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Change management and ERP: Understand the limits

by Don Riggs
Sr. AX Applications Architect, Business Process Improvement, Inc.
June 25 2018

It is hard to argue with a successful entrepreneur that his processes are not the primary reason for his company's success.  Not only does a business leader believe in the process, he or she may have actually authored it. Companies, whether they perform well or poorly, will hang onto their processes for dear life. They have been institutionalized and are almost unchangeable.

The question is, does the process drive success? How can two companies using exactly the same process get wildly different results? I believe that it is the execution of the process and the focus on the results that truly makes the difference. In other words, it is the people that affect the results, not the process. The process only affects the results if it is a bad process.

This means there can be many processes that can be employed to get the desired result. It also means that the biggest obstacle to adapting different processes are the people executing them.

Understanding the Constraint

My perspective on process and people stems from decades of work on ERP projects at organizations large and small, in various industries and markets, all with their own processes. And yes, many teams use the same processes as teams in other divisions or companies, with wide-ranging outcomes.

The single biggest challenge to the success or failure of an ERP implementation is not understanding and accepting the constraints that any system puts on how an organization will operate. A company's resistance to change can doom a project. No matter how skillfully we build flexibility into a specific business process, we are constrained by that process. This means that we do not have infinite choices when it comes to mapping of activities, transactions, entities, and so ...

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About Don Riggs

Don Riggs is a well-seasoned veteran with 25+ years of implementation consulting and 13+ years of Microsoft Dynamics AX experience. In his career, he has been involved in anything from helping design ERP systems, developing and marketing ISV solutions, to delivering a number of successful AX ERP implementations. As a regular participant in AXUG, he has delivered many courses and presentations. Don is considered by many to be an AX expert, particularly in the areas of inventory costing, manufacturing, AX project module, and implementation processes. Having attained APICS certification in the early 1980's, Don considerers himself a manufacturing consultant by trade and his love and enthusiasm for the industry has never waned. Always interested in new challenges, his branching out into other areas of the product has allowed him to become very knowledgeable in many areas. 

After a long and successful career, Don would like to share some of his hard won knowledge and experience, thereby giving back to an industry that has been very good to him. MSDynamicsWorld represents a most excellent vehicle to do that.

To learn more about Don and his company Business Process Improvement(BPI) visit their website at

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