Tips, hints and useful links for choosing the right ERP Implementation Methodology

In our last blog, we took a business perspective when looking at implementation methodologies. Would an agile approach be best suited to a phased implementation or upgrade?  And does a successful waterfall project best fit urgent, fixed scope and fixed budget projects? Our advice, there is no right or wrong methodology, we urge you to keep the business goals top of mind, and then determine the process.

Below we have a selection of hints and tips for choosing the right implementation methodologies.

Tip #1 – Set Sensible Goals
ERP projects are often long and complex, and setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals can help maintain momentum and energy. The waterfall approach is built on business requirements, so spending the time up front making smart goals can positively impact the project. For Agile approaches, make each sprint SMART, after every 2 weeks the project will deliver more value.

Tip #2 – Do Your Research
Choose a methodology that is right for your business. If your CIO is a scrum master, an agile approach is likely. However it is worth checking out the members of the agile alliance to see what they are up to and if there are any new developments that are worth looking at. Check out our useful links section below to compare methodologies.

Tip #3 – An Independent Eye
Using a project assurance consultant, or a senior decision maker from another area of the business can help you keep the project on track, on budget and avoid disappearing down rat runs.

Hint #1 – Get Creative
Cap Gemini have an accelerate solutions environment, where teams can go if they need a quick decision on something, discuss a particular point or generate ideas. The room is set out for creativity, plays uplifting music and has many useful and inspiring books.

You may not have a similar environment, however you can use the same principles, by taking the team into a different space – say a meeting room or area with a big blank wall – and stand, don’t sit!  Use coloured pens or post it notes and draw images rather than write words.  The objective is to make it light hearted and energetic, using both sides of the brain to come up with creative and innovative ideas to solve the problems.

Hint #2 – Maintain Team Motivation
Goals are great to help focus the mind on what needs to be achieved however, staying motivated to achieve those goals can be difficult. The project team may be spread over disparate sites and include people who have different responsibilities and only required at specific stages of the project. If you are looking after a team it can be tough to keep everyone motivated so keep an eye out for individuals and plan social activities as well as all the project meetings.

Hint #3 – Keep up Your Momentum
Know your limits and set yourself achievable goals within the project.  If you know that after 2 weeks you are likely to get bored, plan this into your schedule, add new tasks, intersperse IT-related tasks with talking to the business.  Go out and meet people, change your environment, drink plenty of water and keep active!  Strategic breaks result in higher productivity.

Hint #4 – Avoid The Treacle
We all have days when are not very productive, and rather than trying to drag your feet through the sludge, have a break and do something different. As a team member you can tie up loose ends, help others on their projects.  If you are a team leader, have a bank of tasks that you can give to the team when you feel the momentum has waned.

Useful Links
Here are few of the best articles we have found when researching which methodology is best for ERP implementations…

Link #1 – Which Methodology is Best?
Here are a few of our favourites to research before making your decisions:

Link #2 – The Agile Alliance

  • The Agile Manifesto was written in February 2001 and a summit of 17 practitioners, they didn’t agree about much, but did come up with the 4 main values, and then subsequently the 12 principles. If you are new to Agile, this is a good place to start, then you can delve into specific approaches such as scrumor crystal clear

Link # 3 – What do the vendors offer?

  • Infor have their accelerators, which are pre-configured industry solutions to provide best practice content with a finely tuned implementation methodology.
  • Microsoft Sure Step Methodology – specifically for Microsoft Dynamics products, is a step process to ensure successful implementation.
  • SAP – they have their ASAP methodology which is a proven repeatable methodology for implementing SAP.

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