The Importance of Real, No-BS Planning

The Importance of Real, No-BS Planning

When was the last time you asked a person, “Where are you going on vacation?” and they said, “I don’t know!”  Or you asked, “How are you getting there?” and they shrugged and said, “No idea.”

Doesn’t happen, does it?

The reality is that vacations are so important that we make plans.  We define the outcomes by identifying a destination and the finer details like how we plan to get there and what we plan to do while we are there.

And when we get home, we show people pictures to validate our successful project, I mean, vacation.  At MIPRO, we do ERP projects,  and the process of understanding where we are going , how we are getting there, what the challenges will be, and how we will know we are successful are vitally important to understanding how you will gauge a successful project.

A recent report in Computerworld UK talks about this very issue in the context of a systems integrator stating that ERP projects deliver disappointing results.  Now, I have to ask myself if so many of the survey respondents are feeling less than satisfied with their ERP project results because they did not fully understand where they were headed, or what they were getting into.  That is very likely, especially if the systems integrator did not take the time to thoroughly understand the business objectives to be solved by the new ERP solution.

How do we know this probably played into the response data? We see it all the time. More than once, we’ve been called into clean up a mess left by another consulting firm/integrator only to discover that the previous firm didn’t take the time to understand fully what the client was trying to achieve. When we start asking these fundamental questions, despite being in the middle of a meltdown, they look at us in a strange way. A way that says, “Why weren’t these questions asked before? Would we even be in this mess if they were?”

These projects are complex and they touch many people in the organization who all have an independent measurement of what a successful ERP project means to them.  At MIPRO, we start every engagement with a BluePrint Workshop so we can help you understand, assimilate, and measure your ERP project against these outcomes.  Without that workshop, it is very likely you could successfully implement (or upgrade) the software such that it works, while having a terribly unsuccessful project on your hands where the end-users declare it a failure simply because it did not live up to their expectations or meet their business requirements.

If you don’t know where you are going, or how you are getting there, or what challenges to expect (like forgetting to bring your passport), you probably won’t understand how to make your trip a success.  Planning helps, expertise helps, and a little luck never hurts. We’ve seen countless combinations of the three.


More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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