“Software projects are no different from other projects”.
This statement is being repeated over and over at project management courses and seminars, even endorsed in books.
It’s true that software (and ERP implementation, as a subset of software) projects have many traits in common with projects in other disciplines. But ignoring their specifics is almost as wrong as saying that software projects are completely different than other projects.
One of the biggest absurdities about ERP systems springs from the very word we use so often when describing ERP: integrated.
ERP is an integrated system: it integrates all data and processes into a single application. Different modules look over different aspects of data and processes, but a change in one module automatically reflects in all others.
A fantastic concept. When it was invented, it streamlined processes, boosted productivity and eliminated overhead and error.
So, whenever a new functionality is needed by a company, it should be integrated into the ERP, to benefit from the integrated system. Right?
Implementation is like marriage. For better or worse, you choose a piece of software, take it under your roof and commit to it for a long term, so help you God.
And as in marriage, if you want to live happily ever after with your new software, the my way or the highway attitude doesn’t help much—you must be open to compromise.
Last Monday, I argued for avoiding customizations if at all possible, an argument I stand by firmly. It’s like forcing your wife to color her hair pink. I don’t know about your wife, but mine doesn’t color her hair pink. If you like it pink, it’s probably something to think about before turning your yes in.
But NAV is NAV, isn’t it? It has what it has, and if I need it different, I have to customize it, right?
Last Friday, while enjoying a not-at-all healthy Salisbury steak with cheese, I had an interesting discussion with a partner: should NAV consultancies create default databases?
A default database (in this context) is a packaged solution built upon standard Microsoft Dynamics NAV, where a consultancy has introduced a number of features that they sell to all their customers as the standard solution, instead of standard NAV. The modifications to standard NAV can range from simple report adornments to minor feature improvements to full-scale horizontal or vertical functionalities.