- Adaptive Enterprise
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In this blog I will elaborate on how to scope an ERP implementation initiative on a high level. In my first blog regarding ERP implementation I presented an effective approach for ERP implementation. This encompassed a description of five steps from which I focus on the first three steps in this second blog.
When we recall the proposed approach, the first three steps relate to high level identifying and scoping of the initiative. This is essential for elaborating the processes in more detail and identifying the requirements.
For the full and definitive scoping of the project one should have a clear understanding of the process architecture of the organization. In other words; how do we create customer value? The process architecture is the basis for the subsequent steps of the approach. For lots of organizations and branches process architectures are publicly available by means of reference architectures. Examples are SCOR (supply chain organizations) and eTOM (telecom organizations). Such reference architectures provide an excellent kick-start for your preparation and save a lot of time and effort in re-inventing the wheel. Furthermore, these reference architectures are often not only known by ERP providers, but might also be known by partnering organizations in your supply chain. In turn this leads to opportunities for supply chain optimization. Obviously, tailoring a reference architecture to a specific architecture for your organization is required since reference architectures are generic (in contrast to most organizations). An important remark is that the first draft of the process architecture can be the work of a (few) business analyst(s), but eventually the process architecture should be supported by the whole organization. At first the project team and then the business should become ‘owner’ of this process architecture. The process architecture should become a representation, visualization and shared understanding of how the organization creates customer value. This can only be achieved by sharing the (concept) process architecture with key business stakeholders and incorporating their comments. During the project, this process architecture might need some modifications and improvements based on progressive insights. The process architecture is essential for executing subsequent activities, preventing unconscious exclusion of vital business processes and is a good means to communicate to your business stakeholders.
The process architecture provides insight in the primary and supporting processes of your organization and how these are related to each other. Now, one should prioritize the processes in terms of the extent to which we want to elaborate the identified processes in process models and identify their system requirements. Each process is labeled as either strategic, generic, or ‘remaining’. This classification is the basis for further scoping of the preparation of the ERP implementation, since strategic processes are further elaborated than generic or remaining processes.
Again, for commitment of the business the criteria for classifying the processes need to be clear and traceable. Why do we label some processes as strategic while others as generic or ‘remaining’? These criteria are determined by the project team, but should be transparent to the business. Furthermore, the criteria should cohere with the set scope, objectives and character of the project (such as available time and resources). Some examples of criteria that can be used for classifying the processes are:
These are the first three steps of my proposed approach for effective ERP implementation. These steps enable you to scope the initiative and provide an high level insight in the business processes in place, which are (not) in scope of the ERP implementation. The following blog will elaborate on the last two steps in the approach: how to elaborate the identified processes in more detail and identify the requirements. So stay tuned for the following blog and if you have any questions, please leave a comment.