Operating Agile with an ERP Implementation

PMI NC Piedmont Triad Chapter

Jason Coe is a Project Management Professional, and he is currently employed at Accenture as a Senior Manager in their Oracle ERP practice. Jason has over 18 years’ experience delivering Oracle ERP projects. Jason has worked on two global ERP projects where he has implemented Oracle in 33 countries. In addition, he has physically visited five continents and 13 countries. Jason holds a Master’s of Science degree in Information Technology and Management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Agile development is changing the way software companies and service providers deliver technology. It allows companies to constantly reiterate and improve the software being built. Traditional ERP projects tend to be more waterfall simply because of the complex nature and change in the underlying organization’s business operation.

Things like defining a chart of accounts, the definition of an item, type of manufacturing or how revenue will be recognized are all key decisions that must be outlined early in an ERP stage. These types of workshops take many weeks or months in the early stages of an ERP project, where requirements are gathered and solutions determined. Once solutions are determined, fit-gap sessions are used to bridge gaps in the standard solution and RICE1 (Reports, Customizations, Conversion and Extensions) are identified. Teams quickly turn from solutions to designing and building. As items leave development, they are unit tested and then product tested. Finally, user acceptance testing occurs, where the team hopes to meet user expectations and alignment with requirements.

Agile was developed to increase product owner satisfaction as well as focus on an iterative approach, whereas products are built in small sprints. The priorities for any sprint are demoed to product owners and could be deployed quickly into a production environment or product. This …

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