I bet it does! A lot.
How do I know?
Nothing adheres to the old adage that “A Camel is a Horse Designed by a Committee” quite like ERP software implementations.
The problem typically starts with the RFP. Or as I liked to call it in a prior post: The RFP(P) or recipe for poor performance.
One of the primary features of every RFP that I have ever seen and thrown in the trash can is the “Requirements List”. These are typically generated in one of two ways or by a combination of:
- Asking every user or department to compile a list of must have capabilities for the new software and compiling those lists.
- Using Google to find one of many pre-packaged lists readily available on the internet. Surprisingly these are often provided by software providers or their trusted advisors and are formatted in such a fashion that their product will be reviewed favorably.
If you have been in ERP business long enough and are good at you job you will typically learn more about a company’s requirements from a statement like, “we are a distributor of automotive parts” than you will from reading the requirements list.
Requirements list will often include subjective and obvious items such as:
- Software must be easy to use.
- Software must be able to cut vendor checks.
All software is easy to use, just read the marketing brochures and if you can’t cut checks for vendors why are you in the ERP software business?
The real problem however with a list of requirements is that a company runs on processes and not individual functions or functional islands. How those processes are handled in the software is the real issue.
To illustrate with an example that everyone may be able to relate to, imagine you are going to build a new home for your family. You gather the crew around the kitchen table and ask everyone individually as to what they have to have and/or would like to have in the new home. If you then hand those combined lists to multiple builders and ask them to build your home you will get wildly different results. Some may be pleasing and some may be OK while others are wholly unacceptable.
The key missing step is the architect! That person that combines art with science to take your list of requirements and combines them into a functional and pleasing design by combining your unique requirements with standard home features in a way that delights your family.
But what are the characteristics and skill set of a great Dynamics AX Architect?
Let’s talk about that in my next post.