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As a Senior Consultant focused on ERP software selection and organizational change management, I have been working with a fascinating client over the past year.  After completing the initial ERP software selection project, Panorama is now helping the organization prepare for a massive transformation.  Not only are they transitioning from an old ERP system to a new ERP package, they are also performing simultaneous system upgrades and infrastructure changes.

With each new client there is always the challenge of learning the company dynamic.  In this case, as I learn more about the company, I have been surprised by the amount of ineffective policy and procedure required by employees on a day-to-day basis.

What is the Purpose of a Policy or Procedure?

  • Provide structure to tasks and the organization
  • Provide consistency to tasks and the organization
  • Promote efficiency of tasks and the organization

The amount of time that employees spend on policy and procedure has created numerous workarounds, and identifiably taken away from any true productive task at hand.  I almost always observe employee frustration after filling out multiple forms just to get help desk support on a seemingly simple task.

How Can You Decide When Policies and Procedures are Becoming Counterproductive?

  • Review why policies and procedures were created in first place and decide if they are still valid
  • Be aware of unproductive tasks that have potential for improvement
  • Quantify the time and money spent on seemingly unproductive time consuming tasks

What Can You do to Mitigate the Problem?

  • Empower employees to make decisions
  • Become an advocate for change
  • Design policies that are focused on getting work done, not slowing it down

Become aware of ineffective policies or procedures around you and take the necessary action to mitigate them.  The more policies and procedures are put into place, the less employees feel accountable for tasks.  What may have seemed like a valid policy at one point may now be affecting employees and company profitability in a negative manner.

Selecting and implementing a new ERP software package is the perfect time to revisit old policies, adjust inadequate or antiquated procedures, and empower your employees.  The new ERP solution can provide the backbone for change and driving force for more appropriate policies and increased employee productivity.

Blog entry written by Jacqueline Gardner, Senior ERP Consultant at Panorama Consulting Group.

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