Solve this riddle: A project manager, system implementer, and a third-party developer each create a plan for implementing a new ERP system. Who has the best plan?
A. The project manager, who swears by the traditional waterfall methodology, delivers a 400-row Microsoft Project plan with dates and dependencies for each task.
B. The system implementer, who has never worked outside the Agile Methodology, is not familiar with Microsoft Project, but assigns dates for 3 iterations of development and testing for each key deliverable.
C. The 3rd party developer, who keeps up with annual SCRUM certifications, sets a daily schedule to discuss status updates and roadblocks with weekly milestones.
The answer: D. None of the above.
There is no single ERP implementation methodology that guarantees success. Each methodology— waterfall, Agile, and SCRUM—has its strengths. However, each has deficiencies that arise in certain phases of implementation. Trenegy blends the best components of each method to successfully complete ERP projects on time and within budget.
The traditional waterfall methodology is a structured practice where progress is made in succession, only upon completion of the preceding phase.
The waterfall approach is the best methodology for identifying project dependencies, planning for necessary business decisions and establishing timelines for gathering requirements, all prior to configuration and development. It is overkill to develop an implementation plan that includes scheduling weekly data refreshes and granting user permissions before training, but when seemingly menial tasks are not accounted for up front, project deadlines will be delayed. In addition to proper planning, the waterfall methodology allows for consistent communication to executive teams on the status of the project.
The waterfall structure is rigid and involves significant upfront planning and requirements definition. Trenegy uses these components of the waterfall methodology during planning and design phases to ensure the implementation team has a clear vision for deliverables before development and testing begins.
Agile methodologies break projects down into tasks, which are completed in short iterations and delivered to stakeholders as packages of functionality. The deliverable evolves with each iteration of development, based on input from users.
Executing an Agile approach requires flexibility and the ability to deliver while operating under constantly changing requirements. Although little upfront planning is required, success is dependent on resource availability from project team members for testing new improvements as they are delivered.
Trenegy applies the flexibility of an Agile approach during construction and user acceptance testing, when there is difficulty prioritizing in a time crunch. Typically, the months leading up to a system go-live are hectic and more work remains than time or resources can keep up with. This method offers the flexibility to adjust scope to preserve budgets and timelines by delivering smaller pieces of functionality, knowing a future iteration for improvement will be necessary.
SCRUM is an even deeper form of the Agile Methodology, designed for rapid development and release updates in short, two- to four-week sprint cycles in order of stakeholder-defined priority.
SCRUM models are highly effective for rapid development and problem solving to address critical issues once the system is live. The first weeks of a system go-live can be overwhelming with busy support lines and a flood of help desk emails. This approach enables the project team to knock out blocks of open items by quickly identifying handfuls of the highest priority issues to fix during the next release cycle.
Trenegy practices the short release cycles and rapid issue resolution frameworks from the SCRUM Methodology during post go-live support. With this approach it is imperative to keep an up-to-date issues log to review during regularly scheduled sprint planning sessions. Reprioritizing improvements and sticking to defined release schedules is key.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all methodology, but there is an optimal way to use each of the various implementation methods. Trenegy’s extensive ERP experience allows us to leverage the advantages of each to ensure successful go-live.