04 July 2008

Who Does What? - #2

On large implementation projects where the software “footprint” might include financials, supply chain, human resources, and distribution, there could be a sizable group charged with implementing Business Process Transformation and Training (BPTT) for a project. On smaller projects, you may have fewer people and even some roles combined, such as training material developer and trainer.

Who is part of the BPTT team?

  • Business Transformation Lead (aka Change Management Lead)
  • Business Process Lead
  • Training Lead
  • Communications Specialist
  • Business Process Specialist (aka Business Process Analyst)*
  • Training Material Developer (aka Instructional Designer)*
  • Trainer*
  • Training Co-ordinator*
Business Transformation Lead
Think of the Business Transformation (BT), or Change Management, Lead as you would a symphony conductor. It is his/her primary responsibility to keep all the different players on the BPTT team performing together with the appropriate timing and synchronization. In addition, the BT Lead lays out the methodology, milestones, and deliverables for the other BPTT team members.
On large ERP implementations, it is common to see two BT team leads - one that is a resource from the business (sometimes an HR employee who is tasked for the duration of the project) and another from a consulting organization. In a case such as this the BT leads jointly arrive at a methodology that fits the implementing organization’s environment, milestones that are consistent with the overall implementation plan, and deliverables that allow the organization to continue its business transformation after all the consultants have moved on to other projects. Smaller ERP implementations may have a single BT lead that could be “on loan” from the organization’s Human Resources department or a consultant from outside the organization.

The BT lead usually participates in all project update meetings, stakeholder committee meetings, the steering committee meetings, as well as leading meetings for the BPTT team. It is entirely possible for the BT lead to spend a third of his/her time in meetings alone, which means that the more organized and methodical this person is, the more easily all of his/her assigned tasks are completed. The challenge is finding someone who is at once personable, sensitive to an organization’s cultural and behavioral issues, organized, detail-oriented, verbally articulate, and quick thinking. In our experience we have observed BT leads who were personable, sensitive, and verbally articulate or personable, organized, and detail-oriented. It is a rare individual that comprises all of the cherished qualities of a BT lead.

One situation that occurs often enough to be noted is that organizations involved with business transformation using an ERP implementation or upgrade frequently send their “second or third string players” to the project team. In one business transformation project, the initial BT lead provided by the client organization was very senior and well connected throughout the various business units and departments. He was so highly thought of that he was pulled from the project team to take a new staff position in the executive offices. The next BT lead provided by the client was a talented woman from the IT department who was tempermentally unsuited to working in the fast paced project environment. Consequently, she returned to her previous position in IT and the team received another client BT lead. This individual has been with the organization for 18 months, working in one of the call centers. Thrilled to be out of the call center, this man was energetic and eager to participate in the project.

While the BPTT team members on this project welcomed him and his enthusiasm, there was also the recognition that this man had nothing in his work experience that would prepare him for the challenges he was about to face. As a result, the team spent 30% of its collective time mentoring this young man and teaching him about business transformation in organizations (much of what is in this book) so that he could be successful.

Business Process Lead
The Business Process (BP) Lead is the individual who works directly with business process owners and their teams to document current and future processes, improve processes, and align processes with software functionality. In a large ERP project that covers multiple functions of a business, it is possible to have a BP Lead for each core process the organization is considering for automation. In smaller projects, a BP Lead might have all of the financial core processes. Another could have all of the distribution processes. Some examples of organizational core processes are:

  • Record to report (financial)
  • Procure to pay (financial and distribution)
  • Order to cash (sales and financial)
  • Campaign to sale (customer relations management - CRM)
  • Sale to delivery (CRM and distribution)
  • Design to build (manufacturing)
  • Order to ship (distribution)
  • Hire to fire (human resources)
  • Customer contact to resolution (CRM)
Some of the best Business Process Leads were employed in other professions before working in the business process arena. It is the experience and understanding about business process that they learned in those prior environments that enables them to assist client organizations. For example, expert business process consultants in the financial area frequently have worked as staff accountants or controllers. Business process consultants in the CRM arena have functioned as sales or call center managers. In addition to understanding a particular functional area of business, Business Process Leads also know the strengths and weaknesses of the software that the client organization intends to use as part of its business transformation initiative. This knowledge enables them to help the client teams automate processes while minimizing customizations to the ERP software.

Training Lead
The Training Lead is responsible for several activities and tasks. The first task is working with the BT lead and Communications Specialist to discover who the end user community is, including finding out about:
  • how they are feeling about the coming changes in the business
  • how they approach training
  • what their learning styles are
  • how information is communicated through the organization
  • what their concerns and hopes are regarding the coming transformation in the business
In addition, the Training Lead’s responsibilities include:
  • identifying what the user community needs to learn and how they will best learn it
  • designing the curriculums for the various subgroups within the user community
  • ensuring that training logistics are handled
  • setting up the necessary “feedback loops” so that evaluation occurs at every step of the training development process
  • coordinating activities among the instructional designers, subject matter experts, and business process leads and specialists so that the training materials and delivery are as complete as possible for “go live.”
Communications Specialist
The Communications Specialist (CS) is charged with developing and executing a communication plan that describes the organization's reasons and goals for undertaking a business process transformation initiative. In many ways, the materials distributed by the CS are the first contact that employees have with the project. Further, the CS is responsible for producing project information updates and working with the PMO and BPTT Lead to keep the key messages about the organization's business process transformation on employees' "radar".

* coming in Who Does What - #3


SharePoint Development - Softweb Solutions said...

Thanks for the nice information.

Best Regards
Arpit Kothari

Offshore Software Development