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

March 2010

This month we review an issue that every ERP project team wrestles with - How Big A Bang to tackle? How much scope do you bite off? And in his tips column, John Pellegrino shares yet another project management pearl of wisdom designed to help you succeed in these lean times. In case you missed last month's tidbit, CLICK HERE and amaze everyone with your project management wizardry!

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

Rightsizing your ERP project for success. Part of the planning aspect of every ERP project is the scope. How much do we tackle? Do we do it in phases? Do we do it as one "Big Bang"? This is always one of the liveliest topics for the project team - usually with wildly differing opinions. But I know you don't come to our newsletter for questions - you come for answers. So what's the answer to the question How big a bang should you plan for?

In general - LESS IS MORE. The bigger the bang, the greater the risk. So, while I hate to generalize, generally the least scope that delivers significant benefits to the organization is best. What is a significant benefit? Retiring an old system (at least one), improving some critical business process, or automating a function that was previously manual. Regardless of how you cut it, if you can deliver a significant benefit in a shorter amount of time, do it.

MORE IS MORE. Doesn't this contradict what I just said? Not really. Very few companies embark on an ERP project without a vision of a future state. There is no denying that this means more than your initial objectives. The implication is clear. Plan for MORE. Structure for MORE. And budget for MORE. But build a plan to deliver more over a series of phases, shorter projects that are identified in the initial project charter.

Why is a bigger bang riskier? The larger the scope, the more complex the project, and the more resources that need to be coordinated. Very quickly one additional set of requirements ends up making the entire project exponentially more complex. And you find yourself having to deal with issues that are only getting in the way of delivering on your first set of critical objectives. Not to mention that very frequently the results of your initial objectives may alter your requirements or approach to the subsequent phases.

What's behind the tendency to plan too big a bang? The chief reason that ERP stakeholders and project managers cite for planning a large scope is the fear that unless they tackle those functional areas now- CRM, business intelligence, shop floor manufacturing - somehow it will never get tackled. Most ERP projects take place in a climate of "pent up demand" - and so it's only natural to want to cram everything in. RESIST THE URGE!

What to do? Lay out the big plan. Structure your project team, budget and resources to continue beyond your initial scope objectives. Deliver on time and budget. Then proceed full speed ahead. You'll already have navigated a lot of potholes, and have open road ahead of you! Follow these steps and the big bang will turn out to be only a series of whimpers.

And if you want the best partner to help you scope out your ERP project 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.

In this month's tip on time management I discuss a small, but very effective technique that helps me not waste any more time than necessary. After all, with today's lean organizations none of us have any time to spare, let alone waste!

Don't waste time waiting. You show up for a 2 o’clock meeting at around 1:58 because you like to be on time and ready. But, 9 times out of 10 the meeting doesn’t start on time because of at least one important participant’s need to finish something else. So you have a few minutes that you could spend waiting or chatting with other early attendees. Or, if you’ve planned ahead, you can do a small, quick task. The planning ahead is bringing certain “types” of work with you to meetings; a resume you need to review, a proposal that needs your input, or some notes about a particularly sticky ERP application issue you haven’t resolved yet.

"Worker" beware. But, make sure it’s work that will not take a very long time or can be stopped in the middle and picked up later so that you can give your full attention once the meeting starts. Multitasking is great for computers and for people when they are at their desks, but it is dangerous, not to mention rude, at meetings. Did you ever get an assignment at a meeting without knowing it because you weren’t paying attention? You know, the assignment nobody else wanted.

"One of the chief reasons for planning too big a bang in an ERP project." (3 words)

N D M E E T D N A P P U

_ _ _ _  _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _

Answer to last month's word scramble.

"How significant the difference between implementation and installation is". FUNDAMENTAL

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!

Rightsizing your ERP project for success.

How Big a Bang before you explode?

Tip of the month.

Project management Tip - Waste not, Want not.

This month's word scramble.

 

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