Other ERP articles:
ERP Testing ERP Business Analysts ERP Contracting ERP Data Migration ERP Reasons to Get One ERP Forces Changes in Business Rules ERP One ERP is the same as any other ERP ERP Security is OXYMORON ERP The Whole is Bigger than the Parts
An ERP Person wrote me about my articles on "How to Choose an ERP" and made some very good points, here are their comments and my summary comments:
> Another factor in choosing your ERP is the quality and availability of >third party vendors to help you with implementation (assuming you have >the luxury of being able to hire one.) Our PeopleSoft HR and >Financials packages are working just fine now but it was in spite >of our implementation partner. > > The fixed price contract stipulated "no technical assistance needed." >What we meant was "Thanks but don't send any Unix administrators, NT >administrators or DBA's. We already have plenty." We didn't mean "Send >us a bunch of power-users who know zip about PeopleSoft internals." At >one point, I asked their team lead for a general idea of how PeopleSoft >data security works. Her answer was "Gosh, no one has ever asked me that >question before; you just use the security administration panels. >See? right here ...." > > A year after they left, we were finding little surprises, like >hard-coded calendar dates in production reports. The only reason they >didn't do more harm to the project than they did was that we stumbled on >an independent contractor who kept things on track. Doofus & Company are >no longer PeopleSoft partners, thank goodness.
Hello Fellow ERP Person,
Thanks for the feedback on the article. I also find that sometimes the "implementation partner" is more adept at writing cash extracting contracts than actually implementing any project. Also, from your ERP experience it is a good idea to have several contract sources on a project, especially a large project, rather than have one source fill all your contracting needs. The chance of getting good contract workers on the project increases with the number of contract sources. The natural competition between several contractor sources may raise worker competence.
One problem I have seen is single contractor source projects slip in "eater-breathers" to pump up the hours billed and then hide the effects of staffing a bunch of zombies by slick management techniques. When other staffing sources are on the project there is an incentive to put better workers on the project to keep business from going to the other source of contractors. Also, distributed sources mean a steadier supply of workers in the shaky, shady world of head hunters, slave traders and body snatchers. For example, who wants an exclusive contract with the former Andersen Consulting today? I am sure those that did made the "FuckedCompany.com" list, like Enron.
As a precursor to outsourcing I have seen a trend of "contract manager" deals that purport to "manage" all the contractors in a firm. From what I have seen this is a disruptive system to implement as many independent contractors leave, large IDS-type companies move in, I am guessing "kickback$" and there is another layer of expense and human resource management to projects. Why do companies do this? Maybe they think they do not have the expertise to manage contractors or the software engineering experience to hire good contractors. I think this shows a dangerous lack of depth to a company. If you have no one left who knows how to make software or manage implementation a critical business system, why is the company in the business? How can it compete? If you are able to create software systems as a company why have intermediaries make it more difficult?
Outsourcing has many risks for a company, make sure you know what
you are getting into when you outsource any critical business
software or development. My
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