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We went live!

During PCOR, UNIDO has been working hard towards achieving its Mission of ‘Growth with Quality’ and ‘Delivering as One UNIDO’. PCOR aims to increase organizational efficiency and effectiveness by fundamentally changing UNIDO’s way of doing business and, at the same time, promote a proactive work environment, organization-wide knowledge sharing, risk management and better results-based management to allow for consistent reporting of results to all stakeholders.

Through its systematic and highly participatory approach, PCOR has been able to achieve fundamental developments in changing the way the UNIDO operates, especially with the introduction of a number of modules of the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

A large number of staff from all functional areas acting as Functional Leads, Change Agents and Subject Matter Experts have been working closely to implement the ERP system supporting UNIDO’s new business processes. With the go-live, all major business processes have been fundamentally changed and streamlined. The new modules further comprise functions for effective results-based management, risk and knowledge management.

Portfolio and Project Management (PPM)

UNIDO’s programmes and projects are managed in the PPM module of the ERP system. The PPM system enables the Organization to manage its entire project cycle from identification of a request, through project design, approval and implementation, monitoring to assessment, reporting and sharing of lessons learnt within a globally accessible single platform. Managing all projects in the PPM module brings a number of benefits, including the institutionalization of Results-Based Management, better reporting on results in the future, systematic management of project risks as well as easier knowledge and information sharing.  These changes also empower UNIDO’s field staff as they have access to the system and can be better involved in project identification, implementation and monitoring.

Human Capital Management (HCM), including performance management and travel management

The globally accessible HCM system covers personnel administration, performance management, e-recruitment, payroll, time management and more. This enables, among others, staff and consultants to update and maintain their personnel information, like CVs, profiles, addresses, bank details, etc. and submit leave requests and claims which can be approved by managers in the ERP system. Also, performance management in line with 360 degree performance appraisal can be processed in the system.  

Moreover, under the new process for the Recruitment and Management of Consultants/Experts, it is possible to select and recruit both international and national consultants/experts in the ERP system following a two-step approval process. A manager can select consultants/experts from a resource pool and initiate an electronic request for recruitment within the system. Once the supervisor has approved the request in the ERP system (4-eyes principle), the system generates a contract without requiring any additional approvals. Furthermore, managers are able to approve payments for the consultants/experts directly in the ERP system. These electronic workflows significantly reduce administrative efforts, empower staff, and speed up the recruitment and management of consultants/experts. In addition, as the ERP system is globally accessible, managers in the field are also able to recruit consultants/experts through the ERP system, following the same process, which contributes greatly to decentralization and empowerment of field staff.

Finance, Procurement and Logistics

The release 3 modules/functionalities were gradually being rolled-out as of January 2013. For UNIDO’s financial services, this has brought about new approaches to financial management, funds management, controlling, grants management, treasury, assets and inventory management. For procurement, global e-procurement, supplier relationship management, material management, long-term agreements, a global vendor database, increases in procurement thresholds as well as structural adjustments have been introduced. All these modules/functionalities are integrated with the already live modules. Throughout the implementation, it has been ensured that best practices are followed and that financial processes remain compliant with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). The new streamlined processes also follow the four-eyes principle and thus, significantly contribute to the empowerment of staff, greater accountability and transparency, pro-active knowledge management and increased organizational effectiveness.

Training Methodologies

Training methodologies applied include focused classroom trainings, guided sessions, help desks, a UNIDO-specific help function in the system, UNIDO-specific e-learning material as well as targeted interactive webinars for field staff.

Change in Working Culture

Implementing the ERP system within the relatively short period of time with limited resources was only possible due to the enormous commitment and dedication from a large number of staff and consultants from all parts of the Organization, who have been working hard to look at more efficient and innovative ways of doing business, and who helped design the new system. These joint efforts have resulted in positive cultural changes in the areas of collaboration and communication, as well as teamwork and knowledge sharing. This culture change is expected to continue beyond the implementation of PCOR. For instance, the new performance management system or online collaboration spaces contributes to staff development and cross-organizational collaboration and knowledge sharing. Furthermore, the global accessibility of the system contributes to decentralization by ensuring that field staff can be fully involved in all stages of the project management cycle.

Way forward

Following the closure of PCOR in December 2013, UNIDO is currently taking measures to carry on the change momentum, continue to fine-tune and improve the SAP system in line with business requirements and continue to adopt the “new way of working”. This included the establishment of a Business and Systems Support Services (BSS) unit in January 2014. BSS is responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing business and systems changes, continuous improvements, optimizing processes to ensure a functioning and integrated ERP solution, thus contributing to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Organization. Additionally, BSS will ensure from an operational and technical perspective that these are addressed in the ERP solution in an integrated, systematic and cost-effective manner following best practices.