"It is impossible for ideas to
compete in the marketplace if no forum for
their presentation is provided or available."
Thomas Mann, 1896
Enterprise Application Deployments
by David J.
Consider implementing an enterprise resource
planning (ERP) system. The new system is likely to be at least an order
of magnitude or two or ten more complex than the current system making
it harder to create efficiencies and have strong adoption by the people
who have jobs that will be affected by the new application.
While the application experts have a strong
familiarity with the tool, its definitions and its inner workings, at
the end of the day, the people who will rely on the system day in and
day out to do their jobs do not have the benefit of years of experience
using the application. They are more likely to react like �a deer in the headlights.�
All too many application project schedules
leave little time before activation to acquaint the users with all they
need to know to be able to do their jobs seamlessly and effortlessly.
There are always two all-important questions to ask yourself prior to
If your focus is on making the complex simple
(and it should be!), crossing the chasm between the current system and
the new system and how it will affect those involved, must always be a very high priority.
So why is it that, most application
deployments leave the end users and the managers charged with
implementation frustrated, dazed and confused creating a
bad impression that is very hard to overcome.
At the point of "going-live", you
obviously want the team
to be energized and you definitely do not want them to be frustrated, dazed and confused.
That is why, of course, criteria needs to be
established, not only for application readiness, but also for business team
readiness to use the application at the point of activation.
The Information Technology team
will be evaluated upon �hitting a
date,� not how ready the business teams were to use the new application
to do serious work. Delays in �go live� date mean that the whole Information
Technology team needs to be present until completion, which obviously
adds significantly to the initial cost.
The application executive sponsors need to
focus on the people who have real jobs to perform and make the go/no-go
decision to "go live" based on the capability of the business teams to
be able to continue to do
normal work with the new application.
If this article
resonated with you, why not schedule a phone call or a visit
to discuss areas where your business is in need of making
the complex simple. I work with the executive who can
authorize a project to understand 3 key areas:
what are the objectives/outcomes to be achieved
Measures � how
will success be measured or determined
Value � an
estimate of the value to the company of the proposed
information is understood, I am able to create a proposal
with different options for your consideration. Each project
is customized to meet the unique needs of each client.
Should we decide not to do business together, I hope our
discussion will put you on a better trajectory.
775-722-8230 (Pacific Time)
David J. Gardner
is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute and held
senior management positions in Product Development,
Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Product
Management. He joined Tandem Computers in 1979 where he
was responsible for Corporate Documentation Standards for
Tandem's highly configurable and expandable computer systems. In
1983, he designed and implemented a Configuration Guide for
Dialogic Systems instituting a process that greatly simplified a
complex, modular product such that the field sales organization
and international OEM customers could easily define their order
requirements. This methodology satisfied the product definition
needs of sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, customer
service and finance. David founded his consulting practice in
1991. He is a graduate of San Jose State University (BA) and
Santa Clara University (MBA). David is a member of the Society
for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) and has been Board
Approved in the Area of Configurable Product & Services Strategy
and Implementation. In 2010, he was inducted in the Million
Dollar Consultant� Hall of Fame. Out of over
1,000 consultants who have completed Alan Weiss�s mentoring
program, only 26 have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Dave Gardner can be reached on
and you can check
describing why he is in business.
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