Why Understanding Business Process Maturity and Mastering the Basics is an essential element of successful ERP Implementations

When a company decides to implement a new ERP solution, it usually recognises that there is going to be considerable change and impact on the organisation. There will be changes in underlying software and technology, changes in job roles and responsibilities and changes in business processes.

Implementing a new ERP solution across a business can sometimes feel like a marathon and there is often a tendency for business users to want to sprint straight to the end of the race.

Successful ERP implementation projects have common themes. A key theme is to recognise the maturity of processes currently used in the business. It is the gap between the ultimate process and the current process that determines what should be in the first release of the ERP at go-live.  Manageable steps in business process improvement and implementation strategy is the best foundation for continuous improvement.

CMC uses the concept of “Crawl Walk Run” when implementing new technology and business processes across a complex enterprise wide project that may extend over multiple years.

Business Process Maturity

The concept of “Crawl Walk Run” with ERP or software implementations recognises that there are certain steps that need to be completed before the organisation moves onto other stages of the implementation.

This is about continuous improvement. First mastering the basics of the new ERP solution, then extending the capabilities before maximizing the outcomes.

The capabilities in the diagram above can be most effectively achieved when the business vision is aligned and supported by a well-documented technology strategy. This can sometimes span 2 – 4 years but will transform the way an organisation can deliver the benefits that were promised with the implementation of new systems.

ERP projects are a journey based on a vision towards a better future state. If everyone on the team is supported with strong leadership and encouraged to focus on long term success rather than the initial purchase, the organisation will continue to improve and the project will not stop at the crawl stage.

“Many ERP projects come to a stop at the Crawl stage and the ROI projected in the Business Case initially is never fully realised”

Peter Goes - Managing DirectorCombined Management Consultants