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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Is agile ERP implementation possible?

image 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.

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Microsoft Dynamics NAV events and webcasts

image There is a fantastic website that I haven’t been aware of yet: Enterprise Resource Planning: Accelerate Your Business Toward Profit, on Microsoft’s Events and Webcasts portal. Thanks to Fred Mackie for bringing it to my attention.

The website delivers huge amounts of on-demand webcasts for all four Microsoft Dynamics ERP products for existing and prospect customers, but also some valuable content for Microsoft partners.

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Associazione Marittima di Sabioncello

A short story about maritime trading, steamboats and Microsoft’s Azure Services Platform in short to mid-term ERP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV perspective

Barque "Eber", AMS, 1870 This is a story of a business which failed, and it didn’t have to. It had all the capital and resources it needed to grow, it held a solid share in an expanding market. And yet, they failed.

Associazione Marittima di Sabioncello (AMS), or Maritime Society of Pelješac, was a shipping company founded in 1865 in Orebić, a small coastal town of southern Croatia. They grew to a fleet of 33 sailing ships, they shipped worldwide, their business expanded so much that eventually they built their own shipyard. Allegedly, they were one of the biggest and most prosperous maritime merchant companies in the Mediterranean.

And then an innovation came along, which ruined them.

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