January 11, 2016

I was meeting with a client who is in the midst of implementing an ERP system this morning, and our conversation centered around the need for speed – keeping the momentum going, not wasting time in what could seem like unnecessary meetings and conversations etc.  With that said, it is very easy to run straight into a brick wall by not fulling understanding the details behind an ERP design and implementation.  Thus, the key is to go fast while monitoring key check points along the way so you aren’t racing down the wrong freeway passing everyone along the way.  You’ll get to the end point early but if you end up at the wrong address, you’ll end up behind the Granny driving in the slow lane.

The reason I am writing my book, the Amazon Effect is largely due to this topic.  How do we keep today’s complex supply chains moving?  If you don’t have speed, you will be left in the dust!

One tip to implement this week:
The good news about speed is that it is easily understandable; however, the bad news is that going fast doesn’t help if you aren’t achieving the objectives along the way.  This is an especially tricky formula for complex projects such as ERP implementations.  When we’re working with the tier of software supporting mid-size, slightly more complex companies, it becomes an entirely different proposition than it is with the ERP software that supports small to medium sized, less complex businesses.  More people are involved.  More functionality is available.  Amazing benefits can be achieved; however, it is not as simple.  And it seems that we could talk for hours about what should be a seemingly routine topic.  So, what can we do?

As you know, my goal isn’t to solve world peace with “one tip” to implement this week.  With that perspective, what I’ve found to work is to have a clear action list, summarized in a way that makes sense with the end objectives.  This provides the clarity to focus on the required tasks with speed while making sure it still “adds up”.  Unfortunately, I’ve seen many projects go awry when it seems clear but the tasks don’t “add up” to the intended end result.  Spend the time upfront to understand in enough clarity to make sure it will “add up” and then put it in high gear!