April 30, 2009
Here is Meryl Natchez and Jennifer Jackson discussing change management to help your organization translate to a no-surprises approach for the steering committee and help ensure the success of your team’s hard work:
“The average shelf life for an ERP system is 15-22 years.” Meta Group ERP End User Research Reports
Often technical experts focus on the intricacies of technology, while ignoring the discipline of change management. Oracle applications, as with most ERPS, is sold as out-of-box solutions. We all know that end users can sink the implementation if they don’t understand changes to their daily business process and act accordingly. People can unintentionally sabotage an implementation by failing to map existing to new business processes. How do we fix that? This submission gives a quick overview of change management techniques mangers can rely on to successfully coordinate an Oracle implementation or upgrade.
Here are 4 simple rules to guide you:
Rule #1 - Explain the true cost of ownership. As ERPs are sold as turnkey solutions, clients are rarely prepared for the cost required for training, change management, and post-implementation support. The Meta Group reports that out of 140 companies surveyed, 76% thought that that their end users lacked competency with the new system and processes. The Gartner Group notes that training is the most likely post-implementation review item identified as the single greatest determinant of success. The costs and schedule “delays” encountered when companies fail to budget for training users and supporting infrastructure can be significant. But failing to allow for the time and effort required is a disaster waiting to happen.
Rule #2 - Go live is the beginning of the implementation, not the end result. Organizations often fail to recognize that end user performance support systems require ongoing maintenance post go live. Preparing your organization for the true costs involved in orchestrating a successful rollout can be a challenge. However, without ongoing training and support, underlying data can quickly become corrupt, and hence untrustworthy, undermining the purpose of the implementation. From the Meta Group survey again, “Of the 24% of organizations claiming to have highly competent end users, 87% provided regular refresher training, as opposed to 43% of organizations with substandard or failing end users.”
Rule #3 - If you’re going global, plan globally from the outset. It’s much easier to get to where you’re going when you have a plan. Plan your structures, processes, and training to be scaleable. It almost always makes sense to start locally, but always keep the global impact in mind. In some cases, it may make sense to start in a non-North American location. For example, a client of ours with multiple U.S. acquisitions also had a fairly unified European organization. In this case, Europe faced a significant competitive challenge to their core business. There was incentive to unify their supply chain, and therefore the ERP implementation was a critical business driver. Support was widespread, and processes across geographies were fairly standardized. This made for a reasonably smooth implementation. The success and lessons learned could be leveraged to gradually roll out more diverse North American locations.
Rule #4 - Include change management professionals on the implementation team from the beginning. Make sure that your organizational development and training leads are part of your team. As user representatives, they can help you avoid costly pitfalls. Make sure they are at the table from the initial planning stage through the implementation. Training touches on many areas of the project. All implementations require resources outside the core team. These include not just end users but super users, testers, script writers, and subject matter experts. They all need to be informed and trained on discreet processes. For example, testers need training on the tool that they’re using to test the application and the process they are testing. It’s easy to overlook these components. Adequate budgeting can avoid huge time and cost overruns as the implementation progresses.
April 15, 2009
Outside of work, I spend my time cooking (and eating!), working out so I can eat more, doing needle arts, include crewel, knitting, and Japanese embroidery.
MC: The topic of upgrades and versions is one of the most common topics that come up with my clients. "Should I upgrade to R12?" "What will this upgrade take in effort and dollars?: Once that is determined, "What will our organization get out of an R12 upgrade?" These answers are very different for each organization and should be asked and analyzed prior to engaging in an R12 upgrade. If you are a small organization without in-house Oracle support, R12 may not carry as many immediate benefits to outweigh the cost of upgrading. While a large, multi-national organization will greatly benefit from the new features, allowing them to realize a substantial ROI in a shorter period of time.
OCPA: From your Release 12 experiences, which features / functionalities excite you the most? Which features may be the most challenging for an organization to implement?
April 12, 2009
As per my estimates (not confirmed by Oracle Corporation or any other sources), there are more than 6,773 candidates who take the Oracle Certification exams every week. This coming week, beta testing period for these three exams are ending:
- 1Z1-215 Oracle EBS R12: General Ledger and Payables Fundamentals
- 1Z1-216 Oracle EBS R12: General Ledger and Receivables Fundamentals
- 1Z0-244 Oracle EBS R12: Advanced Supply Chain Planning
Are you planning to take any Oracle certification exams this week?
Did you realize that you are a precious and rare gem amongst our human population - you are indeed One in a Million*!
* For the mathematically oriented, One in a Million was calculated as 6773 / 6,772,892,907
April 5, 2009
Share your recent Oracle innovations or a successful project implementation with the global Oracle family at Openworld 2009. Click on the link below to showcase your talent:
It will take less than 10 minutes to submit your presentation proposal. Create your online profile and the paper submission form asks you to submit the following:
- A title of 80 characters - about 10 words
- An abstract of 750 characters - this is less than 100 words!
- Categorize the papers as per primary and optional track so that it is easier for the selection committee to identify the content easily and quickly
- Add up to 5 tags to make your proposal easily searchable
The last date for submitting presentation proposals is April 19, 2009.
Just two more weeks and you will be on your way to becoming almost famous!