales rep is just blowing smoke to close the deal and you’ll have to embark on a lengthy and costly customization initiative to make it work.
At the very least, an organization’s “blueprint to do” list should include the following tasks:
- Define business process workflows, identify areas for improvement, and start implementing process changes
- Develop a detailed implementation project plan, including scope, activities, milestones, and resources
- Define roles and responsibilities in the new ERP system environment
- Define a business benefits realization plan, including KPIs and performance improvements
- Establish the project core team, project charter, and project controls
To find out more about how to embark upon business process design for your organization, call Panorama. We are available for hourly consultations as well as longer engagements.