Organizational Fog - Figure of Speech or Irritating Expression?
ERP implementation rather commonly is considered as a single process limited in time, which begins and finishes, afterwards transferred to maintenance, and implementation folder is placed on the bookshelf for dust collection. Practice shows that companies who consider ERP implementation as a finished process do not get full return on their investment and do not reach all possible advantages of business management system in long term.
One can argue about alignment of business requirements with business management system support being a part of maintenance or continuous implementation. However, it is clear that monitoring of both – use of ERP system and business development as a whole, is continuous procedure that requires consistent monitoring of business requirements on the one hand, and technology including understanding the functional possibilities of the system, on the other.
Taking into account the real speed of change in markets and technologies, stress level is rising inside companies. Changes in business environment require the ability to respond quickly, that in turn require for change in organizational procedures and habits. This of course demands revision and corrections in business management system support. As a result, effective ERP system implementation process is similar to life-long learning and crucial for each business. Process redesign, along with business management system alignment is rather complicated and risky task. At the same time ability to fulfill this in a lightning speed is what ensures competitive advantage in the market for each business entity. In theory this is well known for everyone.
In this matter organizational fog is mentioned as a biggest fear by experts of business processes – the bigger the company, the worse the visibility over company processes and certain people in the company may have totally wrong understanding of how their input affects the rest of the enterprise. Also certain processes can duplicate themselves or event work against each other. At this point organizational fog is not figure of speech at all. Company does not operate as one collaborative entity and managers telling how many departments and employees they have, in real life do not know what these people are doing on daily basis. In fact, only the ones sitting next to each other know what other person is doing, but organization as a whole loses its visibility.
The only way to avoid organizational fog spreading across the company is documentation of business process and their interactions, ongoing addressing of alignment gaps, and practicing of challenge and perspective sharing among people.
For process part business process modeling tools come in place as a great help goal of which is to give a fair representation of the processes and help finding things to improve. It is for people and organizations that in order to do things better want to precisely know what is happening in their organization – achieve established goals, better educate their personnel, continuously improve their performance, quickly adapt new strategy or act immediately to certain changes.
Dedicated software, for example form XSOL Corporation Inc., shows what your employees are doing in real life. At the same time employees can see their workplace and how it fits and collaborates with other employee workplaces in order to fulfill business processes. With this tool company can always check, understand and realize required process changes also in stressful situations. Practice tells that with such a tool on hand ERP implementation projects allows delivere better project results by using on average 20-30% less resources.