Business process and IT systems implementation
This research develops, tests and refines an implementation model with the
supporting toolkit to implement business process and IT systems within an
existing manufacturing environment.
The implementation model is based on the vehicle development process and the
IT systems development process. A supporting toolkit has been developed by
reviewing multiple areas of research and practice such as project management,
quality management, systems engineering, behavioural studies, business process
reengineering, people and cultural studies, as well as best practices within
industry. This model and its corresponding toolkit has then been thoroughly tested
and refined based on empirical research and experiences gained within 3
business cases, which took place within the BMW Group between 1996 and 2001.
Due to the growth of joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions within the
automotive sector the introduction on new business processes and IT systems
represents a common problem within the automotive and other industries.
Common business processes and IT systems within one automotive group enable
the flexible use of manufacturing capacity and skilled workforce. Thus they
represent the way to realise the synergy potential that often drives mergers and
Within the business cases which are focused in this research, the introduction of
new business processes and IT systems in the areas of engineering, sales and
marketing, production, finance and process planning was carried out in parallel
with the introduction of a new product. The challenges of such programmes are
multiplied and the price of failure is tremendous. At the BMW Group the
knowledge or model and toolkit of how to manage such a wide-ranging business
change was not available when the first business case was initiated. Thus it had to
be developed and documented on the run based on the lessons learnt. This
research helped to enable and structure this process.
Key recommendations for successful implementation are proposed. Critical
people and cultural issues when implementing new business processes and IT
systems are analysed and strategies for their resolution are proposed.
With this research an overarching, holistic model on business process and IT
systems implementation and the required toolkit is provided.
Both theoretical research and practical experiences within an industrial context are
linked due to the unique set-up of this research. This research set-up and the fact
that the results were generated within the BMW Group facilitated the acceptance
and the diffusion of the recommendations within the BMW Group. Principal parts
of this model and its toolkit are now being used at the BMW Group on current
business cases. The pre-study duration (Time-to-decision) and the duration of the
implementation were halved. Future programmes will benefit from the results of