House of Commons: ERP System Consultancy
The House of Commons (the House) had implemented the Agresso Business World ERP system in two of its six departments. In so doing they had brought together core payroll, human resources and finance functionality into a single system. A further project in currently under way to extend the system to the remaining departments as part of wider business and process change programme.
The Agresso Business World ERP system represents one of the key House back office system and major investments. The House is committed to maximising the use of its system to deliver improvements in service delivery. Having gone live with the initial phase of the project the House did not have dedicated team to hand over the new system to and to manage changes and to initiate development over time. Insight MSC were asked to present approaches to managing corporate system based upon our Service Infrastructure Management (SIM) methodology to members of the original project board.
- Options Review
Insight MSC produced an options review paper which was presented the members of the House project board and other senior managers. The paper set out the principles of owning large complex ERP systems and the need to view them strategically so that they remain effective, up to date, continue to support the organisation and remain under support. The paper also explored the creation of a body that would retain strategic ownership of the corporate ERP system and support structure needed to maintain and further develop the system. The recommendations presented in the paper were agreed and implemented.
- Establishing a Service Management Board
Our first task to help the House establish a service Management Board (SMB) In setting up the SMB we created a formal terms of reference and charter for the Board members. This included the creation of a long-term budget for the ongoing development of the system. Today the board is represented by three of the six heads of department of the House.
- Creating a Service Centre
The next stage consisted in facilitating the creation of dedicated service centre organisation. Insight MSC identified the roles required to proactively manage the ongoing system and development plan. We were responsible for the creation of role descriptions and subsequent interviewing of House staff to fill the service centre roles leading to placement of each of the roles identified in the service structure. Crucial to the success of the new service team was the importance to recognise the need for business- orientated roles. A number of business roles were established to ensure that all aspects of service support were covered e.g. business analyst.
- Future system developments
We worked with the House service staff to create an initial development log which pulled together all of the potential systems development end users wanted to see implemented. These were catalogued and prioritised according to criteria established by the SMB.
We worked with newly appointed staff to put in place standard support processes e.g. change management, configuration management using the principles set out in the ITIL service management guidelines. These processes underpin how the service centre operates and how they maintain their service levels with each of the stakeholder groups. This included the creation of an ongoing communications plain aimed at informing all interested parties of planned future developments and the benefits to be accrued from undertaking the work. The essential element of that plan is the involvement of representative users who meet at regular checkpoint meetings.
“The creation of a dedicated Service Centre to manage the core administrative information system was a new departure for the House at the time. It was established on the basis of the approach recommended by Insight MSC and its value was well proven in its first year. The Service Centre was seen as essential in ensuring we maximise our investment in our integrated administrative information system and is now part of centralised ICT department”.
Elizabeth Honer, Former Director of Resources, House of Commons