Exploring successful enterprise system implementation

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  • “ In ERP implementations the word re-engineering is sometimes overused. Because quite often with all good intentions and all good advice from very good consultants, companies typically reject the time and all the dynamics associated with a major re-engineering effort. What they say instead is here’s what I have today. I know you’re asking me – I know my company wants you to do this SAP implementation. I want to go through with as minimal change as I can. I don’t want to do any re-engineering if I don’t have to. And just make sure you give me what I have today only you think you can do it better with SAP. That’s more often than not the way these evolve”.
  • “ When we are talking about four years, it’s an awful long time to put people onto a project like that. And one of the aspects of that is that some of the executive team has been on the project now for four year and are burned, burned to crisps. And these are people who are used to working extremely hard on extremely complex projects, and they are literally burned to crisps right now. In my own case… I can no longer sustain an 80-hour work week”.
  • “ If I were to run a project like this, the lessons I have learned about people on the project is we need to be re-educating them on how you want the project to work; otherwise, they will reinvent it”.
  • “ The actual relationship building is probably more important than any of the other formal methods. The formal methods will get information through, but they don’t build the empathy and understanding that will encourage people to work till 10:00 at night together because they don’t want to let the team down or they don’t want to let each other down”.
  • Exploring successful enterprise system implementation

    1. 1. Exploring successful enterprise system implementation Jay Cooprider – Computer Information Systems Gary David - Sociology Linda Edelman – Strategic Management Traci Logan – CIO Bentley College Sue Newell – Organizational Behavior
    2. 2. Over-arching Research Question: <ul><li>What is the role of social capital and knowledge creation/integration on the outcomes of large scale Information Technology Projects. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivated by studies that indicate that despite widespread implementation of ERP – limited use of functionality of system and in some cases total rejection of the new system. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Methods: <ul><li>Consultant perception study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large consulting organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RQ: What role do information systems consultants play in knowledge creation and integration within ERP projects? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conducted 8 interviews over a four month period. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Methods: <ul><li>Siebel implementation study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RQ1 :What is the link between social networks and the generation of new knowledge during ERP implementation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RQ2 :What are the advantages/ disadvantages of enacting organizational change at the beginning/end of an ERP implementation process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Conducted 7 interviews over four months. </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Data Analysis: <ul><li>All interviews have been conducted and transcribed </li></ul><ul><li>Data is still undergoing analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative nature of data lends itself to tools such as NVIVO. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Systematic Literature Review: <ul><li>Searched online databases for key words (e.g., &quot;knowledge integration” or “systems consultants”) </li></ul><ul><li>Gathered over 500 articles – grouped by research question </li></ul><ul><li>Ranked articles on applicability </li></ul><ul><li>Took consultant articles and rated them on theoretical quality, rigor and robustness </li></ul><ul><li>Findings: Paucity of quality empirical research on role of Information Technology consultants in ERP implementation processes. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Consulting articles: Review template Key: 1 = low relevance 2 = medium relevance 3 = high relevance LFE 2 Theory had to be modified to be relevant for ERP ERP dynamics are different than in the theoretical model. My comments: no surprise model had to be modified given the number of paths, despite appearance of rigor, not much in way of findings ERP too Expensive not to use Need for ERP experts, hence ERP knowledge is good for career Qualitative case Studies combined with questionnaire Unit of analysis: Individual user Theory of Reasoned Action – (two Factors contribute to behavior: attitude and norm), uses existing theory European Journal of Information Systems 12;2003 Modeling use of Enterprise resource planning systems: A path analytic study S. Bagchi S. Kanungo S. Dasgupta Review Rate Contribution Findings Methods Theory Journal Title Author
    8. 8. Analyzing different strategies to ERP adoption: Reengineering-led versus quick deployment International Journal of Enterprise Information Systems, forthcoming
    9. 9. Reengineering-led vs. Quick-deployment <ul><li>Reengineering-led </li></ul><ul><li>Concerted (Robey) </li></ul><ul><li>Change processes before implement </li></ul><ul><li>Define ‘as is’ and ‘to be processes </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-implementation transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Quick-Deployment </li></ul><ul><li>Piecemeal (Robey) </li></ul><ul><li>Replace legacy systems </li></ul><ul><li>Rely on embedded ‘best practices </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Easy’ implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Post-implementation gradual evolution </li></ul>
    10. 10. Alternative Adoption Strategies Transformation Evolution
    11. 11. Discussion <ul><li>Consultants recognized difference between reengineering-led vs. quick-deployment and could relate to different client experiences </li></ul><ul><li>All but 1 felt reengineering-led best </li></ul><ul><li>But recognized most firms want to limit reengineering (quote) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Case example <ul><li>Small office furniture distributor – main business supplier wanted them to adopt a very complex ERP system that would have meant drastic org. changes </li></ul><ul><li>Refused – “we have been 15 years in this business and have perfected our processes – why should someone else know our processes better than us” </li></ul><ul><li>Wanted a tool to support processes, not a system to impose new processes </li></ul><ul><li>Went with a small software vendor </li></ul><ul><li>Problems – a bug versus an enhancement (purchase order field – long and short but long not actually supported in rest of software so PO never printed on e.g., receipts!) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Conclusions <ul><li>Quick-deployment strategy popular with companies (Nah et al., 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Good reasons for this </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Previous extensive reengineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUs operate independently – integration may not be that important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May be beneficial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reengineering may identify best practices not supported by selected software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces visible progress and so limits commitment </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Practical Implications <ul><li>Quick-deployment strategy PLUS </li></ul><ul><li>User-led post-implementation strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Provide resources to facilitate emergent exploitation of system </li></ul><ul><li>May require a new team as implementation team may be ‘burnt out’ </li></ul>
    15. 15. Understanding the problems of ES implementations: Beyond critical success factors Working paper
    16. 16. ERP critical success factors <ul><li>Nah et al. – 11 factors more or less important at different project stages </li></ul><ul><li>Relate to different aspects of project management and structure </li></ul><ul><li>Consider these CSFs in relation to Siebel implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Explore why CSFs problematic in practice </li></ul>
    17. 17. The Siebel Project <ul><li>Reduction of legacy systems – but only ‘sunsetted’ 1 system after 4 years </li></ul><ul><li>Delays in module implementations – sales (1 year) and marketing (2 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Burnout of project team (quote) </li></ul>
    18. 18. Project Methodology <ul><li>Standard IT implementation methodology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Core team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Module teams – PDT – leader, project manager, process leader, architecture leader, education leader, deployment leader etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fit-gap analysis – 1 week intensive workshop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘Vanilla’, ‘out the box’ implementation </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Problems encountered <ul><li>Sustaining resources for social rather than technical work (quote) </li></ul><ul><li>Getting things done at critical points – work around formal system (quote) </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership and team involvement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall project leader – x3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Core project team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Periphery members – turnover </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Divergent ‘common’ practices (quote) </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance and stalemates (quote) </li></ul>
    20. 20. Analysis - Socio-political and cultural realities make it difficult to sustain CSFs <ul><li>Staffing issues – leadership and team composition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top management support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project champion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good team mix </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But reality: senior management turnover; continuous change in periphery members </li></ul><ul><li>i.e., Difficult to sustain commitment over long duration </li></ul><ul><li>Need continuous INDUCTION AND REINDUCTION </li></ul>
    21. 21. Analysis - Socio-political and cultural realities make it difficult to sustain CSFs <ul><li>Formal project management methodology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication to all stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant evaluation and monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Troubleshooting and testing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But reality: Work around formal processes crucial (quote) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding situated actions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to stress INFORMAL NETWORKING </li></ul>
    22. 22. Analysis - Socio-political and cultural realities make it difficult to sustain CSFs <ul><li>Organizational structure and culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage the change process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reality: Maintaining resources for organizational change difficult </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stable and successful context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reengineering already taken place – but reality: divergence of practice and process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization change to suit software so minimize customization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reality: resistance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Recognize IMPROVISATION skills of users </li></ul>
    23. 23. Conclusions – Meta-level processes <ul><li>Induction – to build and rebuild social capital – bonds and bridges (Adler and Kwon) </li></ul><ul><li>Informality – to sustain CoP (Brown and Duguid) </li></ul><ul><li>Improvisation – to support situated learning (Lave and Wenger) </li></ul>

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