Microsoft MVP Award

NO! That's not me in the picture! I wasn’t sure at first if it was an April Fools’ day prank, but earlier this evening I’ve got an e-mail from Microsoft congratulating me on my MVP Award. Not that it just fell from the sky—I had been contacted by the nomination team and I knew it might be coming. But still, it’s April the 1st, and the E-mail was sitting in my Junk E-Mail folder, and I was *THIS* close to releasing my finger from the left mouse button over the Empty “Junk E-Mail” Folder option, when I just noticed in a flash the subject of one of the messages. Uh-uh! That ain’t no junk. Phew!

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ERP Implementation Strategy Survey

Software Advice Houston Neal of Software Advice is running a survey about the ERP implementation strategies, with the goal of identifying the best one. The survey is very short, it will take only a couple of minutes and is aimed at helping future customers choosing the best strategy.

Even though I don’t think that anyone should follow the results of any survey when choosing their implementation strategy, the introductory article of this survey does a nice job explaining the three common approaches of implementing ERP. If you are an existing ERP customer, or a consultant, please take a half a minute and answer the questions there, and if you are a potential ERP customer, check the article to learn more about possible approaches your organization can adopt. If you missed the link at the beginning of the post, just click here.

Requirements and Process Review – Critical vs. Non Critical

Requirements and process review is one of the decision accelerators in the Diagnostic phase of the Sure Step, aimed at gaining deeper understanding of customer’s business processes, and documenting high level requirements, as well as possible implementation issues. As such, it is an indispensable input into further decision accelerators and the implementation project itself.

One of the activities done in scope of this decision accelerator is identifying high-level implementation issues which are then classified into critical and non-critical. I’ve done some requirements and process reviews and had a chance to discuss it with consultants and project managers, and I’ve often found people to be somewhat confused with the logic behind this classification, because at the first glance it seems totally reverse: what you could call critical shooting from the hip, is in fact non-critical, and what you could say is non-critical, turns in fact to be critical. And it requires some general shift in the point of view of what consultants are generally used to in scope of typical gap analysis activities.

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Fit Gap and Solution Blueprint Estimates

The Sure Step season seems to have started in its fullest for me – it is the second time this year already that I’m delivering the Sure Step course, this time in Copenhagen, Denmark, and I must say that I truly enjoy it.

Anyway, while discussing the Fit Gap and Solution Blueprint decision accelerator, an important component of the Diagnostic phase, a student asked me an interesting question: why do we need to give effort estimates to meet the requirements at this stage?

And indeed – isn’t it far too early to give or commit to any effort estimates at this early stage, isn’t there a huge risk that the customer might understand these estimates as final project estimates? What’s the true meaning of effort estimates during Fit Gap analysis in diagnostic phase?

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