The Seven Steps to Implementing ERP – Step 5 Process Integration

So if are implementing ERP – or any other large scale sofware system for that matter… Process integration In my opinion, is where your implementation either lives or dies…

Don’t short change yourself by skimping on the step! Or for that matter any step prior to integration…

If you are at the point where you are ready to integrate business processes with your new system, then you have completed the prerequisites…

Without these previous steps fully completed – Process integration will be impossible – so make sure that you have laid a good foundation… OK, I think I made my point…

Next lets look at the definition of ERP – A system designed to integrate business processes to eliminate waste, increase efficiency and effectiveness.

While I wrote this definition on the fly and crafted it to make a point – While there are other aspects to ERP, process integration is huge.

So huge in fact that I devoted 3 podcast episodes to it – them out at Implement ERP Fast.

I have developed a 7 step system to integrate business process into your new ERP System.
The steps are as follows:

1. Selecting Process Integration Team Members.
2. Selecting Business Processes to be Integrated.
3. Reviewing and Revising Business Policies Related to the Business Processes to be Integrated.
4. Listing Business Process Scenarios or the “flavors” of the processes to be integrated.
5. Detailing each Busienss Process flavoer to be integrated – Step by Step.
6. Testing Processes that have been Integrated.
7. Document Processes that have been Integrated.

If you follow these 7 steps, you will eliminate a lot of voodoo from an otherwise complicated phase of your project.

Take for instance Step 1 – At first, you might wonder if this really needs to be a step… Well let me tell you… Some people are not cut out to integrate business processes. You have to have what I refer to as a “systems mind”. You need to be able to “zoom in” and “zoom out” at appropriate times – focus on process in a disciplined way. If you pick the wrong guy or gal, you are going to go sideways FAST!

Next, Step 2 – What processes are you going to integrate in roll out? Most teams bite off more than they can chew and usually end up backing off as a result – give it SERIOUS THOUGHT.

Step 3 – Be real clear on what policies are going to drive process. Huh? Yeah policy – You know those guardrails that companies create to keep staff from driving off a veritable cliff in doing their jobs… For example, if you were integrating the Order Entry process, you would need to know what policies exist for “method of payment”. You take credit cards, or COD, BUT NOT open billing, So with a clear picture on this policy you won’t be developing process and setting up the system to accept 30 day terms. The beauty of this is that you can eliminate a lot of work and decrease frustration dramatically.

So that’s the first 3 steps – think through the last 4 and see what you come up with – Drop me a comment and let me know what you think.

By the way…

The Software Implementation Tracker – a 400+ page guide is just about ready to launch. If you sign up on my list (above) you will qualify for a “List Only” introductory price – I will email you a special offer. Spend MORE time focusing on nuts and bolts of your implementation and LESS time “managing” your project.

Next post will will deal with Step 6 of an ERP implementation – End User Training.

Until next time – Rick – Signing off…

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One Response to “The Seven Steps to Implementing ERP – Step 5 Process Integration”
  1. Tim Burnett says:

    Rick, Your steps to process integration look fine to me, but how do you make Step 4 work in practice. My experience is that project sponsors, deparment heads and team leaders have such different perspectives on a ‘joined up process’ that unless you can visualise the process in a way that each of these layers of management can relate to, you often get an expensive integration project that does not quite meet the business need.

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