Standard enemy

The biggest jeopardies often lurk where we least expect them. When implementing an ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV, what should be one of our best allies, turns out to be our mortal enemy. It has a simple name: The Standard. Standard processes, standard functionality, standard documents, standard system. All these gizmos can turn into gremlins in a blink of an unattentive eye.

Standards are tricky. If during due dilligence, or diagnostic or analysis phase, we hear the prospect or customer utter the word “standard”, what do we instinctively do? Well, in a standard system, it’s pretty obvious what the standard is, and when the customer says that they “just have standard processes” it means that these processes are just covered with such a standard system, right? So we instinctively tend to skip the more detailed analysis of these, because after all, they are standard.

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Business case – do I eat it or?

It’s a well known fact that IT projects fail every so often. Standish Group has been researching the success and failure factors of IT projects for a decade and a half, and they publish their results in their CHAOS report every two years or so. According to their 2006 report, only about 35% of projects can be categorized as successful, while 65% are declared unsuccessful. In this report, word unsuccessful can mean anything from exceeding time and/or budget (46% of projects) or failing altogether (19% of them). With such a huge proportion of projects going astray, maybe there was something wrong with these projects from the very beginning. Were the time and budget unrealistic? Were the project requirements, or even objectives, unrealistic? Maybe. Or maybe not. How can you tell?

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WinDays 2008: Aftermath

WinDays 2008 are over. Somehow, this conference has become a milestone, in Croatian ICT community, in Microsoft community, even in my life. I met a friend there, one of those I only meet there, and realized just how quickly the year turned. Obviously, I contemplated too much, and partied too little, something to really get worried about.

Anyway, the presentations I delivered made me think about the future of this blog. It started pretty randomly, as a place where I simply dumped anything that crossed my mind, so you had all sorts of content, from programming, to development, to functionality, to theory. When I look at my blog to-do list, there is even more chaos to it, with topics ranging from SQL optimization all the way to business process reengineering. I realized I need more focus. (more…)

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Peugeot – Engineered to be enjoyed (or A simple way a car dealership can profit from an ERP system?)

About six months ago, when I was buying a car, a friend of mine, in a typical The Good, the Bad and the Ugly fashion, told me that there were two kinds of cars: good cars, and French cars. I bought a French car. I bought a Peugeot 407 SW (Peugeot says their cars are engineered to be enjoyed) and although I could do so, I am not going to make this a post about what went wrong with this car already so far. This is going to be a post about how the simplest of the features of an ERP system can influence customer (dis)satisfaction, and create long term decisions for, or against a car vendor. Also, not typical for me, I am speaking from the shoes of a customer, rather than consultant, this time. Quite a change for me.

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Scrap the crap

Scrap happens. So does sh*t. In my last blog post about scrap I gave a crappy explanation of how forward calculation of fixed scrap works. So instead of disgracing myself by leaving the…

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