Enterprise System Essay Example
3What went wrong in the case of Company Y
5Challenges of ES Implementation
6Challenges of Y’s ES Implementation
6Lack of coordination between the implementing team and the local users
7User resistance to the Enterprise Systems (ES)
8Lack of proper planning and systemized implementation process
9Creating awareness and preparing the staff regarding the system change:
10Training of the staff
10Proper Planning before and during implementation
11Illustration of the strategies implemented in 1995 to 2006 successfully saw good working relationship and ultimately successful implementation of Enterprise Systems (ES).
11Identification and explanation of the strategies
11The strategy to engage into fun social activities
13Strategy of training the NZ Staff
14How the strategies ensured good working relationship and ultimate ES success
15Awareness creation on benefits and possible disruptions of the ES;
15Strategy of training:
15Strategy of using a more experienced IT Team:
This study tries to describe the application of the theoretical lens of background chat to research on the resistance to changes taking an enterprise system as a case study. For the study to show the complexity of the resistance, the researcher decided to adopt the social constructions perspective which led to the findings that are totally different and more important compared to the other studies that had been done before. In this study there were a lot of tools that were used including communication agents and group work in order to elaborate every detail involved.
What went wrong in the case of Company Y
In the year 2006, CorpeX acquired a New Zealand based company referred to as Company Y. The acquired company had an outstanding record of being one of the most successful chemical manufacturers and distributors in New Zealand. Despite its relatively small size, it was the most successful in this particular business niche. This, therefore, led to CorpeX acquiring Company Y as one of the strategies to make it more competitive and highly dominant in the industry. However, the attempt by the IT professionals in CorpeX to implement the Enterprise Systems (ES) used in its other branches was unsuccessful (Grainger & McKay 2015). The attempt resulted in a massive loss in the company, delays in the processing of activities, loss of money due to poor customer transactions among many other things.
The problem experienced in this case was lack of successful implementation of the ES in the company. In the previous years, CorpeX had successfully engaged in successful implementations across its various subsidiaries. For example, the case of the Australian company acquired in 1998 saw a successful implementation. This was however not the case in the attempt to implement the ES in company Y (Grainger & McKay 2015). The local team existing in Company Y was highly resistant to the implementation of the new system. They were less supportive and reluctant to embrace the system change. In most cases, they were seen as practically rejecting the notion of the Australians bringing change into their company. The Australian implementation team was highly frustrated by lack of cooperation on the side of the local NZ members who would become the need users of the implemented project in company Y. Ultimately; the continuous resistance witnessed from the local people saw the failure of the initial implementation phase of the ES in the company (Fui-Hoon et al. 2001).
The other thing which went wrong in the implementation process in company Y concerns the failure of the normal procedures and process which were carried out by the company. The old system which was intended and marked for replacement ensured smooth information flow, ordering process and maintenance of customer data in the company. However, the change process lacked a proper planning so as to ensure the continuation of the normal running of the business activities of the company despite the process of system change. As a result, the company witnessed immense challenges in regards to the flow of information within the company, taking and responding to orders, loss of customer data, slow response to demands and also suffered from loss of customer base. Consequently, the profitability which was earlier harnessed using the old system declined especially during the early stages of the system implementation. Fui-Hoon et al. (2001) argues that the implementation process usually follows a certain procedure such as the one represented in the diagram below:
Fig 1.1 System Implementation Diagram
The entire process of system implementation therefore went wrong and never met the preferable requirements in a rational case of system implementation. This grievous concern necessitated the head office back in the United States to responds by sending a profession team of IT experts to aid in alleviating the condition and ensuring successful system implementation.
Challenges of ES Implementation
There are general challenges which are usually associated with the implementation of Enterprise Systems (ES) within companies. These general challenges are not however automatic for every case of companies since some have unique challenges or even one or few from the general list provided in the table below;
Lack of senior manager commitment
Ineffective communications with users
Insufficient training of end users
Failure to get user support
Lack of effective project management methodology
Attempts to build bridges to legacy applications
Conflicts between user departments
Composition of project team members
Failure to redesign business process
Misunderstanding of change requirements
Table 1.1: Challenges of ES Implementation
Challenges of Y’s ES Implementation
The CorpeX Company had successfully implemented Enterprise Systems (ES) in many of its newly acquired companies across various regions in the world. In fact, the head office was reaping from the implemented system, and this bolstered its effort to ensure that all its subsidiaries and branches benefited from the ES. This was however not the case in Company Y was located in New Zealand. The attempt by the Australians to integrate the Enterprise Systems (ES) into this company met some challenges which include;
Lack of coordination between the implementing team and the local users
Soh & Sia (2005) assert that coordination is one of the most important and integral requirements during any system implementation process. This process usually requires both parties to the implementation to coordinate and be able to work as a team. Coordination is a requirement since it helps in smoothening the process and also aids in timely execution of activities and realization of implementation of objectives. Whenever one party to this process fails to meet this requirement, the entire process is thrown into disarray, and this causes either failure of the processes or a limited realization of goals.
In the case of Company Y, there was poor coordination between the Australian IT professionals sent to implement the Enterprise Systems (ES) and the locals in New Zealand. There was a negative perception in the beginning, and therefore the local users remained less cooperative through the process. Despite several attempts done by the Australia team, there was still little effort from the local users of this system. Essentially, the kind of coordination required in the process of implementing such a system was utterly absent in the case of Company Y (Grainger & McKay 2015). According to the case study, the challenge of poor coordination began right from that management level of company Y since most of the users were accustomed to and used to the old system that was in place. The attempt to introduce new system was therefore not welcomed by the New Zealanders.
According to this case study, company Y employees developed a disdained attitude at the beginning wondering why CorpeX which was below their performance rate would be the acquiring company. Once this kind of attitude permeated into the company, any attempts by the CorpeX staff to introduce change was therefore met with utter reluctance. The implementation of the Enterprise Systems (ES) was therefore difficult in Company Y as a result of low cooperation between these two teams.
User resistance to the Enterprise Systems (ES)
The end users to a system are a major component in any model of Enterprise Systems (ES). They occupy a central position which otherwise influences the success or the failure of the intended system. Therefore most of the implementation processes tend to ensure that the users embrace the proposal first even before the actual process of system implementation (Fui-Hoon et al. 2001). This is usually done through creating awareness, training on the need for system change and the significance of the intended new system to the company. These kinds of awareness are aimed at changing the mindset of the would-be end users of the new systems to make them receptive and embracive of the proposed system.
In the case of company Y, there was no awareness creation and the system implementation team engaged into an impromptu system takeover. This was done without putting into place the possible consequences of such a quick changeover process. According to the case study, the staff working in the acquired company Y developed resistance against the changeover. Most of the New Zealanders have been deemed as less receptive to the activities and the initiatives of the Australians. This clearly played about even in this company where the staff demonstrated resistance and lack of interested to the new proposed system sought to be introduced by the Australians. As a result, the implementation process saw immense challenges, and this led to its failure until the team of experts was sent from the head office (Grainger & McKay 2015).
Lack of proper planning and systemized implementation process
The process of introducing a new system intended to replace the existing system is usually a planned process. It requires a proper planning so as to prevent the possible losses and challenges resulting from the difficulties and problems of the takeover. Some system implementation teams employ the phase-to-phase implementation process so that the old system is not completely removed before the new one is successfully implemented (Liang et al. 2007).
In the case of company Y, here was a challenge regarding the planning of the implementation process. One of the concerns raised by the resided IT professional in Company Y regarded the need to progressively and slowly change from the existing system into the new system. However, this was not heeded to, and the change nevertheless continued. This resulted into great loss since the new system had not been well implemented and not well mastered by the users. The result was a loss of customers who after that went to the competitors to purchase the similar products after being dissatisfied in their otherwise know trade partner (Grainger & McKay 2015).
Creating awareness and preparing the staff regarding the system change:
Awareness creation is a significant aspect of any system implementation process. The end-users of the new system need to be told and made aware regarding the reasons behind the change and possibly the importance the change would bring to the company. This kind of awareness can be enhanced through offering training to the existing employees in the company, teaching hem of the benefits of the new system and also motivating them towards embarking the new system. The process of preparing the staff to accept and embrace the new system is one of the beneficial strategies aimed at preventing possible resistance which can be developed by the users (Gupta 2000).
This assumption is predicted on the fact that people tend to accept what they have knowledge about and quickly oppose that which is new and they lack experience or knowledge of its nature. That way, creation of awareness of such kind could have enabled the staff of company Y to follow the change in the system so easily.
Training of the staff
Training has been seen as another important step which is undertaken during the system change. The staff requires proper training regarding the new and the introduced system so as to make them aware on its usability and also promote acceptance. Training is an important step to help avoid losses incurred when the staff has no clue on how to operate the system. The consequence of the lack of training is usually witnessed when the staff tends to resist then new system and seek to revert to the old system which they have proper knowledge of its usability (Robey, Ross, & Boudreau 2002).
Proper Planning before and during implementation
Planning is an essential requirement in the process Enterprise Systems implementation before and even during such a process. It involves sequential activities which are well coordinated to ensure that there is ample time, resources and also proper and systematic change over from one implementation phase to another. There are some phases of the implementation process, and all these are very important. The danger posed by the lack of proper planning is the ultimate loss in the profitability of the business operations, slow processes, loss of records and important data, much time taken to execute activities and an alteration in the normal flow of information within the organization (Soh & Sia 2005).
The recommendation regarding this concerns the need to have a better and systematic way of implementing the system. The old system needs to be in place for some time as the new system is slowly introduced into various phases and various departments of the organization or the company. This helps in ensuring that the normal flow of activities is not interrupted and that no data is at a risk of loss during the process. Besides, it also helps in ensuring that the implementation process corrects any anomaly which may rise due to technical challenges so as to effectively realize the objectives of the company.
Illustration of the strategies implemented in 1995 to 2006 successfully saw good working relationship and ultimately successful implementation of Enterprise Systems (ES).
Identification and explanation of the strategies
The strategy to engage into fun social activities
The first strategy was to plan a series of fun and social activities between the US team of system developers and the local teams. For example, the US leaned the intricacies of the game of cricket from the Australian team while the latter leaned the intricacies of baseball from the American team. Other series of social events were promoted between the teams few months before the start of the proposed system implementation. The reason for engaging in such social activities was to foster understanding, close relationship, building trust and also share common memories so as to realize close cooperation between the teams (Fui-Hoon et al. 2001).
The successful implementation processes between 1995 and 2006 were instigated by organizing social fun activities between the implementing teams. The various games were majorly used to promote these fun and social activities as evidenced in the case of the 1998 ES implementation in the newly acquired Australian company
The strategy of creating awareness regarding the benefits and also the expected disruption from the system change
One of the strategies successfully used by the project manager was to conduct occasional training and awareness programs to the Australian team regarding the proposed system change. One fundamental feature of these training regarded the benefits of coming up and engaging in this practice (Fui-Hoon et al. 2001). The project manager occasionally underscored the benefits which would be realized when the new system is implemented and the old system abandoned. This strategy was aimed at hyping the desire of the staff and the entire Australian team towards embracing the new project.
The other strategy concerned the plain explanation by the project manager regarding the possible consequences that would be experienced during the change over process. In several occasions, the manager asked the Australian team to prepare for constant disruptions that would be caused due to the implementation of the new system (Grainger & McKay 2015). Other aspects which the project manager asked the Australian team to be prepared for concerned the possible hard work associated with the changeover and also the possibility of loss of functionality.
The main reason for the use of this strategy was to create awareness among the staff regarding the benefits which the system would offer. Besides, the awareness was also to prepare the staff beforehand of the possible outcomes of the implementation process. This strategy worked on several occasions since the challenges that arose out of the implementation had been made known, and the staff had become aware of such outcomes. This saw success in the entire implementation process in these companies.
Strategy of training the NZ Staff
The other strategy implemented that ensured the success of system implementation between 1995 and 2006 regards the well planned training sessions that were often carried out by the Australian staff. Training is usually commenced before and during system implementation so as to orient the staff towards the new system and also to enforce proper system handling by the new users (Fui-Hoon et al. 2001).
The Australian staff ensured that proper training was done especially before the full system implementation so as to create a familiar working environment. In the case of system implementation in the company acquired in 1998 in Australia, the implementing team conducted a series of training on the various technical aspects of the new system, benefits of the system and how to work with the new system (Grainger & McKay 2015). The training sessions, therefore, promoted the ability of the staff of the new company to gain knowledge on the new systems and also ensured easy system operation. Therefore, success of the system implementation was guaranteed.
Strategy of using a more experienced ES Implementation team
The process of ensuring a successful system implementation is usually dependent on the knowledge, skills and the experience of the system implementation team. The team determines the kind of output expected from the system implementation (Soh & Sia 2005). The processes of implementing new ES in the various companies owned by CorpeX between 1995 and 2006 witnessed the use of a more profession and experienced team from the US and even from the Australian side (Grainger & McKay 2015).
In the case of Company Y’s system implementation, the entire duty was left to be managed by the team led by Butcher and Grey. This team was however not responsible for the success witnessed in the previous implementation cases. The situation grew worse until a senior manager by the name Derek Greenfield was called from the head office and came to review the process. The previous implementation processes were, therefore, successful since they were led by more professional and experienced teams mostly led by the senior IT managers such as Derek Greenfield.
How the strategies ensured good working relationship and ultimate ES success
The fun social activity strategy: The social events saw the exchange of cultural beliefs, knowledge, skills and also promoted mutual relationship among the two teams. The various members learned from one another and trust was built among every person. Besides, the social events led to close participation of every member. This is usually true with games such as baseball in which the participants have to work as a team to realize success.
The process of implementing the new systems set for the coming months would require close cooperation, and this, therefore, necessitated the need for building such through engaging in social events. This strategy worked very well in 1998 when CorpeX acquired an Australian company and sought to engage in Enterprise Systems implementation in the newly acquires company. Therefore, the close relationship required during this process was easily achieved through engagement into some social activities such as the common sporting events (Fui-Hoon et al. 2001)
Awareness creation on benefits and possible disruptions of the ES; This strategy ensured that the local teams become aware of the reason behind the change into new systems. The benefits which the new system would bring to the company was meant to motivate the staff top accept the system and embrace the change (Fui-Hoon et al. 2001).
In addition, the creation of awareness regarding the possible disruption by the new system implementation was meant to make the local team aware and therefore to be prepared for such disruptions. This was necessary so as to avoid abrupt exposure to disruptions.
Strategy of training:The use of this strategy was successful in building a close relationship between the implementing team and the local team. Training ensured that the local team became knowledgeable on how to use the new system and also enabled them to realize the significance of the system (Soh & Sia 2005). This promoted acceptance instead of rejection of system implementation.
Strategy of using a more experienced IT Team:The choice of CorpeX to involve the IT professionals especially those from the head office in the implementation processes between 1995 and 2006 was one of the reasons for such successful outcomes. This was due to the close working relationship that is easily created between a professional and the local team member. Professionals are trained on interpersonal skills (Soh & Sia 2005). Therefore, they are able to realize a more social working environment as opposed to armature or less experienced implementation team.
This was evidence when the IT professional team lead by Derek Greenfield from the head office successfully reviewed the entire process and saw a successful implementation. The interpersonal skills they possessed were able to make them realize this objective together with the local team.
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