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  • Monday, November 16, 2015

    Which Comes First, New Systems or New Processes?

    Everyone agrees that business process improvement is a key success factor in enterprise system implementation. But, which comes first? Should organizations redesign their business processes before selecting and implementing new systems? Or should they first select a new software vendor and then redesign their processes to match how the new system does things?

    This question comes up repeatedly in our vendor evaluation and software selection consulting services. Clients read about failed ERP or CRM projects, for example. They hear the warnings of executives from such companies, telling them to spend more time up front understanding their business processes. They hear about companies that go live but don’t achieve the desired benefits. They vow to do better. They don’t just want to implement a new system. They want to implement best business practices.

    These are good reactions. When it comes to enterprise systems, anything that heightens the fear of failure is a good thing. The more business leaders are focused on business processes, the better.

    But, how should business leaders deal with their business processes when implementing a new system?
    • Should they improve their processes before implementing the new system, so that the new system is not automating broken processes?
    • Or, should they choose the new system first, so that they can redesign their business processes using the best business practices that are embodied in the new system?

    The answer is a little bit of both: the two should be done in parallel. In fact, doing all of one before the other—whether process first, or system first—will result in failure.

    Read the full post on the Strativa website:
    Which Comes First, New Business Processes and New Systems?
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