Baldrige and ERP and Project management

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [email protected]
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.quality
To: [email protected] [email protected]
Date: Wednesday, December 22, 1999 9:38 AM
Subject: Baldrige and ERP

>My company has two major initiatives going. One is Baldrige-based improvement
>while the other is implementation of an ERP system (BaaNERP). Many of us see a
>link between these activities since a good ERP implementation requires, for
>example, solid process understanding. This should help our approach to Baldrige
>Category 6. In addition, we have an opportunity to use the data to improve our
>information and analysis methods.
>
>Others in the company have a hard time seeing the linkage, viewing the ERP
>system as "software" and not seeing it closely connected to process management.
>
>We manufacture, in various locations around the world, a variety of products
>ranging from medical diagnostic imaging scanners to x-ray tubes to simple
>hospital gowns.
>
>Does anybody have experience in linking Baldrige (or TQM) improvement projects
>with a major change in the IS system?
>
>Dan O'Leary
>Business Process Executive
>[email protected]

------------reply----------

Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 13:58:42 -0500
From: "K. Major" [email protected]
Subject: Baldridge and ERP

I have no specific experience with ERP and process improvement, but your ERP vendor absolutely should have this experience and/or contacts who do. You are definitely on the right track.

I'm an I.T. Project manager and have yet to see a highly successful implementation of any software that doesn't consider the process issues. Automation (i.e., technology) is only as good as the underlying process. Many, many technology projects come in over budget and off schedule precisely because the process issues were not addressed. Plus, if the project was justified by how the business product/service will be improved (i.e., because the process was improved), you will be able to measure the actual benefits of the project if you have the process view and the before/after measures.

I would keep the process work at a high level to avoid the mud slogging pace that comes from too much detail on a project this size, but a high level "As-is" along with a "Desired" process diagram is an absolute must for every project that involves a business user. Internal I.T. projects (such as upgrading a machine, etc.) may not require process review, but any technology project that includes changes in a business process absolutely should consider process issues before the technology application is designed and applied. Map the main components of the software function to the process steps and you'll have a good idea of how they integrate.

The process review will also identify the fringe users that are often forgotten.... you will be surprised how many people other than the mainstream accounting folks use the information from your existing systems... to maximize the automation opportunity and avoid the cost of confusion after implementation, their information needs must be considered and they must be trained. You should also be able to see where you will need to reallocate personnel - you may need fewer people on step 1, more people on step 4, etc.

Most technology projects are 80% user issues. Process viewpoint really brings the people issues into focus.

Good luck!

Kieran Major
[email protected]
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
From [email protected]
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 00:35:02 -0500
From: SKH <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Baldridge and ERP

I think the linkage between quality management business processes like TQM, Baldridge, European Quality Award, Deming, ISO that represent worldwide best business practices linked to evolving technology standards are the way of the future. An interesting site,among many, involved in new technology standards is www.rosettanet.org that also emphasizes the need to consider process and leading edge technology.

ERP applications like SAP, PeopleSoft, Baan, Oracle have optimized this linkage and improved it by automating industry best processes. Note, the

next trend will be automating back end infrastructure financial/office applications with front end customer marketing applications including the entire supply chain on the internet. Ways to maximize include the new internet E-Commerce portals where the customer base is encouraged to trade among known, trusted business partners.

Sue Hansen
email: [email protected]
 
A

Andy Bassett

#3
A Luddites Thoughts

All good stuff, mainly above my head, but here is a few loose thoughts on the matter.

You are right to say that good process control will help the implementation of a computer system. Many people belive that implementing new software will straigthen out their company, which is completely the wrong idea. Lay a complex software over a company without clear processes and you will have CHAOS from day one.

Because of the proliferation of software, and young bucks that can use it, i find myself continually fighting people who want to start a procedure by implementing a software ie at the moment i am arguing with a superstar who wants to create a simple Corrective Action Sheet using a Access database.
WRONG say i, because all the people who need to use this information may not have Access or even know how to use it.

My motto is make the system work with paper first, if it does then transfer it to a software.

Additionally you will find that many of your procedues are useless when it comes to computers, as they normally deal in very fine details, the only help you may get is from detailed department Work Instructions ie How Finance proceses invoices, how sales process an order etc.

Interestingly if you want to have a successful software implementation it will probaly be due to other areas of Baldridge like Strategy or People Management and Communication etc

I have rarely seen any computer system, especially a 'ERP' system help a company, it simply creates pain, confusion and restrictions. Personnel are actually increased as you need people to fill the computers with data and repair or improve the software, I actually participated failed BAAN implementation that resulted in us throwing the whole thing out and starting again with our 10 year old software.

The only software i would consider buyng at the moment is some sort of web-compatible customer facing software ie something that is not a stand alone units, but can talk with your customers and suppliers.

As far as i know the big software companies are only NOW starting to realise this, and trying to bodge their packets with Web-based modules. But there doesnt seem to be a single package that can satisfy a companies internal and external needs, although i understand that Oracle maybe the closest-

Regards

------------------
Andy B
 
#4
Playing Devil's Advocate, we have a new Corrective Actions/Non-conformity system at work. The benefit is that we have a central location for all the information, and it's updated immediately. No chasing down paperwork, trying to see who has which copy of whatever!
On the negative side, our QAMgr doesn't think that in this computer age there should be folks who can't enter into his screens in Access. We have folks who are 50+ years old, in supervisory or lead positions, and they didn't grow up with this technology. And quite a few don't want to learn it now.
I see a future with voice-activated devices taking down problems, and the main one will be "I'm putting in all this time on filling out the paperwork when I should be out there looking over my workers."
Computers or paper, if someone doesn't feel the worth of the system they will thwart it. If you've got thousands of dollars invested in computer hardware and software, management is less likely to let them.
(By the way, other units in our company are going the paper route, and instead of hiring more people to update their computers, they hire them to chase down paper copies. You pay for your system one way or another.)
 
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