• Business Process Improvement Project- ERP Lean

Business Process Improvement Project- ERP Lean

Business Process Improvement Project- ERP Lean

The implementation of an ERP system is a big decision.  The organization leaders must be committed for the long run and be prepared for disruptions.  If the business is lacking any formal or centralized management system, or has disparate systems for different departments the melding together onto a common platform can have its advantages.  However; those advantages are normally felt down the road a bit, certainly after implementation and usually some time after that to identify and rectify poor assumptions made during implementation.

During the implementation process the leadership can expect long discussions about integrations.  ERP systems are flexible to a point but the greatest of care and thought must be given at the edges of the modules where transitional information passes from one department (module) to another. Discovering pieces of information, their origins, format and ownership is also discussed in depth.  The new system must be populated with existing data and the owner of the data today may not be the owner once the system is deployed.  This tends to lead to discussions about what is right or wrong and whether or not the system is doing the right thing.  This can be tricky as people tend to have data for a reason and sharing the data is difficult at first but becomes more readily available and understood in context better once the systems are implemented.

The creation of new business processes, which are required to feed the ERP system can also become onerous.  This is especially true for data from your business that requires input from multiple departments.  Project Management modules tend to require information from all departments including finance which tradition organizations are many time not comfortable sharing but are necessary if project managers are expected to manage all aspects of their projects.

Internal Project Managers can add value to the implementation process from several perspectives.  They can both help manage the implementation of the ERP system and they can help identify what is needed as inputs and outputs of the system to effectively manage projects.  Many times ERP implementations are lead by an IT person, but the implementation team must be comprised of all of the strategically important departments of the business.  Because some of the decisions being made will affect both the business and several departments the project manager should be an operations person who understands the nuances of decisions about things like knowing when to replenish inventory, or relieve inventory, or the basis of accounting adopting a project accounting methodology.

All the while implementing ERP, this is a good time to consider implementing LEAN and ISO processes as well.  The ERP systems will help lean the organization and since so many new processes must be documented ISO is a natural progression to the process.  All of these, if implemented well will streamline the business, reduce waste, and improve profitability for the long term success of your business.

Projects Overview

Company:  SEE Automated Systems 

Project Goal:  To have effectively implement and utilize BAAN IV ERP, including Project Management Modules.

Time to develop: 18 months

Organization structure: matrix organization

Project Type: Business Process Development

Area of Responsibility:  Projects Module implementation

Largest project team: Core Leadership Team: 8, subteams: by department


  • Date June 10, 2015
  • Tags Business Process Improvement

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