Whilst implementing a new ERP system, I’m always surprised how many times we are asked to replicate the old system, with the same or similar work flows, without reviewing the rationale behind the existing processes.

Implementing a new system provides an opportunity to review your business processes. Over time these processes evolve, usually with different people involved at different times. This evolution is reactive and isolates issues without looking at the bigger picture. Configuring software to work around these inefficient business processes doesn’t make business sense.

During business process workshops, It’s surprisingly common for us to ask why a particular process is performed the way it is and to get the answer ‘It’s the way I was shown to do it when I started’ or with a shrug of the shoulders: ‘We’ve always done it that way’.

Our aim is to help you to review every step of your work flow and consider ‘Is there a better way to do this?’ or ‘Can we improve this to give us a competitive advantage?’

Here are 6 tips for reviewing your business processes:

  1. Keep in mind the objectives and benefits sought when you initiated the project.
  2. Review your business processes with an open mind. Go back to a blank canvas – imagine there are no restrictions.
  3. Hold an internal pre-workshop review. Get a dialogue going with the key stakeholders. Get everyone thinking about what would make processes better, more efficient and simpler. Everyone will come to the workshop prepared.
  4. Keep it simple. The simpler and more elegant the solution the better the result will be.
  5. Involve key users with experience in the areas being reviewed.
  6. Don’t assume anything. If you don’t see a requirement or process you expect – ask about it.

Once the design has been agreed and implemented, continually review and refine. There are always improvements that can be made.

Written By Ian Thompson

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