During the initial stages of most Microsoft Business Applications/Solutions implementations, we will frequently recommend that our clients engage in a Business Process Review, as one of the first, key steps in the project. The motivation here is very basic, and definitely of interest to everyone involved in the project: Identify and manage risks to the project, ensure minimal budget surprises, and build end-user satisfaction
4 reasons to conduct a BPR:
Identify and Manage Risks –The sooner that any and all potential risks to the project can be identified, the greater the chance of successfully mitigating them. Once risks have been identified, they can be better managed.
Develop accurate estimates of effort –The BPR, by nature of its thoroughness and detail, will lead to a much more precise estimate of the final implementation costs. (For precisely this reason, some of our larger clients will hire us to conduct the BPR before the actual project is kicked off).
Define scope of the implementation – By breaking down the various transactions and processes, the Statement of Work that follows can be very detailed as to what is and what is NOT in scope for this project.
Set realistic expectations – By working closely with these vital employees during the BPR, realistic expectations about the scope of the project plan, and the capabilities of the ERP system that will be deployed, can be set and maintained.
The goal of a Business Process Review is to follow and document the current processes used, within the client’s company, to handle the daily, periodic and ad-hoc activities of the business. In a typical BPR, a consultant is assigned to both “shadow” the specific process being investigated (taking notes, screenshots and samples of the various forms and reports used in the process or produced by the process), and an interview of the employee(s) being shadowed (Why was that step taken? Do you need anyone else’s approval to take that step or make that decision?). During the interview stages, it is vital to conduct a multi-phased interview approach:
Interview Top to Bottom – follow the processes vertically
Interview Side to Side - follow processes that span boundaries
Interview from Outside to Inside – follow all processes from start to finish, including customers and vendors.
By interviewing across boundaries and spans of control, a fuller and more detailed picture of the environment the company’s processes are conducted within will begin to emerge.
3 Benefits to a BPR
Reduce Risks - The BPR, along with a Fit-Gap Analysis and the Project Plan, should clearly lay out the path needed to ensure a successful implementation.
Smoother Implementation - The BPR serves to broaden the base of support and enthusiasm for the new ERP system, by involving the company’s key personnel early in the project.
Increase customer/ End-user satisfaction - Since the end-users have a realistic expectation of the new system, their satisfaction with it (and their adoption of it) will be much higher.
A detailed BPR will reduce the risks, help manage the budget, and produce a successful implementation of the new system. A thorough BPR can help you achieve all three goals!
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