A recent JD Edwards project we worked on had all of the classic indicators of a project that was not on the right track. While these red flags were immediately obvious to our team, the client wasn’t initially aware of how these issues would impact the project’s success. To help your team learn from these mistakes, take a look at the following ways you could be screwing up your JD Edwards project without even realizing it.
Unknown Business Processes
One issue that is sure to bring down the efficiency of your JDE project is when the business processes are not widely known. For this particular project, the IT staff knew more about the business than the business owners did, and those that did know some business processes only knew what affected them directly.
When there is no clear communication of business processes throughout the company, things get disorganized. People don’t know what happens when they hand a project off or how departments interact. With any ERP project, if the team can’t connect the dots, then you end up with a disjointed process flow. Even worse, people are more likely to make changes in one area of the business without understanding the ramifications elsewhere in the organization. This can lead the process to break down.
From a consulting standpoint, when the client team doesn’t know the business process, the consulting team has to go in and perform analysis, like a JD Edwards Business Process Review, on the organization in order to figure out the processes. All of that has to be solved before even starting the ERP project.
To avoid this, make sure everyone in the organization knows your company’s business processes. This means making sure they are documented, even if that document is high level. A business operates better and more efficiently when siloes are broken down and people talk across departments, and informing them of the overall business process is the first step towards that goal.
Documentation plays a huge role in keeping your team informed. Documentation is part of standard business process, and your organization should have all processes documented, at least on a high level. Your organization will have turnover, so it’s important to get all pertinent information on paper, rather than just in the mind of someone on staff. This keeps everyone on the team informed, no matter how long they have been with the organization.
When it comes to consulting, documentation helps determine how an ERP project will progress. For a complete JDE implementation, documentation helps give an overview of how the company operates. For a BPR project, step-by-step documentation allows the consulting team to tweak those steps and get your organization closer to best practices.
Simply put, if there isn’t a set timeline, then there are no concrete milestones to work towards. If no one knows what needs to be done when, or there’s a lack of coordination to make sure that the disparate parts of a project come together at a certain time, then the project can easily drift. Day-to-day tasks can distract from the project, especially when you can always work on the project “tomorrow.” A lack of timeline was a big reason why this project got off track.
We recommend setting a timeline, no matter how broad. It’s important to have some set markers established so that the team has a general idea of what’s to come. As the project progresses, you can set more detailed deadlines. Think of it like driving across the country: you may know that you want to make it from coast to coast in a week, but you don’t have a set day to reach, say, Kansas. You’ll have a better idea of when you’ll get there as the trip progresses.
Do you have a JD Edwards project that could use some guidance? Contact our experienced team.