Thursday, May 11, 2006

A success story but not without difficulties

After this short introduction, we would like to go more in details with an example: the implementation of a new management software in a new biscuit factory in Africa:
As we saw in class and as we can read in some of your blogs, the people are a key element in business process redesign. we will also confirm the idea that resistance to change is a big problem in BPR.

The factory expectations
we spoke about global stakes in our introduction: here in our case, the main stake was a global reorganisation of the supply chain, a better monitoring of information flows and a correct informatic stock management to have a better idea of the real cost involve in the production proces.
all the departments were concerned by this project: the raw material department, the production department and the sales department for the finished products.
The main encountered problems
The main problem in the factory was the lack of organization and the lack of control in production, stock management and sales. Nothing was really accurate and a lot of information were missing to have a correct management. So all departments that we mentioned above had to involve in the project.
But the problem is that all people were not involved in the same way. There were 3 types of employees:
- some of them supported the project and help organizing new procedures
- some of them didn’t care about the project but were not opposed
- some rejected completely the project because it asked too many changes.

How to deal with those problems?
The main point and the main factor of success here was to make people understand the value of the project, the context and the reason why. If you want to convince people who are against the project, you have to explain clearly what they will earn from this project. You have to focus on the value and motivate them. That’s what the management team did. They organise a lot of meetings explaining the advantage of the new software: less data capture, better stock management, information of all departments linked…Here the value in the short term was not financial but organizational.
The second main factor of success was the perseverance of the management team. Some people refused totally to work with them, even after speaking about the value.. so they decide to circumvent the problem and adopt a new solution. For example, the salesperson refused to enter correctly the sales: the consequences were a wrong finished products stock and a wrong accountancy. So they decided that someone else would enter the data in the system and the salesperson would only be responsible for customers and manual orders.

The IPPEC Method:
The management team didn’t used any specific method but we can compare the development of the project with the IPPEC method.
- They first initiated the project: they edited standard procedures form for all activities in production, sales, and stocks management.
- The planning phase was mainly like defining the RACI Matrix: define the responsible person in each department, the accountable person for approving the task, the people who have to be consulted and people who have to be kept informed.
- The executing phase was the main difficult point and…
- …the controlling phase the most important with adjustment of procedures.
- The closing step has not been done yet, as the project is still going on.

So even if the project is not finished yet, we can already say that it’s a success as the organisation is quite better now with a better information flow. Furthermore the employees begin to be used to the new process.
That’s why for us, the first point in a business process redesign is to make understand the value of the project to all concerned people.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The decision of implementing a new software is not an easy decision and implies a lot of consequences concerning process redesign and involves a big investment.The management has to think about the stackes and the way to implement it in the factory design.

The stakes: Why a new software?
Thanks to this new management software, the management team have a better view of the production, of the customers accounts and so an accrued control on its market.But to achieve a real result, all the department of the company have to be involved in the project and to make efforts to adapt the changes of process. It's easier to say than to do, even more where people don't like to much change.

The process redesign
First of all the management team has redesigned the standard operational procedures (SOP) in the production department, in stocks management and in sales.indeed to use the new software in the most efficient way as possible, the information must be accurate and reflect the reality. so you have to define responsible people in each department and define precisely the actions of each workers in the factory. during the implementation of the software, a responsible of the project must check that the new procedure are well's not a project that can be done in one month!

Thursday, April 13, 2006