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  • Role Of Organizational Adoption In ERP Implementations Projects

  • In organizational adoption, the word ‘adoption’ itself contains the meaning and purpose of this concept. Here adoption means making decisions on change and for same reason analyzing the system or process to avoid potential roadblocks in making that decision. The organizational adoption concept is based on the root ideas in dealing with large organizational change and its impact. Organizational adoption also helps to remove the clouds of uncertainty - the questions like what will happen next – from the minds of end-users. For example, how will we deal with this change? Who will assist me if I need help in the post-implementation situation? So many more questions like this are possible to answer by driving organizational adoption. Utilization of organizational adoption concepts depends upon the volume of impact measured in case of extensive business process deviation. For example, if project initiatives have pure information technology outputs and don’t force any business process changes or with untouched system changes, then this concept may not be needed to consider very aggressively at organization level but still, an assessment can be done to make an appropriate decision. Also, organization adoption can address the dip in productivity issue, which normally hits user community post solution implementation. Organizational Adoption helps an organization to increase the implementation and sustainability of the new solution.

    This blog mainly aims to record project learning and provides a brief conceptual idea behind the requirement of adding the organizational adoption function in large IT projects. Also, this article touches on different aspects of organizational adoption (OA) and explains why it can be one of the safe choices.

  • Introduction

    “A key to success”. This phrase feels magical and all times important for all of us being a part of project execution world because we are aware of the pain areas in implementing a high business process and system impacting IT solution for any client. Another pain area for the project execution leads or solution stakeholders could be bringing all users aligned with the output of the new solution.

    A planned internal business process upgrade with solid IT solution will undoubtedly boost the revenue of organizations. The other side, however, while assuming this success is the majority of the end-user community can’t be untouched due to this change. A new solution may impact various levels of their abilities to carry work successfully. Underestimating these issues in any circumstances means incline that project towards the high-risk area, which is why we want to use OA concept as one of the success keys for a large scale IT project.

    Now, this fear forces a project management team to think of a unique function within a project, which will work with other teams in project and business user networks. Now, these business users will be impacted because of process changes coming in their way and will become part of life after an IT solution go-live. In this case, a function we may want to introduce is nothing but Organizational Adoption (OA). OA will mainly be responsible for boosting the user awareness and readiness level over a forthcoming solution. OA will achieve this goal by capturing, evaluating, managing and communicating business process or system impacts on users on a regular basis. Overall, OA will run as invisible auditors within a project team till a solution comes into life to cater needs of their internal or external clients.

  • What is Organizational Adoption ?

    The significant performance boost is required for any organization to move its whole or partial business process and related users from the current state to future state. This shifting requires a significant amount of internal efforts to bring the users on enough comfort level on the new process, hence the potential business losses can be avoided in the new state. So an organization needs a process to build the capacity, capability, and commitment of the global user community to move from an organization’s current state to its future state with the introduction of the new solution. That process is called organization adoption. OA lifecycle has multiple components and these components require to integrate together to create a lifecycle flow within the OA function. Most of the OA functions are building around the components like the discovery of business impact and its facilitation. OA lifecycle’s core component is business impact analysis over the new solution. As Impact analysis flows all other components like delta training and communication of OA life cycle gets mobilize along with it, this happens due to its core and source position in OA lifecycle flow. This document explains the business impact analysis activity flow (figure: 1) in one of the section ahead.

  • An organization can enjoy many benefits from the formation of an OA team and driving the OA concept in the project team for the external user’s benefit. OA helps an organization to increase the implementation and sustainability of the new solution.  OA helps an organization to increase the implementation and sustainability of the new solution. Delivering effectively via OA planning will create a seamless experience for the user upon the rollout of any current solution. OA activities can accelerate a high adoption/acceptance rate of new solution and processes, resulting in productivity gains and increased user satisfaction. OA can also be referred to as organizational change management; OA initiatives are critical to the successful acceptance of new and/or modified systems, processes and methods within the business

  • Organizational Adoption Function - The Need

    As stated earlier, OA is one of the success keys. This forces most organizations to think about OA or similar kind of team formation. OA team’s functions can be broadly pre-defined but as project graphs progress, OA teams get deeply involved with more IT activities. Because the larger the visibility on the on a solution, the greater are the chances of impact discovery on the end-user community or business process. Additionally, SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) Compliance is a potential pain area of any large business process change via large-scale IT initiatives. OA team can also contribute significantly in SOX. Documenting the business process changes is one of the responsibilities of the OA team and this change management activity to some extent helps SOX team during their audits. Again, that large business process change initiative without proper OA function will push that initiative towards high-risk. A real-world example, if new solution demands the change in existing business approval work flow structure, now this is business critical change and impacts to business as well as callout for SOX audits too, here OA Team can have good scope to step in and facilitate the issue, so user in scope of that workflow will have good visibility over the changes and after go-live ‘disruptive to the productivity’ can be avoided. An OA team’s functions can be broadly structured as shown in Figure 2.

  • Delta Training Function

    • Training document development
    • Work instruction updates, if any
    • Conduct training sessions
    • Web-based training, if required

  • Impact Capture, Assessment and Mgmt. Function

    • Impact capture • Issue assessment • Issue management • Issue reporting • Gap analysis • Gap closure facilitation • Issue fixes prioritization • Communicator to IT • Solution stabilization

  • Communication Function

    • Known Issues and Workaround Database • Weekly newsletters • Build impacts databases • Build a FAQ database • Identify user communities • Design communication plan for post and pre-go-live status of the solution

  • Impact Capture, Assessment and Management (ICAM) Activity

    As an initial component of OA, the impact, capture assessment and management (ICAM) activity has relatively more influence in OA flow than other activities. Also an ICAM analyst requires performing all these three integrated activities for single impact. ICAM team has to work collaboratively to identify, build, assess and remediate all impacts uncovered.

    For example, a code bug has been captured during one of the testing rounds of the solution. Assume these new findings impact the ability of the customer service representatives (CSR) response cycle time to customer. Ultimately this code bug creates issue meeting CSR’s SLA, so a potential business loss due to impact on customer satisfaction. This issue is very straightforward on the visualization over the impact, but impact assessment team in OA has to bring this impact into notice of the project team as an issue with adequate severity level for fixed prioritization. If we observe till the time impact on business process assessed, it was only a normal code bug and was not captured or brought forward as business process impacted issue. This parallel OA team’s pre-assessment on identified bug during IT testing rounds helps business analyst’s to handle the issue quickly and smoothly with business users. Now since the impact has been uncovered and identified at a very pre-mature level of solution, this situation demands the facilitation and management of this issue, so it shouldn’t exist after solution is implemented.

    Major responsibility of ICAM team is to identify and capture the process gaps in the current and new solution. But if the solution is already in-built and test phase, most of us assume that the gap analysis would have completed at this stage. This is not true all the time, because if a solution has a wide business area to cover, then it is difficult to pre-identify all the process gaps at once. So ICAM team is significantly helpful on this critical and timely part. In OA an ICAM team is considered as one source of impact analysis, so is responsible to drive the assessment over the gaps and subsequent impact, identified because of new system. This pre-assessment over gaps helps to close that gap quickly as identified rather than facing it in later stage.

    One should not consider OA team as a dictator to IT development teams on the issues identified by considering owner of the issues but would like to see OA as a facilitator of discovered issues by bringing business users and IT on the same page for impact mitigation. ICAM team can be powered with facilitator capabilities by having a mixed team structure from IT and business. Most of the project stakeholders wanted to have visibility over the OA metrics, since it increases their understanding over the solution progress and user impact assessment. So as a communication responsibility, OA should provide the one source metrics on these activities. Following are some general deliverables of impact capture, assessment and management team.

    • Capture impacts from the identified technical or functional issues

    • Record each individual issue identified

    • Create a gap facilitation and mitigation plan for each individual gap identified

    • Create daily metrics over the issue analysis

    • Assist IT development teams to drive issue fixes prioritization.

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  • 1 comment

    This is good article with details. OCM is vital to success of the project. Please post details other two functions. Thank You