Say goodbye to the days of waterfall and agile ERP implementation methodologies. And hello to a better project outcome for you, and for us - your professional services experts.
Over the last year, Fusion5 adopted a new project implementation success strategy. We call it our ‘secret sauce’, and it’s a doozy. As well as differentiating us in the market (which is never a bad thing) it more importantly focuses on getting you a minimum viable product up and running in record time.
The result? You realise an ROI more quickly, achieve productivity from Day One, and there’s less disruption to your business - so change management and continuity improves.
We could be disingenuous and say we’re doing it all for you. But you’re not that naive, and we prefer a transparent approach in everything we do.
We adopted our ‘secret sauce’ strategy to help us get our customer projects up, running and completed more quickly. Like you, we don’t enjoy projects that seem to go on forever, as our consultants can also get project fatigue. And while some technology partners may rub their hands together in glee at the prospect of a prolonged implementation and a seemingly never-ending stream of invoices, that’s not our thing. Those projects are emotionally, professionally, and financially draining for everyone involved.
From a business perspective, we prefer shorter, sharper, well-defined projects. They’re good for everyone. Our objective is to have you in the market and operational - ideally within 100 days - so that we can refer to your successful adoption of our business in the market.
Let’s start with the basic premise that you want/need to replace your old business application with a new solution with enhancements which improve your business processes. And you want it sooner, rather than later.
Using the old traditional implementation methodology, the consulting company comes in with a blank canvas and asks what you want. Which begs the question as to how your users would know this, when they can’t even get their hands on the application until it’s refined, remodelled and ready to go? That’s often a lengthy wait.
Imagine this: You own a beautiful piece of land. However, you have to wait until the five-bedroom house you’re building on it is 100% complete until you can move out of your cramped but cute one-bedroom apartment and into your dream home.
In the meantime (because we all know that building projects can drag on for as long as implementation projects) you have twins, your parents decide to house-share with you, and you adopt a cat.
At that point, it’s obvious you’ll need to rethink the interior design. But due to your contract with the builder, you can’t make changes until you move in or they attract a surcharge and delay the build. Meanwhile, you’re paying the rent/mortgage on your old apartment as well as financing the new build.
What if you could move into your designer home as it is becoming habitable? Where the house is ready to move into, but the cabinetry’s missing the door handles, or the microchip cat doors aren’t installed, and the landscaping still needs to be completed. You have a chance to settle in before making the final decisions that you have to live with long term. And you save on paying two mortgages.
We describe that move-in-early scenario as adopting a minimum loveable product. The project is broken into incremental viable steps – like a staircase
It’s a situation you can live with from Day One in the knowledge landscaping gets completed in three weeks, the soft-close function on the kitchen drawers the week after, and the electronic timer-controlled cat doors the week following that. So, while you may have to ‘rough it’ for a short while, and live with manually opening doors for your cat, the final enhancements are developed from a position of reality and hands-on experience. And you can also hold off on some of the major changes until you have the budget or surety that the enhancement is needed.
During that time, you settle in and draw up a list of must-haves for Day Two. This list may include automation, workflows, and tweaks to Day One functionality.
To work with a minimum viable product, you require a pragmatic approach with strong top-down leadership to quell rumblings in the ranks. It requires stakeholders to actively listen to user feedback while firmly setting and managing expectations.
The beauty of adopting a minimum viable product is that you enjoy the benefits of using the solution while maintaining a tight focus on your core business. It’s BAU, even if it’s without the frills, and you minimise the very real impact of project fatigue.
The other advantage is that as your everyday-users engage with the solution, they’re likely to find that the application’s inbuilt best-practice is better than the way they used to work – negating the need for the business specific modifications you thought you would need. And you avoid the cost of unnecessary development.
You’re going to get the manicured lawns and the landscaping – that is coming. But it’s not going to stop you from moving in right now.
Our secret sauce implementation approach comes back to the fundamentals of putting in an ERP. It doesn’t matter if you are a 10-, 50- or 500-million-dollar company, you’ve still got the same business processes.
The big question is, just how complex are those business processes? How much do you need (as opposed to want) to manipulate and tweak them? The reality is that it makes sense to adopt out-of-the-box pre-configured and industry-specific processes, roles, workflows, security, and dashboards to reduce complexity and implementation costs. You get what you need, without reinventing the wheel.
Our strategy simplifies, standardises, and applies best practise to eliminate or at the very least, reduce system complexity. Users have one highly efficient non-variable process to follow, day after day. Order processing and other everyday activities are streamlined, so your business makes instant Day One productivity gains.
And as you’re living in your ‘house’, you can be more prescriptive about the details. Instead of the generic red kitchen door suggested at the beginning, your Day Two list may specify a Deep Secret Sauce Crimson. So, the door is painted once, and it looks perfect.
As part of our secret sauce methodology, we go through an alignment session during the sales process along with the lead consultant from the delivery team. It’s critical that from the outset that everyone understands and buys into our approach to make it work, and your users are able to think early on about the adoption of leading practice - and how this will affect their user experience
You see, we’ve built many houses. We know you need a plan you love and can champion, and baseline requirements to go on with. But we also know that you don’t need to decide on how many shelves you need in a pantry cupboard until you’ve unpacked your boxes.
And that a simple matter of shelves shouldn’t be a deal breaker when it comes to enjoying your new house.
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Not sure if you're ready for an ERP, or what it may do? Download our simple Navigating Change Checklist here.