Link: 6 Challenges of Agile at Scale for ERP

The problems with taking an agile approach to outsourcing your COTS projects. Among the problems:

“In agile projects, it is more difficult to define risk sharing between the company and vendor. Contracts for large-scale programs tend to be waterfall or deliverable-based, with penalties or incentives driving cost and schedule performance which enables companies to hold vendors accountable for delivering full scope. On the contrary, Agile assumes cost and time is fixed when scope is variable. This situation flies in the face of the standard belief that much of the scope of ERP is not flexible. One area that this complicates is defining and resolving the concept of warranty support. This is another reason that everyone in the project, on both client and vendor sides, must have the same definition of “done” for each sprint… The lack of documentation makes benchmarking vendor performance a challenge. Overtime, the more traditional waterfall methods have provided opportunities for clients and vendors to establish measurable standards of performance and productivity. Agile is broadly assumed to provide productivity improvements but Agile at Scale still falls short in providing clients with a clear-cut way to quantify and measure the performance of vendors.”
Original source: 6 Challenges of Agile at Scale for ERP

TheLegacy ERP Conversion Under Way At Dietz & Watson

A regional deli supply company upgrades its legacy ERP system, which includes much custom coding from RPG to PHP: “The core ERP system includes product processing, sales analysis, and financials. Much of it was developed in-house, with the financials a customized version of packaged software from a vendor no longer in business. The system is very stable, according to Wolinsky.”

TheLegacy ERP Conversion Under Way At Dietz & Watson

Better finance KPIs

When I was corporate strategy, this kind of thing drive me up the wall:

As a result, the finance organization spends an inordinate amount of time simply putting the data together and trying to resolve the inconsistencies so that executives can make apples-to-apples comparisons. We estimate that this task consumes roughly 30 percent of the resources in a typical corporate finance function. But the far more serious cost is the negative impact of poor data quality on senior management time and decision making. As one senior executive told us, “Our leadership team spends so much time trying to make sense of the data and debating whether it is right that we never get around to exploring what it really means for the business!”

From BCG

“While sitting in a bar after work, Zill fired up the Workday app on his smartphone. A list of to-do…”

“While sitting in a bar after work, Zill fired up the Workday app on his smartphone. A list of to-do items appeared on the screen. Zill clicked on one item—a potential hire—and pored over the dossier compiled by his co-workers. Satisfied with the prospect’s credentials, Zill jabbed the approval button with his finger and hired a new worker—and did all that before finishing his Guinness. “We don’t recommend something like this happening at a bar,” Zill says. “But the reality is that life happens everywhere now.””

http://mobile.businessweek.com/articles/2012-06-14/the-two-horseman-of-the-enterprise-software-apocalypse