Viewing your ERP Implementation through Johari’s Window
Posted on: June 29, 2016 | By: David Kwo | QAD Business Process
Over the past several years, Logan Consulting has helped several companies migrate from either old, 20 year-old legacy, homegrown system or from a slew of Excel Spreadsheets on to QAD. The benefits of an integrated system from a transaction perspective are well established. But similar to human beings increasing their own self-awareness, a well-implemented ERP system can also help an organization increase its own self-awareness. To illustrate, this we will use Johari’s Window, a very useful model used for understanding and developing self-awareness, personal development and improving communications and relationships.
The Johari Window 4 Regions above are:
1. The Arena
What is known about him/herself that is known by others. These often are the results/reports generated by Accounting, Forecasting, Purchasing, Sales and Manufacturing. Everyone sees the same information and largely acts on it as the correct version of the truth.
2. The Blind Spot
What is unknown by the person about himself/herself, but which others know. We see this most often, when someone has created his or her own excel spreadsheet to calculate an MRP Schedule, Forecast or other critical benchmark that a manufacturing company relies on. They are convinced that their own spreadsheet is vastly superior to anything an integrated ERP can provide. In many cases, taken in isolation, the formatting is better as it is tailored to exactly what the company needs. This often leads to that person digging in their heels as they often view the decommissioning of their beloved spreadsheet as a message that their baby is ugly. This is often one of our biggest challenges during business process design, to be able to educate and influence competent, long term employees on why even if the specific functionality contained in that ERP module is not as good as their spreadsheet, the ability to have data flowing upstream and downstream into the other functional modules (purchasing, forecasting, accounting) vastly benefits the overall organization.
while it is not difficult to see why the blind spot can be difficult for an individual or an organization, the hidden or façade quadrant can be just as difficult. Specific to a manufacturing organization, without an integrated ERP system that every has visibility to (i.e. the arena) you are dependent upon trusting that everything you are being told about that person’s off-line program, database or spreadsheet is in fact being done…and correctly. In almost every case, once we have dug into the calculations or logic of the silo system, we uncover some element of, “when the numbers don’t make sense, I just use my 25 years of experience to correct it.” A big red flag is if your production planner (or whoever is using their own system) is extremely reluctant to share the basis of their calculations. The most extreme case we’ve seen in this is when a 30 year employee, who would not let anyone near his homegrown inventory program and management did not put their foot down. Unfortunately, Marty died of a heart attack one morning while shoveling snow. The next seven months wreaked havoc on the organization as there were multi-million dollar inventory swings due to the “Martyware” that nobody could account for and Marty had left no documentation.
Johari really calls this the unknown to self and also unknown to others. We optimistically call it potential. Because once everyone is looking at a real version of the truth, then that is where all of the synergy of brainstorming and collaboration can take place.
The key for any successful organization is to make the arena as large as possible and the Blind Spot and the Hidden as small as possible.
For more information on QAD, contact Logan Consulting your Chicago based QAD partners and schedule a consultation.
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