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Monday, October 17, 2005

The Twin IA/AI Mindsets hampering ERP implementations.

Can the Attitudinal Behaviours of End Users and Technical People cause ERP Implementations to fail ?

A twin set of attitudinal behaviours in people (both End-User Customer
and Technical-ERP Persons), at times causes problems in ERP projects.

I call these as the IA/AI attitude problem sets.

Broadly these are characterised as :

- Amongst the Technical People, 'Intellectual Arrogance' - the 'IA' mindset.

An attitude amongst many technically-proficient people of assuming that contributions from non-technical people need to be ignored only because of their lack of technical knowledge and/or academic qualifications.

Key Issue to tackle the 'IA' mindset - How to ensure that ERP technical people exhibit more humility and are open to suggestions from non-technical end-users ?

- Amongst the Non-Technical People, 'Abstract Ignorance' - the 'AI' mindset.

An attitude of reluctance of changing mindsets or perspectives towards their own work behaviour or job learning skills. Also reflected in deep distrust of ideas, inputs from technical people.

Key Issue to tackle the 'AI' mindset - How to address fears of non-technical people in a better fashion ?

These twin attitudinal behaviours have contributed to a large extent in non-implementation or delays in ERP projects.

Only crisis-situations seem to cause changing of the above mindsets, which are hugely negative factors which cause ERP (and also other IT) project delays and distress in the workplace.

Any inputs on how to tackle the above (especially the first one) would be most welcome.

PS : Incidentally, IA and AI are also acronyms for the earlier long troubled (atleast from passenger perspectives) Indian aircraft companies - Indian Airlines and Air India respectively.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

5 Golden Steps for Evaluating ERP Solutions

One of the speakers (sorry, did not write down his name) at a SAP seminar, listed the below 5 golden steps for evaluating ERP solutions :

Step 1 - Do Homework Right. Evaluate Needs, Requirements. Compare the Different solutions available. More the Gaps between your needs and available solutions, more costly would be the customization.

Step 2 - Contract Negotiation. Fixed Costs Versus Time and Materials and Flexibility. Check References.

Step 3 - Limit Customizations since these are directly proportional to costs.

Step 4 - Address Key Functional Issues.

Step 5 - Address Key Technical Issues.