Tag Archives: Customization

1st rule of agile ERP: deploy vanilla ERP

image“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” That’s the very first principle of the Agile Manifesto.

The problem with ERP is that the first deliveries are all but early: they typically occur only after about twenty months.

Twenty months is a heck of a long time. And value achieved after a twenty-month implementation is often far below expectations.

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5 steps to implement ERP the Agile way

Roadside waterfall by digitaldust In my previous post I’ve (what, again?) shared some statistics about success and failure rates of software projects in general and ERP projects specifically. It seems that ERP projects fare somewhat worse than generic software projects, which I stated might have a lot to do with how requirements are handled.

Agile is an unpopular word in ERP world. We, the ERP people, love the glory and the thunder of The Waterfall. It has worked for us since forever, after all. Yes, we’ve all seen it fail every so often, but we’ve learned to learn from failure, and we know there is no better approach. Don’t we?

Frankly, I am not completely sure we do.

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Why is add-on better than custom, any day?

image 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?

Wrong. You can compromise.

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Top 7 reasons why to avoid (much) customization

image To customize or not to customize, that is the question. When you see a complex business process far from the standard ERP system, a knee-jerk reaction is to reach for customization tools and do the development.

Many ERP theorists say that ERP is only as good as it is an exact match for your processes. And they are mostly right about it. But majority of ERP systems are very generic (Microsoft Dynamics NAV included), and to exactly match your processes, they require customization. When it doesn’t work out-of-the-box, you customize it, it’s that simple, isn’t it?

It’s not, sorry.

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Sure Step in action: Degree of Fit

I’d like to have a BMW X6. A fantastic car. Only, I’d like it to be convertible, because I love the feel of wind in my hair while driving into summer sunset. I could use a glass roof as well, it makes the interior feel much more spacious. And of course, it can’t have that automatic transmission—I don’t care if it’s not a hybrid car, it simply must have the continuously variable transmission, no matter the cost.

I’ll never have a car like this.

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