As with any ERP project the final outcome is normally affected by the outcomes during the implementations phase. During the implemetations that SME Project Management Services has conducted it was always evident to all the stakeholders that the clock was counting down on the phases to the deadline date being the Go Live. During the final days of the projects it was important for project manager to keep mind the 90 % done syndrome. The danger of this syndrome is that the last 10% can take longer than the first 90 % due to the complexity.
“This syndrome can be attributed to sub surface problems that are not clear and understood or because their are to many unknowns”. Young
During the implementation phase SME Project Management Services encourages team members to report honestly on the progress and advise the project manager if they are aware of any delays that were expected. It is important during this phase to try to avoid firefighting. Although this approach may seem flexible within the project and may meet with approval from the users it will normally results in a spiralling of costs.
“The Firefighting approach not only causes chaos to develop but also leads to the spiralling of costs due to the uncontrolled use of resources with no clear commitment or responsibility”. Young
To cope with the shortages of resources during ERP Project s the project manager can use critical path scheduling to complete the additional requirements of the project. In most cases it was possible to use one of the existing team members to complete the additional requirement. In doing this the project dynamic was not adversely effected by bringing on another project member.During the implementation phase it is important to consider the 80/20 rule, which states that 80% of the benefit will come from 20% of the features and functions. Based on this concept it was important for the Project team Members to have a good understanding of their true needs to avoid wasting time on non- core functionality.
Although a sign-off process is used during all ERP Projects it does not give an indication of the rated success of the overall project. In order to measure this rated success SME Project Management Services believes that the the Epic structure is a lot more effective based on the following criteria.
- Achieving the deliverables
- Meeting the Project Milestones
- Creating transparency within the deliverables
- Completion of the phases
- Management of the project phases and progress
- Meeting the sponsors’ expectations