Tektronix is a leading manufacturer of electronic tools and devices that was hampered by a fifty year legacy limiting its flexibility to manage customer and organizational information. Its Major problems are 1) shipping schedule inflexibility 2) order management errors and redundancy 3) performance metrics and customer information visibility and 4) financial administration (closing of books, profitability and operations analysis).
The Case for Strategic Implementation in Phases
Tektronix knew the needed change was complex and involved a comprehensive restructuring of the firm. Despite this, they never lost sight of the bottom-line -- customer service and customer impact. This provided a clear and simple strategic objective that influenced not only the computer systems aspect but more importantly, the project methodology to address: 1) project team composition (project champion, cross-functional/geographic teams, vendor selection) 2) changes in organizational structure including changes in job scope and norms, 3) adjustments in management systems (for controls/checks and balance) and finally, 4) improvements in process flows. As comprehensive global ERP systems have traditionally taken too long to implement, a dynamic and incremental implementation of ERP components is recommended as opposed to massive reengineering. Tektronix’s staggered deployment of an all-encompassing (and therefore very risky) project 1) allowed periodic milestone “checks”, 2) encouraged process improvements (ex: Oracle upgrades, process tweaks) 3) scheduling flexibility, and 4) yielded frequent victories, critical not only for maintaining team morale but to maintaining continued support from the Board as well.
Mitigating Project Risks
Mitigating inherent risks in complex projects not only involved carefully thought-out plans and tightly coordinated implementations but also require a thoughtful balance between standardization and customization. Key factors...
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