ENTERPRISE SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION Essay Example
17EXAM QUESTIONS BASED
ENTERPRISE SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION
ENTERPRISE SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION
What went wrong with the Company Y’s ES implementation? Identify their challenges and
Provide your professional recommendations to address those issues.
Introduction of the new enterprise system (ES) model came shortly after the turnover of company Y to the CorpeX. According to Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 93), CorpeX had newly acquired the Y company interpreting to the lack of enough information about corporate activities of Y preceding the introducing the cutover. The haste yet inappropriately planned ES implementation in company Y identifies with a lack of prior knowledge and understanding of the New Zealand firm (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 99). It is clear that the leadership of the implementation exercise failed to account for the differences and complexities in the current firm and only imposed a prior successful model to a new venture (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 99). At this point, important to realise that as much as the application of the ES can integrate firm business processes; it requires a comprehensive study of the existing business to learn of its characteristics (Fui-Hoon Nah, Lee-Shang Lau & Kuang, 2001, p. 286). Therefore, a proper recommendation includes performing research about the Y enterprise to learn of the functionality of their legacy system and its complexity before the acquisition and the introduction of the ES strategies.
Cooperation is an imperative component in any organisation, especially when it comes to introducing an innovation. The case in Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 93) has high levels of
incorporation between the locals and the implementing team from Australia. To begin with, employees at Y did not welcome the acquisition by CorpeX resulting in a negative attitude towards the suggestions by the new management (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 97). Further evidence includes the experience of David Butcher and Trevor Grey whose arrival at Y became unexpected and unwelcome (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 97). Moreover, the position of Stuart Barker to impose strictly the new model at Y without seeking the collaboration of the local employees is evidence that the ES implementation in New Zealand began without appropriate support and cooperativeness of personnel. According to Fui-Hoon Nah et al. (2001, p. 287), important is for the implementation partners to work together to realise the desired goals of an ES implementation process. Therefore, a collaborative approach to the project phase is more
desirable for the effective proceeding of the implementation exercise.
The absence of teamwork at firm Y explains the occurrence of decline in sales, the rise of cost and ultimately the loss of customers to other competitors. These drastic outcomes emerge six months after the introduction of the ES model which highlights its poor functioning of the Y’s (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 93). A significant point to consider includes the plan executed following the acquirement of Y by the CorpeX. Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 97) explain that soon after the acquisition, CorpeX left the responsibility of the company to the Y employees. In this case, the absence of an active presence of CorpeX at Y created a void pointing the absence of efficient cooperation of the two businesses.
It is important to highlight the events occurring in company Y, especially after the shift in management. Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 97) paint a picture of the situation at Y where other than the sign at the front of the firm, CorpeX was largely absent. Surprisingly, the management directs two individuals to direct the ES implementation at Y providing a short deadline and expect the complete adherence of the locals to these changes. It is not surprising to understand the reaction of the staff at Y including their unavailability during meetings, lack of interest in the education and training sessions, and the poor dedication of extra time to learn and contribute to the implementation exercise (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 98). Examining the participation of the local management, Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 98) includes that the General Manager at Y delegated his responsibilities to the IT manager. The imperative in the case is the absence of support from senior management that may have helped improve the attitude of the New Zealand’s. At this point, the challenge not only includes the lack of cooperativeness of the parties but also a problem in the communication channel. Fui-Hoon Nah et al. (2001, p. 291) speaks highly of the necessity of the top management to the effective implementation exercise. Moreover, communication should occur at all stages of the process to provide a complete understanding and engagement of the workforce to the course (Fui-Hoon Nah et al. 2001, p. 291; Leonard & Higson, 2014, p. 67; Tarhini, Ammar and Tarhini, 2015, p. 26; Umble, Haft and Umble, 2003, p. 245). The discussion by Leonard and Higson (2014, p. 68) provides a strategy approach aiding the implementation process. The functioning of the strategy as illustrated in Figure 1 explains the need to involve a collaborative methodology in the course.
Figure 1: An activity theory framework for strategy as practice
Based on Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 93), resistance to change influenced the unsuccessful implementation of the ES strategy in the Y company. The case study illustrates various instances where resistance to change occurred from both the local and the visiting participants. An example includes the pressurised CIO in the US facing cases of resistance to acceptance of the CorpeX ES model following news on its failures in New Zealand (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 93). Further examination of the case includes the discussion mentioning the satisfaction of the Y employees with the legacy system (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 97). It is important to highlight the reasons for the opposition of the ES including the rumours of the cumbersomeness of the new model, believe the old system functions properly, and familiarity of the traditional structure to the employees (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 97). Looking at the cited reasons for opposing the implementation of the ES, it is clear that availability of accurate information is lacking among the local and thus their accepting rumours as the truth.
Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 93) present the escalating level of resistance to the ES implementation, especially after its official introduction to the company. In the case study, the locals at Y were critical and strongly opposed the new model. Consequently, the performance of the implementation exercise occurred under strict conditions without a proper collaboration of the parties. Consequently, the new system became ineffective justifying the locals’ position to the rejection of its operations (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 99). The reaction by the local manager at the Y company further explains on the resistance to change. According to the manager, the solution to the failed systems is its replacement with the legacy system (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 100). Therefore, the effective integration of the new to the old should apply an active change management program that accounts for the culture in the organisation (Fui-Hoon Nah et al. 2001, p. 293). Regarding Fui-Hoon Nah et al. (2001, p. 293), change management should occur progressively throughout the implementation stages. Although continuous process, it should focus on training the enterprise personnel to have contributed to the designing and the actual performance of the implementation exercise. Fui-Hoon Nah et al. (2001, p. 293) adds the need to retrain and re-skilling of the developers of the implementation exercise. Reaffirming the significance of educating the employees of the change, Bala and Venkatesh (2013, p. 1114) show the need for the management to study, understand, and retaliate information on the nature, magnitude and possible consequences of the changes. As training about these perceived changes occurs, the application of the Job Stain Model (JSM) provides a practical solution to see the balancing of both the job demand and control (Bala & Venkatesh, 2013, p. 1115).
As part of the aforementioned suggestion on retraining the workforce to achieve the efficient management of the process, it is important to address the challenge of employee skills at the Y’s. According to Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 93), the regional CEO of CorpeX is an individual without skills in IT which is the main component of the ES implementation exercise. His lack of skills explains his decision to contact the CIO in the US to provide a solution to the challenges at Y. Moreover, Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 93) present the example of the technical officer with 24 years in the firm as the person in-charge of demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the new model. Although the individual is highly skilled, he may not possess the competencies necessary to manage the ES. The two personalities identify that there is a sufficient gap in skill and performance abilities, especially about the developed technology. In response to the case, the firm may develop a training exercise such that there is a progressive growth in understanding the development of technology (Strong & Volkoff, 2010, p. 732; Sykes, 2015, p. 2). Other available solutions include the discussion by Sykes, Venkatesh, and Johnson (2014, p. 1) stating the use of a survey instrument such that it manage the tracing of the competency, job satisfaction, and advice available in the organisation.
The review process of ES implementation exercise presented in the Y Company explains the low-level understanding on the functionality of the model. The lack of know-how about the system in itself is a contribution of more than a single factor including the poor collaboration of CorpeX and Y, lack of communication and active competencies in the management, and the absence of adequate information prior to its introduction. In particular, Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 93) identify the competition of systems as a strategy to point the failures of the ES plan. Moreover, there is the problem of the assumption that the application of the model is similar to all companies, and hence the assumption by the Australian analysts that company Y was a familiar territory (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 97). The dilemma of the IT manager at Y as explained in Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 99) further elaborates the problem at the local level. As previously provided, training and educating the staff could help alleviate the situation (Strong & Volkoff, 2010, p. 732; Sykes, 2015, p. 2). Moreover, the effective support from the senior management and external professionals in other CorpeX stations may provide much-needed directives to the employees at Y.
Throughout the case study, one notes of the small team channelled to see the completion of the ES implementation activity. According to the discussion, Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 97) mention that a small Australian team composed of two individual became accountable for the activity at Y. Moreover, the team overconfidence in their abilities is evident as provided by Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 99) explaining their directive to the local IT manager on what to do. Moreover, the small team working on a tight deadline was only available a week before and after the ES going live. Consequently, the team failed to solve the existing challenges resulting to the immediate and escalating challenges of the ES in the firm. In this case, it is advisable to include the various support structures described by Sykes (2015, p. 1). The availability of these support systems improves the reach ability of other personnel to aid the effectiveness of the implementation process. Moreover, Fui-Hoon Nah et al. (2001, p. 289) emphasise the importance of the team composition which should consist of a range of professionals co-located at the specific station of interest.
Identify and explain why and how the strategies implemented from 1995 to 2006 were able to foster good working relationships that lead to continuous ES success.
The background of the CorpeX covers particular strategies used by the firm to aid its acquisition processes and growth. Based on Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 94), the first strategy involves the global expansion plan performed through identifying businesses within the same industry. Of importance is the study of the characteristics of the potential firm including the organisation and its compatibility with the operation at CorpeX. Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 94) further explain that following the acquisition, CorpeX introduced its ES as a method to enhance the efficiency of the business and improve its performance. The new model provided a model focusing on the long-term operations of the business replacing the traditional models that failed to integrate enterprises (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 94). The application of the strategy aligns with the discussion by Leonard and Higson (2014, p. 2) explaining on the dynamism and emergent characteristics of suitable strategies flexible for a later change in the organisation. Here, the use of the ES to account for the developing technologies realising more effective businesses is an example of a dynamic yet emergent plan managing the current and possible future operations of the firm.
Examining the case of France, Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 94) describes the use of an in-house ES analysts. The particular team would share their knowledge with the local employees managing the implementation exercise. Here, the outside team of CorpeX function as assistants to the local team interpreting to a reduce resistance to change. Ko, Kirsch and King (2005, p. 59) support the strategy whereby the analyst act as a consultant to the local staff. The imperative in the plan is the successful transfer of knowledge to allow effective implementation of the ES (Ko et al. 2005, p. 60). The illustration on Figure 2 provides the process of knowledge transfer including its relation to both motivation and communication factor (Ko et al. 2005, p. 63).Figure 2: Knowledge Transfer Model
In 1998, CorpeX identified a viable business in Australia following a comprehensive research about its business (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 95). Examining the particular characteristics of the business, it is evident that CorpeX analysed its various aspects including the organisation culture. Significant aspects making the acquired businesses a potential point to introduce the ES include the organisation culture supportive of changes and the level of skills of the IT personnel. Moreover, Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 95) includes that the implementation exercise applied the use of external consultants in the form of a team. The team included experienced analyst from the US and Australia. Hoch and Dulebohn (2013, p. 114) support the use of teamwork during the implementation exercise, particularly as it enhances the sharing of task and availability of creative ideas. In reference to the case study, the use of a team strategy provided an excellent working plan that was both timely and within the projected budget (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 95).
Senior management support is one of the critical factors for the successful implementation of the ES (Ahmad and Cuenca, 2013, p. 106; Fui-Hoon Nah et al. 2001, p. 291; Gargeya & Brady, 2005, p. 504; Mabert, Soni and Venkataramanan, 2003, p. 304; Umble et al. 2003, p. 245). The discussion by Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 95) explains the initiatives developed by Nigel Galloway as the leading manager of the Australian firm to facilitate the shift to the new system. In particular, he introduced social activities to encourage the integration of the visitors to the locals (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 95). Through these social interactions, the manager achieved positive attitudes to the process, especially from the local employees. Moreover, the events promoted the cooperativeness of the team to the successful completion of the activity (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 95). Here, it is important to realise the position of senior support and its relation to other crucial success factors in ES implementation. Ahmad and Cuenca (2013, p. 110) summarise the interrelation of factors through the diagram in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Relationship of Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
Today, innovation is a strategy leading to the growth and the development of a firm. Therefore, it is highly encouraged by the management as evident from the case. Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 95) explains how Galloway quelled the concerns of employees by elaborating the potential benefits of ES to the enterprise. In this case, the confidence of the management to the system interprets to its fitness and flexibility. It also speaks of its ability to integrate the activities of the Australian enterprise to the global business. Concerning flexibility, Gebauer and Lee (2008, p. 71) define it as a system capable of supporting the enterprise over a long period. Contrastingly, Gargeya and Brady (2005, p. 503) identify flexibility as one of the intangible benefits acquired through the implementation of the ES model. Therefore, flexibility is a feature in ES implementation positively influencing the outcome of the business. Further illustration of the component includes the diagrammatic representation in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Theory of Enterprise System Flexibility
Supporting fitness is the discussion by Somers and Nelson (2003, p. 316) addressing the importance of identifying a more fit program. In this case, a fit ES model is that which aligns with the culture and the business processes of the existing firm. Through the discussion, Somers and Nelson (2003, p. 316) emphasise the importance of aligning the technology, choice of implementation, and the organisation Operation structure. It is through the proper alignment of these factors that it becomes possible to tap the advantages of the ES. Focusing on the case study, Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 95) provide the development of a template with information on the software, the knowledge of the process and its participants and the implementation process. The availability of the template entails the combination of the constituent bodies making up the ES model. Here, the template represents the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) fit model described by Somers and Nelson (2003, p. 316). As an integrated system, it includes various elements represented in Figure 5.
Figure 5: A Model of the ERP fit
In 2004, Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 96) mention the introduction of a new ES model. The mold became a more advanced form structure with enhanced performance such as the accommodation of multiple businesses at a single stance. It is through the improved system that saw the collaboration of the management and strategic planning to move recently acquired enterprises to this model (Grainer & McKay, 2015, p. 96). Grainer and McKay (2015, p. 96) presents that the availability of an implementation structure facilitated the easier shift into the advanced technique. Mabert et al. (2003, p. 304) explain that although the implementation projects are different, there exist similar factors that allow the efficient management of the new technologies. Interestingly, these features include the crucial success factors that enable the smooth operation of the exercise.
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