The timeline of system replacement and the importance of early preparation (Part II)

Continuing from Part I. Nonetheless, virtually all ERP implementers will tell their prospective clients that requirements analysis is their responsibility, which they always perform (with unique and proprietary prowess) after they’ve been awarded a contract and agreed to a precisely defined task schedule. They’ve been saying this for so long that most of them really believe it, and therefore also believe that the data-mapping and configuration checklist-checking tasks they perform in this part of the project really are requirements analysis. (Your company will hear this story from every ERP implementer who solicits your business.)


If the system to be delivered is already set in stone in the contracts for purchase and implementation, when are requirements actually determined? In practice, there is usually a mixture of three answers: some requirements are defined prior to the system acquisition effort, more are determined in the competition for the order, and some are never explicitly stated at all.


The importance of the overall timeline activity is this: the statement of work (SOW) is facilitated and finished well prior to start of implementation. It is, in fact, completed well before the end of the acquisition phase, since it will be embedded in the contracts for software and implementation services.


Almost everyone who is introduced to the concept of ERP-specific statements of work at first tries, unconsciously, to fit them into the implementation phase, and therefore demands to know how the idea differs in anything but name from universal existing practice. It is only when they finally appreciate that the SOW is completed before anything else starts that they finally begin to understand.

We just said that the SOW “will be embedded in the contracts for software and implementation services.” How that happens, and what the implications are, is the subject of our next blog.

Adaptive Growth’s approach addresses the current and great demand for a solution to ERP project failures.


Download our free E-book–The Symptoms, Reasons, and Causes for ERP project failure from our web site