My book featured on MSDynamicsWorld.com

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MSDynamicsWorld.com has just posted an excerpt from my friend Dave’s and my book Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, delivering some content from chapter 4, focusing on the implementation process. The…

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Panorama’s ERP report, part III

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image I’ve just got the news about Part III of Panorama’s ERP Report in my inbox. If you missed my analysis of the report, please read it first: part three builds on findings of the first two. I know that I am biased when writing about this, but how can I not be? Microsoft Dynamics is the best choice ERP and the report (as a whole) clearly shows why exactly.

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Is an ERP implementation project just a project?

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image “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.

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5th rule of agile ERP: interface where possible

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imageOne 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?

Wrong.

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4th rule of agile ERP: avoid heavy customizations

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You can’t avoid customizations. Vanilla ERP is a great first step, and a valuable tool for establishing common language between the customer and the consultant. But in the long run? Probably not. Pristine uncustomized ERP won’t be sufficient, because of the gaps between your way and ERP’s way. Sooner or later, gaps will have to go.

Two most common ways of closing functionality gaps are customizing the software, and changing the processes. You can almost always touch general processes, optimize them, twist them, bend them, make them more efficient or even eliminate them. But when it is about industry specifics that add true value or contribute to company’s competitive edge, customization is the answer.

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