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"Innovative Thinking" A Newsletter from Innovative IT Consulting In This Issue

January 2010

This month's issue deals with a question that we get asked, directly or indirectly, almost every week by prospective ERP clients. Where did we go wrong? The answer is not too surprising. And in his tips column, John Pellegrino starts a series on time management. If you can spare the time, you will find his tips helpful!

By Paul Sita, Principal, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. Paul can be reached at 631-549-1685 or psita@innovativeitc.com.

ERP is almost synonymous with project cost and time over-runs. Prospective clients frequently express their concern and fear "being one of those textbook cases" of companies whose implementation nearly kills them. Still, we see so many clients whose projects are off track, looking to understand why and how they can't seem to get their ERP project completed. Let's start at the beginning, which is where the problems start.

Incorrect strategy. What's the wrong strategy? A strategy that is too complex for your team to execute. Maybe there are reasons why this is not the time to implement ERP. Maybe your business practices are too unique or too filled with exceptions to make implementing ERP, any ERP, realistic. Regardless, if you start with the wrong strategy, it is almost impossible to recover.

Making the wrong ERP selection. I guarantee you that every ERP system you are looking at has many successful references. That means the software works. It doesn't mean it will work for you. If your selection process doesn't uncover your real requirements, in a very detailed fashion, then you can all too easily end up with a solution that almost works for you, and spend many months trying to get it to really work for you. We have said it many times in this space, and we will repeat it again. Requirements drive correct software selection.

Having the wrong team. In selecting your team, once you start adding people because of political reasons, or excluding critical people because they are tied up on other projects, etc. you are setting the stage for failure. As a complex and comprehensive company-wide project, ERP demands the right mix of people, many of whom are your "best" people. Watering down the team, making it too IT heavy, avoiding ruffling feathers - will come back to bite you later on.

Skipping steps - is all this really necessary? Implementing ERP is a complex process. As such, any decision to deviate from best practices can spell failure. If you don't think you need to pilot the system because you have smart users, or if you think you can get away without making site visits to other users - you could be right, but most likely you are wrong. And if you don't have a team with extensive ERP experience, then you are likely to skip steps either because you don't know the steps to follow, or you don't understand the potential implications of skipping that step. Here's one way to make sure you don't skip any critical step, DON'T SKIP ANY STEPS!

Experience. Implementing ERP requires experience. Not just IT experience, not just Project experience -- ERP experience, everything from requirements, to working with vendors, to building teams, understanding complex data issues, motivating people, and managing resources in a very organized way. If you don't have this experience in your organization, you are likely to end up asking Where did we go wrong? At least now you'll be armed with two key answers to that question. One, "in the beginning", and Two, what to do about it? Call Innovative IT Consulting. Your ERP partners, where we deliver Excellence in ERP.

By John Pellegrino, Principal, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. John can be reached at 631-549-1685 or jpellegrino@innovativeitc.com.

Project management is a complex set of skills, none more critical than time management. Over the years I have ben told that I am quite good at managing my time. So I thought it would be a good idea to write about some of my practices. Frankly, none of these are rocket science, but you might be amazed at how these simple things can help in very significant ways.

Time well spent. I have been married for over 21 years, my daughter is 18 years old and my son is 15 (for the full record I have had a dog for over 12 years, too). Anyone who has gone through similar transitions in life will understand that I have had ever increasing demands on my time for personal and family events. Honestly I don’t even know if I have any time worth managing left over after all of this. But, it is, of course, all time well spent.

All for one and one for all. And I didn’t tell you all of this in order to let you know where I am in my life’s journey. Instead I told you this because it relates to my first time management tip. Regardless of what system you use to record your schedule of meetings, appointments and events; whether you use hand written calendars or some form of electronic calendar; use one calendar to record personal as well as business items. It is not only OK, but it is by far superior to have one calendar that has in it 3 PM – Board Meeting, 5:30 PM – Doctor’s appointment, 7 PM – Dinner with wife, and 9 PM – Work on month-end presentation. This is truly a case where one (calendar) is better than two.

"The stage at which most failed ERP implementations go wrong."

G I N N B N E G I

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Answer to last month's word scramble.

"What implementing ERP is really all about." TRANSFORMATION

We'll continue to focus on the basics of good ERP practices. And we'll deliver it right to your in box. Coming soon - look for contributions from key Innovative partners. Please keep checking the INNOVATIVE WEB SITE for useful tips, and our newsletter archives. Amaze your friends and coilleagues with your expertise!

Where did we go wrong?

Let's start at the beginning, which is where most failed ERP implementations go wrong.

Tip of the month.

Project management Tip - A Time Where One is Better than Two.

This month's word scramble.

 

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