The beginning stages of a business system deployment initiative can be the most challenging. It is essential to the overall success of your program to create the optimal infrastructure and improvement plan that works best for your company and goals. We have listed a few of the main areas of concern surrounding business system deployments along with Smarter Solutions’ approach to handling the concerns.
There are many options that may work within your culture and environment. There is no one right answer.
- Are you at a single location or at multiple locations?
- Is there a large or small workforce?
- What fraction of your employees will participate?
- Do your departments/divisions work well together?
- How much does the organizational leadership wish to be involved?
The questions above are just for starters. The answers are needed to understand the best path for your organization’ business system deployment. What we need to know:
- Is it best to build an improvement organization or to build independent improvement specialists?
- Is the goal just to fix current problems or to change the culture to embrace improvement as part of all efforts?
- Is the plan to create a long-term process management organization?
There are three common paths to follow for an organization. Each will be successful if applied in the right environment.
- Implementation of an enterprise-wide business system that engages all facets of the organization.
- Leads to culture changes in all areas of the organization.
- Creation of an improvement organization to target specific business needs.
- Removes an identified significant problem.
- Training of a few Business Process Management and Improvement experts to work as internal consultants.
- Addresses key issues as they develop.
As with all business efforts, there is risk involved. Some risks are monetary, but most are personnel related. Engaging your workforce and leadership in a business improvement effort will create a mix of excitement and fear: excitement that something great might be accomplished; fear that it might just be another program of the month.
- There are examples of companies that used business systems methods to gain a competitive advantage and found great successes. GE is a common example, but there are more.
- There are as many examples of companies that claimed extraordinary improvement, but then filed for bankruptcy or continued to struggle financially. Delphi is a common example, but there are more.
In a number of studies, three things frequently surface as key pieces to business success.
- Top leadership support.
- Bottom-up driven efforts fix problems but do not change culture.
- Top talent assigned to the effort.
- Select the wrong people and they can-not drive change.
- Constant focus on the business impact, not just on general improvement.
- Improvements in areas not constraining the organization feel good but do not move the business ahead.
Train, Train, Train, Why? Consultants recommend training simply because their revenue is maximized by training people quickly. The problem with this plan is the risk of giving individuals skills that the organization is unable to put to use. The trainees are frustrated and quickly give up. The skills are not utilized, and the organization has wasted time and money.
Smarter Solutions believes:
- Spend time determining the type of business system deployment you wish to adopt, and then build the supporting infrastructure before training improvement practitioners.
- Select the best option for your organization based on your specific needs.
- Onsite Initiation Workout: A coordinated workshop type event that involves the leadership and the enterprise improvement team that will deliver the initial framework for an enterprise deployment of the IEE concepts. This event can kick off a true deployment or be used like a pilot test to understand the impact on your culture.
- Executive Training and Coaching: In many organizations, the IEE concepts are adopted in a less directive manner, where the leadership is trained and then they can manage the transition from the current business management practices into an integration of the IEE concepts in small steps. This is a path that organizations choose when they only want to adopt a portion of the IEE concepts in their business; such as performance scorecards, strategic planning, or improvement opportunity identification.
- BPM Practitioner Training: A bottom-up method to introduce IEE where the IEE concepts are introduced at the workforce level. The trained practitioners will apply the concepts to improve processes, make better business decisions, and provide better leadership and guidance to the business.
- Program Support: Until internal resources are prepared to take over the IEE Business System and Business Process Management efforts on their own, bringing external program management support can accelerate the success and the culture change by guiding the organization past the common struggles. This resource is withdrawn and the program matures.
Contact us or call +1 512.918.0280 to discuss your specific needs and/or obtain pricing information that is customized to your situation.