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Business Process Insights – adopt vs adapt

Business process analysis and redesign, and avoiding customisations to mimic your old system, are predictors of ERP project success

Engaging your stakeholders through collaboration and communication helps to ensure adoption and improves process design

Business process analysis and redesign, and minimal customisation, are critical for ERP implementation success. In fact, Business process re-engineering and software configuration is cited as a critical success factor in a study* of ERP project success. Many organisations fail in this aspect of ERP implementation because they either minimise its importance or else they choose to avoid it, due to the major shifts in human, culture and organisational relationships that it demands.

Our take on this

Consider re-designing your current business processes to fit into the ERP system’s standard “best practice” approach. When considering or implementing a new system, businesses have an opportunity to re-think existing processes and possibly eliminate the ones that are no longer up-to-date or no longer fit their needs. This opens the door to exploring the possibility of adopting more optimal processes with the new ERP software.

Consider the added value of the new processes – adopt vs adapt – and how those will translate into benefits for the business.

The exercise of redesigning business processes also gives you the opportunity to address technical debt  – the financial cost to, and loss of agility in, your business resulting from earlier decisions to save time or money on system upgrades or maintenance. This analysis will help to direct the business on where to invest in new technology or initiatives that will drive the business forward.

For it to be meaningful, an investment in ERP should add value by cutting costs, mitigating risks and enhancing return on investment (ROI). Business leaders will have to decide which processes will bring more revenue and which optimised processes can give them a competitive edge in their market.

Modern ERP systems have better workflows, as well as automation and integration capabilities, that can eliminate a lot of manual work that older systems may have forced on your business processes.

Stakeholders are the key to ERP implementation success

Like every new digital solution, ERP systems have a learning curve. Stakeholders will need some level of training to learn how to use them.

People are naturally resistant to change. Even if a system or tool is old and no longer fits the purpose or the business’s long-term objectives, stakeholders are comfortable working with them. Their knowledge and experience provide them with a feeling of comfort and security.

Employee engagement is vital. It’s a given that if stakeholders fully understand and readily adapt to the new ways of working, the system implementation will succeed, and the business will thrive.

If businesses go the extra mile to engage with stakeholders, listen to their concerns and feedback, and show them how they can be part of the business process change, then the project is already halfway to success.

Our take on this

Leaders or project sponsors should be able to explain how the new system will positively influence users’ daily tasks while also addressing possible concerns related to job loss.

Establish a solid and transparent line of communication, informing stakeholders of the possibility of change before the start of the ERP implementation, including them in the design and development process.

Leaders should be clear about the ERP system’s implementation objectives, the advantages of embracing the change and the possible challenges while keeping stakeholders informed of the project status throughout.

Using SynergERP’s implementation methodology (SIM) to encourage user buy-in


SIM is SynergERP’s implementation project methodology that applies agile and lean concepts in the information technology environment with a focus on the following key concepts:

  • Frequent inspection and adaptation
  • A leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organisation, and accountability
  • A set of engineering best practices that allow for rapid delivery of high-quality projects
  • A business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals

Read more on SIM

*1 Finney,  S.,  Corbett,  M.  (2007).  ERP implementation:  a compilation and analysis of critical success factors, Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 329-347.

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