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Getting Started - Where's the starting line?

I've recently been hired by an engineering firm of about 630. It is neatly divided into two sections: Project Services, and Business Services. I'm in the business services side which constitutes about 15 of the 630 people above. We handle all the accounting and billing functions for the company. My primary function is to keep afloat an archaic database (roughly 20 years old) that is really a DOS system that has a weak Windows wrapper around it, and needs to go away. I'd like to expand my offerings to this company, and if I can pull off what I'm describing below, it would be warmly received. Here's what I'm looking at:

I come from companies that had tight processes and business practices in place. Such is not the case in my current position. The Project Services side of the company runs well. Business Services (my side) does not run so well. There are no processes in place, and no quality control procedures. As needs arise, someone just shows up at your office door with a statement of need. No tracking of work is done, no documentation of what the need was, how it was solved, and no quality control of the work that is completed and moved to production. The result is, whomever makes the most noise, gets the attention, we are thrashing about putting out fires, a lot of rework takes place, because quality control does not happen, and work easily falls through the cracks because it is not tracked.

I believe we need to get some processes in place, so we can triage need, run requests through a prescribed lifecycle, document progress, and make continuous improvements. However, I have no clue where to begin, since it is not a matter of improving a process, but establishing one where none exists. My Google quest, brought me to the SAP site, and subsequently, this forum. The Coffee Corner (which I am literally drinking as I type this) seemed the best place to ask, "Where do I begin?"

Former Member
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