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英国paper代写范文:business process reengineering

2017-04-26 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:Paper代写范文

本篇英国paper代写范文讲了Milicent Homes(MH)于2001年建立了业务流程再造(BPR)和企业资源规划(ERP)系统实施项目,旨在取代系统,即电脑计算机和基于AS / 400的系统。引入ERP软件SAP预计能够整合组织范围的数据,并在不同市场规范业务流程。本篇paper代写由51due英国论文代写机构整理,供大家参考阅读。


Milicent Homes (MH) had set up a business process reengineering (BPR) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system implementation project in 2001 with an aim to replace the systems, namely computer for tracts and an AS/400-based system. This introduced ERP software SAP was expected to be able to consolidate data organizational-wide and standardize business processes in different markets (Balint, 74). 


1)Principles of BPR.

Hammer (1990) suggest seven principles of reengineering which make improvement in triple constrains for the project achievable by focusing on streamlining the work process of the project. These BPR principles, however, were ineffectively applied in the ERP implementation project at MH. In fact, this redesign project did not achieve the desirable outcome according to those benefits put forward by Hammer (1990). Instead of involving fewer controls and requirement to check, the new system was in great need of customization and monitoring. This situation meant that not only had those defects of old system not been effectively resolved, the SAP system also brought along new problems during the implementation stage, such as the unsuitable printing function. In addition to that a serious lack of effective communications among implementation team, end users and technical support team has a negative impact on teamwork and mutual interest.


The detailed analysis of the project implementation by BPR principles focuses the following aspect: firstly, turnover of key staff of the project and poor choice of PS team leader made the decision-making and control of the implementation process less efficient. This worrying situation violated another principle of BPR which suggests decision point should be at the place where work is performed and control should be entrenched in the whole process (Hammer, 1990). The second issue related to the violation of BPR principles is the ineffective link between Business Warehouse (BW) reporting function and SAP customized reports. As Hammer (1990) suggest that parallel activities should be linked in the work flow not for the sake of the results. The data loading in BW function was not effectively linked with SAP system; therefore the frustrating result of breakdown of BW in reporting was predictable. Thirdly, at sales and design department, the unreliable connection to server and abnormally long data-processing time seriously jeopardize the work efficiency. This issue proved that the system failed to subsume information-processing work into the real work that produces the information. On the other hand, what the SAP system did on synchronizing information from builders through mobile devices follows principles of BPR which encourage the geographically dispersed resources to be treated as though they were centralized and information to be captured at the source (Hammer,1990). Despite the fact that some technical issues related to SAP source code arose in later stage, this practice can effectively integrate information processing work into builders’ real work process in a timely manner (Balint, 81). 


2)Suitability of the architecture 

As indicated in the initiation phase, there are many gaps between the chosen architecture namely SAP software and MH’s business requirements (Balint, 77). These inconsistencies range from a specific function to non-function aspects, therefore this software architecture has different degrees of suitability viewed from strategic level and application level. These differences in suitability largely reflected principles of IT architecture of requirements understanding and standardization.

From solution level, functional business requirements of MH were understood to be closely related those various functions required for urgent redesign and non-functional requirements focus on the manageability and usability of the system. It is arguably true that functional requirements were not met. In fact, the new system caused additional problems: printing function of SAP proved to be ineffective and time-consuming; BW reporting function cannot generate accurate report as expected; the ability of purchasing and sale personnel to adapt to the new system was seriously impacted thanks to the complexity of SAP software; and network connectivity required by SAP was difficult and expensive to set up in many sales office (Balint, 79). These various problem severely undermined the possibility to satisfy the non-functional requirements

Although the suitability of the new software architecture was low from solution level, SAP was considered as a mature, robust and sensible choice from enterprise’s point of view. Because of the breadth of functionality of SAP and the good match between the scope of project and basic SAP modules (Balint, 75). As SAP sought to develop a new module of engineering and construction, the functional requirement for the system would be adequately addressed. An all-inclusive system means easier sharing service on standardized platforms for related parties.


3)Management of change and user acceptance for the project. 

Coombs and Hull (1995) pointed out that human resources aspect of change management is of critical importance for a project to be successful. According to Cao, Clarke, and Lehaney (2003), various contribution factors can lead to organizational change, including interactions of human and technical activities among different teams within a whole organization and management style.

 It is evident from the case that inadequate communication among functional team members and implementation team members proved to be a serious issue throughout the EPR implementation process of MH (Balint, 78&82). The widespread lack of efficient communication increased the time and cost of implementation, impacted the quality of the system and jeopardized the whole process to a great extent. Compared to the systemic framework put forward by Cao, Clarke, and Lehaney (2003), there was low level of effective system thinking regarding interactions of changes resulting from the introduction of new ERP system.

 

Figure 1: a systemic framework for managing organizational change (Cao, Clarke, & Lehaney 2003)

The user acceptance level in MH case is relatively low and it can be seen from various feedbacks given by end-users. Purchasing team showed high user resistance because of the complicated process compared with the old system and extra workload required by the new one (Balint, 75). Sales personnel complained about the Variant Configurator which was not user-friendly and insufficient training in SAP and they did not feel competent to use the new system due to their limited knowledge to sophisticated software operating (Balint, 75). As Venkatesh and Davis (1996) suggest when the objective usability perceived by the end-users is lower than their competence in computer, users are inclined to reject the system. It is evident that end-users within MH did not satisfy with the new SAP system which impacted the user acceptance level to a great extent. 


4)Project management and project governance.

Project manager is undoubtedly the key person accountable for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Slagle and Abramson are the two project managers from MH and SAP respectively who are responsible for building the project requirements and setting up attainable and clear project objectives, managing the triple constraint for project of SAP implementation in MH. However, they did not find the suitable solution to the problem of generating Unit Report and had strong disagreement on the issue. The cooperation between SAP and MH came to a delicate point after the resignation of Abramson (Balint, 80). 

Project management institution (2000) suggests a control system and four to five project management process groups for basic project management including initiation stage; planning; executing; controlling and maintenance; and close. In MH case, the initiation phase proved to be inadequate and troublesome. The implementation team worked to decide the project scope, however, thanks to the ineffective communication between team members and accounting personnel, it was more difficult to meet function requirement of finance department such as the failure of providing the cost data when needed. Also, planning phase proved to be questionable to some extent. Budget development and contingencies planning should be included in project planning. However, the problem of Unit Report went worse because of lack of budget; therefore, project quality and timeliness were serious impacted. In addition to that Venkatesh and Davis (1996) pointed out that as an ongoing process, project maintenance should focus on continuing support of end-users. In MH case, end-user training, necessary customizations, data conversions and correction of errors was concentrated in the month before cutover. This practice proved to be inadequate and the payment problem facing accounting payable function is a telling example of the seriousness of end-user training. However, things concern other stakeholders such as builders and vendors were worse, especially the relationship and bond with customers and vendors which were severed abruptly after various problem arose in the “go-live” phase (Balint, 82). These issues all suggest the inadequate controlling and monitoring of the project.


To mitigate the risk of insufficient oversight, the Project Management Office can exert positive influence on governance of the whole project, pool resources from different departments, strengthen relationship building with customers and vendors and liaise with different parties in play for the mutual benefit of the organization. On the other hand, the key to good project governance lies in the hand of sponsor (Lippe and Brocke, 2016). However, in MH case the sponsor of the project, CFO of Atlanta division, showed little involvement in the whole implementation process until the offsite meeting required at the end of the “go-live” stage (Balint, 83). Insufficient involvement of CEO means the failure to act the controlling role of the project and been accountability for key strategies as specified by PRINCE2. This negligence also indicates little support provided to project manager on timely decision-making, and poor stakeholder communications and relationship nurturing. These undoubtedly contributed to the dissatisfaction of customers and vendors which further eroded the success of the project. 


5)Risk analysis.

According to Cadle and Yeates (2007), there are several typical categories of risk related to information system project management. While applied the theory into MH case, the prominent risks lay in relationship, business requirement, technical risks and subcontract risks. Firstly, relationship risks largely resulted from low level of user acceptance, and lack of agreement between project management and users which is evident throughout the case from sales and purchasing department. Secondly the requirement risks were at a high level when project scope plan failed to cover the detailed functional requirement such as the cost data required by accounting personnel (Balint, 82). Thirdly, technical risk first arose thanks to the low level of computer competence among sales personnel and unfamiliar software system. The failure of Unit Report seemed to exacerbate technical risks during the management process. Finally, to make things worse, some vendors’ financial situation posed additional stress on accounting personnel who had limited knowledge to the payment procedures in the new SAP system (Balint, 82). These risks were not analyzed in time but after the negative impacts had arisen and no effective contingency method was in place, risk cannot be avoided beforehand. Therefore the acceptance and mitigation of risks were the only choice.

The underlying points of weakness in this project lay in three major areas: software system unproved, inefficient project staffing, and low level of user involvement. Consultancy support and proper training should be provided, however, according to the feedback from end-users little evidence was shown on either of those two aspects. Moreover, the project staffing proved to be a worrying problem. The SAP implementation project of MH coincided with high staff turnover throughout the 16 month implementation period, the resignation of SAP project manager, MM team lead, Atlanta controller and several accounting personnel resigned (Balint, 80-82). The excessive reliance on a key staff such as the resigned controller of accounting department had negative impact on the project as well. 

Based on the above analysis, the overall level of risk of the project which involves high technology and high structure proved to be medium.


6)Recommendation. 

To save the disastrous situation that MH faced, the off-site meeting was called to discuss the after the closure of project. The priority should be placed on the contingency plan to tackle the pressing issue relating to the function within the organization. By developing a constructive short-term solution and build confidence among end-users, management should actively involve users to communications, conquer the organizational resistance to change, and strive to create the new organizational culture and structure to support the reengineering process (Cao, Clarke, & Lehaney, 2003).These activities begin with the development of executive consensus on the value of the project.

As suggested by (Cadle and Yeates, 2007), the management should not forget the initial targets and goals of the projects. Therefore, to retreat to the old system would doom the project to failure. Instead, the sponsor and leadership group should strive to turn failure to success and capitalize on experience. 

Reference List

Balint, B, (2011). ‘Difficulties in enterprise system implementation: the case of Millicent homes’, Journal of Information Technology Case & Application Research, 13(3), pp.72-84.

Cadle, J. and Yeates, D. (2007). Project management for information systems. Prentice Hall: Pearson. 

Cao, G, Clarke, S, & Lehaney, B, (2003). ‘Diversity management in organizational change: Towards a systemic framework’, Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 20(3), pp.231-242. 

Coombs, R, & Hull, R, (1995). ‘BPR as ‘IT-enabled organizational change’: an assessment’, New Technology, Work and Employment, 10(2), pp.121-131. 

Department of Veterans Affairs (2005) ‘Project Management Guide’. Office of Information and Technology. 

Hammer M (1990) Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate, Harvard Business Review, July-August, 68(4), 104-112.

Hammer M & Champy J (1993) Re-engineering Work: a Manifesto for Business Revolution. New York: Times Warner.

Project Management Institute (2000). A guide to the project management body of knowledge. Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute, Inc. 

Sharma, J, (2011). ‘An expedition to quality: a review’, The Quality Assurance Journal, 13(1-2), pp.1-13. 

Venkatesh, V., & Davis, F. D., (1996). ‘A model of the antecedents of perceived ease of use: development and test’, Decision Sciences, 27(3), pp.451-481. 

Lippe, S. and Brocke, J., (2016). ‘Situational project management for collaborative research projects’, Project Management Journal, 47(1), pp.76-96. 


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