Implementation Basics: Remember Lessons Learned from Y2K and Go Back to OP = Q+R+S+T

Yep, it's true, sometimes we all need a flashback refresher. These past few weeks I've been with clients who are looking to either quickly implement a new ERP system or rapidly complete an upgrade. As many of you know, that's not that easy. But what's been so unsettling is how little we have learned from the Y2K experience. Let me share with you a few universe truths that keep coming up:

  • Governance must not be all talk, no action. Proper executive sponsorship continues to evade upgrades, re implementations, and even new project selection . Executive sponsorship remains a key component of success and companies can't afford to lose business and IT collaboration.
  • Program management remains a necessity, not a luxury. Change management, issue resolution, milestone tracking and communication strategies were the critical success factors for successful implementations. With almost 4/5 CRM projects and 1/2 of ERP projects failing, the key factor was strong program management. It starts with the internal organization. Whether or not you go with PMBOK best practices or seek PMI certification, don't skimp on this!
  • Future state has to be determined before you start, not on the fly. Implementations which have not gone through the rigors of defining a future vision upfront often fail. With proper governance, program management, and a detailed design, terprises must invest the resources for business process redesign, reduction of duplicate data models and architectures, and design and testing by use case scenarios. This blue print should define a framework for the future state. Enterprises should also carefully evaluate where heavy configurations are required and what customizations should be minimized.
  • Finally, the law of physics apply when talking about the outcome of a project or (OP).
OP = Q + R + S + T
Outcome of project = Quality + Resources + Scope + Time
  1. Outcome of the project refers to the overall success and result
  2. Quality refers to how well the project is delivered to specifications and requirements
  3. Resources refers to the money, labor, and effort deployed on the project
  4. Scope refers to the project objective and expectations planned
  5. Time refers to the duration required to achieve the desired outcome
The bottom line.
Successful project outcomes require a level of upfront planning and organization. The interlay of people, process, technology, and solution ecosystem ring true and enterprise who fail to learn from the lessons of Y2K will continue to make the same mistakes leading to negative outcomes of project. By keeping in mind 3 critical success factors and OP = Q+R+S+T, enterprise will reduce the risk of failure.
(The personal contents in this blog do not reflect the opinions, ideas, thoughts, points of view, and any other potential attribution of my current, past, or future employers.)
Copyrighted 2008 by R Wang. All rights reserved
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