Plant Visit 1We selected and designed enhancements to an ERP (Enterprise Resouirce Planning) software package to extend functionality to the users outside the corporate headquarters of a sanitation company. Our ERP team worked at corporate headquarters which was a nice building with cubicles, desks and conference rooms. When we visited our first user site, our vision of user needs was shaken to say the least.

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Dr John Medina2Managing, recruiting, training and motivating IT staff was the biggest challenge I faced as an IT manager. It wasn't vendor management – they mostly wanted to make me happy. It wasn't choosing competing technologies, like Windows vs. Linux vs. Solaris servers – almost any choice had a path forward to success. Somehow it was people that perplexed me.

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Software boxMost information technology projects have surprises.  ERP projects are no exception.  We looked back on many of our ERP efforts to bring you this list of things that may
surprise you.  They often surprised us.

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Scope creep and feature creep are the terrible twins of project management, causing plenty of gray hair. But what causes scope creep and feature creep? And how can we attack the causes at the root?

Here are 7 causes of scope creep / feature creep, and how to deal with them.

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Symptoms

Are your developers getting irritable? screaming-woman-with-captionAre they feeling stretched by a growing list of requirements? Are project sponsors discussing the project with users but without the project manager or business analysts at hand? Are more requirements being uncovered but not communicated to the design/development team? Are users saying "I don't know what's going on with the project" and that "no one is talking to me about what my department does"?

Then you may have the dreaded disease , "scope creep."

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AbacusProblem:  Order Management System is too Costly and Difficult to Maintain

At a major retailer the existing systems for handling and fulfilling customer orders were too expensive to maintain, had limited functionality, and were built with technology approaching 30 years of age.  Most systems were built in COBOL and RPG from an earlier era of mainframe computing.  Staff who knew these systems were retiring, so maintaining them was challenging.  In addition, they simply lacked the flexibility and functionality needed to support modern e-commerce needs.  New, updated systems were needed to manage the complex order life-cycle of this $4 Billion on-line retailer.  Sterling's Order Management suite (previously called Yantra) was selected and an effective design and implementation approach was needed.

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Tweets

"Deal with the world the way it is, not the way you wish it was." John Chambers
"We need some ability which allows us to envision the objective from afar, and this ability is intuition." Henri Poincare
"In order to have judgment, you have to have knowledge and experience." - Nancy Pelosi (D, California)
"If you're building a product or delivering a service that solves a real problem, you can do well and grow fast." Marina Hatsopoulos
"You already know the answers. You just don't want to hear them from yourself." - Sunny Vanderbeck
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