Here at Ultra, we’re seeing a shift from traditional models of ERP implementation management to a more effective approach. Traditionally, teams manage ERP implementation by focusing on needed resources to achieve project milestones.
This model is depicted using a triangle, as in diagram 1.
The traditional mindset is that a project expands proportionally to match the scope of the project – with project scope made up of the number of modules to implement, the amount of users and the number of site locations for the ERP installation. The project duration, along with internal and external resources, combine to meet the requirements of the project scope.
This is an understandable view, because the emphasis is on applying the needed time and budget to accommodate the scope of the implementation.
Viewing an ERP project with the triangle model is problematic, however.
Because the triangle model often means the team is forced to ‘go live’ when the organization might not be ready. The real benefits of implementing new software are not considered. Or worse yet, when the company hasn’t fine-tuned business process improvements (BPI) to take advantage of the new system.
This results in risk for the company, or at best an implementation that does not meet its objectives. When a company implements new technology and they are not fully prepared to leverage it, they compromise overall business performance (poor quality).
The Project Diamond
The diamond model moves beyond the simple factors of time, resources and scope.
Diagram 2 illustrates an evolution from the traditional project triangle.
The model takes into consideration the risk experienced by the organization, and the overall quality of the implementation. These two important aspects are no longer assumed. Instead, they are clearly taken into consideration within the larger framework of the overall ERP project.
Instead of automating existing processes, business process improvements (a new future state) are modeled during the conference room pilot, to support the ROI of the project. Achieving ROI via BPI fosters a quality implementation.
Managing risk is especially important because it involves change management. The diamond model takes into consideration any risks involved related to the ERP implementation, with an eye toward coordinating the change so any negative impact to the business is minimized.
Diamonds are Your Team’s Best Friend
Ultra’s team of ERP consultants is proven effective when managing an ERP project using this model.
The diamond method of ERP project management balances both Risk and Quality — two factors that add much needed insight into ERP implementation project management; while at the same time balancing Scope, Resources, and Time. A new shape of things to come.