A methodology is a roadmap to an implementation. The purpose of a methodology is to deliver an implementation on time, according to specifications and within budget. Most vendors, especially in the software industry, have developed their own methodologies. Consulting companies also developed their own methodologies in relation to a product. Vendors primarily use methodologies as a marketing tool in order to alleviate the fears of the upper management when they are considering implementing a major software application (Enterprise Resource Planning, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management…). Nowadays, ERP methodologies are beyond just marketing tools. They are now useful because vendors have gained from experience, and these methodologies have lived through several generations. Methodologies are now applied and used by project managers and their teams. If we just look at the ERP methodologies: they range from vendor-specific methodologies, such as “AcceleratedSAP” (ASAP) from SAP, to consulting firm products such as “The Total Solution” from Ernst & Young LLP and the “Fast Track Workplan” from Deloitte & Touche.
First, let’s take a closer look at a these ERP methodologies: AcceleratedSAP (ASAP)
The ASAP Roadmap is a detailed project plan by SAP that describes all activities in an implementation. It includes the entire technical area to support technical project management and address things like interfaces, data conversions and authorizations earlier than in most traditional implementations. The ASAP Roadmap consists of five phases:
* Project Preparation,
* Business Blueprint,
* Final Preparation and,
* Go live and support continuous change.
ASAP provides examples, checklists, or templates as samples. They are used as a starting point to avoid "reinventing the wheel." ASAP calls these things “Accelerators.”
Phase 1 - Project Preparation: Proper planning and organizational readiness assessment are essential which entails a determination of the following: * Full agreement that all company decision makers are behind the project; * Clear project objectives;
* An efficient decision-making process; and
* A company culture that is willing to accept change.
AcceleratedSAP's “Project Estimator” can be used to guide the project team through a series of predefined questions, and drives interviews with senior executives and key operating managers about their expectations of R/3 and the speed of its deployment.
Phase 2 - Business Blueprint: The “Engineer” delivers a complete toolkit of predefined business processes. During the Business Blueprint phase R/3's broad scope is narrowed to fit the industry-specific processes. Using questionnaires and the models from the “Business Engineer,” the business processes are documented to reflect the future vision of the business. Industry templates further accelerate the process by predefining industry best business practices. The result is a comprehensive blueprint of the business. During this phase training begins on R/3's integrated business systems. Level 2 hands-on training provides a step-by-step education of R/3 business process skills. The “Business Blueprint” is a visual model of your business' future state. It will allow the project team to clearly define the scope, and only focus on the R/3 processes needed to run the business.
Phase 3 – Realization: Based on the “Business Blueprint,” a two-step process is begun of configuring the R/3 system. First the baseline system will be configured. Second the system is fine tuned to meet all of the business process requirements. Because the initial configuration is based on the blueprint, the baseline system gives a real-world view of how the business transactions will actually run.
Phase 4 - Final Preparation: In this phase, the R/3 system is fine-tuned. Necessary adjustments are made in order to...