Project Management

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Topics: Requirements Management, Resource Management, Schedule Management, Scheduling
Do you use a scheduling software program, and if so does it connect to your ERP system?
Having been in the project management scheduling industry for several years I have learned that most schedulers/ project managers do not utilize scheduling software that connects to their organization's ERP system (because it is not available to them). Rather, they import or export data from it, if anything. Have you found this to be true within your organization?
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That is also my experience in most large organizations. In rare case, data was transferred.
One of my clients established an interface to transfer schedule information on a high level from MSP to SAP to setup accounting. Many projects in SAP only had one task (the project). Accounting included hours reported and could be transferred back (but no automatic way), which was done monthly if ever. Another problem was that hour reporting and invoices were not considered timely enough (some invoices came in after months, and were payed even later).

To be able to compare plan vs actuals, hourly reporting had to be setup for projects separatly, which they did thru excel.

So, ERP(SAP) and scheduling SW serve different stakeholders (accountants vs project managers) and are setup differently.
Agree with Vincent on present practical issues related to integrating MSP data/info with ERP/SAP.
Have not tried to connect ERP and MSP.
Most ERP systems have an inbuilt scheduling system already installed with them and actually do not need a separate connection to another scheduling system. ERP systems are sold in module format so some organisations may only need certain modules that do not include a scheduling system as it may have only limited use to limited departments. So instead they purchase a stand alone solutions as the need arises. This approach may save money in the short term but when it comes to implementing complex projects in conjunction with the ERP system the associated cost can be quickly realised. Migrating data from one application/system to another is both time consuming and wasteful if a solution already exists.
We are facing the same issue. We have a SAP based enterprise systems, however the scheduling aspect is not sufficiently capable for our large military acquisition projects, so those projects typically use a stand alone system based on whatever that particular contractor is using, and key milestones etc. have to be manually transposed. I find this incredibly stunning in this day of such advances in IT.
Many large companies do not even use a single ERP system but rather multiple federated specialized systems. Some information is linked, but much of it is not.

There are some great advantages to integrating programs, but many challenges as well. In addition to the technical data exchange, there are also issues such as information protection, software change management (one change can ripple through an entire enterprise), and compatibility with customer and supplier systems.

PM planning schedules are often intentionally managed independently from other systems. We often see major events scheduled in our organizations's scheduling system, but lower level plans managed in local tools. That can significantly reduce overhead, and act as a firewall preventing unwanted "help" from external groups trying to micromanage our detailed plans.
IT P-everything here. Experience with mayor national companies in a G20 country. Believe me when I tell you I've seen worse, but also there are some explanations why this happens (not excuses though).

First of all, much stuff comes from when there wasn't even internet available and then efforts to modernize came area by area by individual efforts and no one back then though of interconnecting everything or it was merely impossible. Then began the efforts to create house systems to handle all these instead of using commercial systems. For security and costs, and that could have let to different small developments that dont scale. And then, once the tops do decide to spare some budget, they do so only for the 'strategic' areas.

As for scheduling, not much national companies operate on schedules for the daily operations of the internal processes at large. Things merely need to get done, perhaps by certain date or hour but that's it and of course documenting and creating the appropriate data becomes a last mind concern if any.

You can see this is a nightmare for total integration.

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