Using Lean Six Sigma Principles for SAGE X3 Implementation
SAGE X3 implementation, or any ERP implementation for that matter, is essentially a business process transformation exercise. Business Transformation is about making fundamental changes in how business is conducted in order to adjust according to the market. Transformation is not only to make methods more efficient and reduce cost but also to make employees more innovative and better serve your business partners.
In this article we will explore how we can apply some of the six sigma business process transformation principles to Sage Enterprise Management Implementations.
Determining Where You Are Now and Where You Need to Be:
Before starting the SAGE X3 implementation process you need to determine where you are standing as an organization and what business transformation you want to achieve as a result of the SAGE X3 implementation. It is just like a map, but a map is of little use unless you know where are you standing now and where do you want to go.
You need to answer these questions before starting your journey
- Where are you now?
- Where are you going?
- How will you get there?
If you know the answers of above three questions you are ready for a successful SAGE X3 enabled business transformation. Transformation really is a journey and all it needs is drive and energy.
Where are you now?
Just like other number of question, this is a very essential question need to be answer before starting your SAGE X3 enabled business transformation journey. Important things you need to know how well your organization was executing its strategies in past and now.
In the end it’s all about good data which leads to the good and important information and hence helps in making right decisions.
The important but not limited to four aspects you must consider are:
Customers: Are your customers satisfied? In big picture, your marketing share is increasing or decreasing?
Employees: How satisfied are your employees? Do they feel involved and satisfied about how business runs? Are you spending too much time in dealing with customers complaints?
Processes: Are processes in your organization are stable? Are things clearly defined or there is confusion for people to understand these processes?
The Organization: Do you have right skill and expertise to achieve the desired transformation?
Lean Six Sigma is all about managing by facts and it requires good data, presented in appropriate way. When we talk about data, we mean right data which is different from good data and right data comes from measuring right things. This data should be used to develop key performance indicators to measure objectively where the organization currently stands. For example, based on these measurements we determine our customer complaint resolution time is an average of 1.5 days.
Where are you going?
Your aim is to be clear about your final target.
- Don’t elaborate things in lengthy management reports.
- Make it easy to understand using simple language.
- Straightforwardly represent your data to make things clear.
Use techniques that make your vision clear and easy to understand for everyone. Where you are starting your organization from zero or expanding your reach to the new markets, always stick to transparent objective and purpose. So for example using the example above, a key goal will be to reduce customer complaint resolution time to one day. Throughout the SAGE X3 enabled business transformation exercise, constantly measuring your new business processes against these goals will ensure a better business process design and much more successful SAGE X3 implementation.
How will you get there?
Successful transformation is only possible if you strictly follow the road map defined above, alongside changing ideas during transformation is not a good idea.
Once you have started the journey, you need to follow the game plan and achieve targets in specific intervals. One way to achieve this will be to breakdown your SAGE X3 implementation into several small phases, and measuring and optimizing results at the completion of each phase. During transformation whole organization needs to move forward in same direction. Best way to do that is to establish a program management office to coordinate things accordingly and move whole organization in same direction. It is very important to make sure that the all the stakeholders including the various functions within the organization, as well as the business partner implementing the SAGE X3 are all on the same page. No matter how good you perform in all areas but not coordinating things accordingly can turn out to be confusing and time wasting.
In the next series of this article, we will introduce the Drive model, and how it can be used to improve the business transformation exercise and ultimately the SAGE X3 implementation.