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?
Agile has been gaining momentum among software development methodologies for past decade or so. Various researches and surveys consistently show that software developed under an agile approach is generally better than the software developed under waterfall approaches.
At the core of any agile approach is an assumption that whatever the requirements might be at the beginning of a project, they won’t be the same at the end of the project. The longer the project, the more truth there is in this assumption. To mitigate this situation, agile methodologies start with smaller sets of requirements, they start small and deliver functionality incrementally in a series of releases. No single release covers all requirements, but every release delivers more than the previous one.
With ERP implementations, we generally don’t subscribe to this idea. And at that, we might be wrong.
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.