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During an ERP implementation, one of the best ways to obtain buy-in from employees is to involve them in business process reengineering efforts. More specifically, organizations should more effectively involve managers in ERP implementations by designating them “process owners.”

Because executives sometimes make decisions without management input and processes often cross multiple functional areas, managers may not feel like they really “own” their business processes. Designating a manager as a new process owner, however, can have great benefits for your organization and your ERP implementation.

  • Alignment – Process owners should be responsible for managing business processes in their own department as well as cross-functionally. Their cross-functional expertise and communication skills will allow them to build consensus and alignment among departments on which processes are important and how each process can be improved. Process owners can also increase alignment by leading organizational change management discussions and explaining how changes will affect everyone’s jobs.
  • Accountability – Process owners can increase accountability among end-users and departments by setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and using these metrics to continually monitor organizational and individual progress. When organizational performance and system use is monitored and reported back, everyone involved is more motivated to adhere to new business processes and avoid workarounds.
  • Continuous Improvement – When process owners set KPIs and make performance visible, organizations are encouraged to stay in a mindset of continuous improvement where business processes are changed and transformed as the organization grows and business needs evolve.

Process owners should be involved in process improvement from the beginning of an ERP implementation. They should understand the business case and be able to track the achievement of business benefits throughout the project. As managers who experience the pain of broken and inefficient processes on a daily basis, process owners can lend a unique perspective to an ERP project and their leadership can encourage end-users to continually embrace change.

Learn more by downloading Chapter Six of An Expert’s Guide to ERP Success.

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