Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Reality IT: BPR Revisited

Our CIO, Steve Fox, had bought us a narrow window of time to introduce alternative solutions tactfully--before manufacturing operations chose the wrong path.

Team Building

Our lead IT project manager, Judy Gant, and I agreed IT had two advantages: our experience with ERP technology and our understanding of BPR's limitations. Rather than challenging Hugh's plan directly, we decided Judy should spend time with Linda in less formal one-on-one meetings. Judy was an experienced and well-respected IT manager, and I hoped she and Linda would develop a rapport. Then Linda could share our ideas with Hugh.

Judy explained to Linda what we've learned the hard way: BPR is about process change analysis, not painstakingly documenting old procedures. Hugh's plan would mean buying a new ERP system, then dramatically customizing it to fit current processes. This didn't make sense--most of the group's processes could be adapted to the industry best practices already incorporated in competing ERP applications.

Linda was receptive to Judy's input. She decided to take advantage of out-of-the-box ERP software capabilities for most processes and narrow the BPR project's focus to those processes unique to ACME. The BPR team would have three options: change manufacturing operations practices, add third-party applications or customize the ERP system. The third-party solution was worth investigating; there are lots of aftermarket products that can add functionality to a base ERP package.

  • 1