Project cycle: Implementation & Improvements

During the first commercial steps of a project, the potential customer often thinks in a single project phase: Implementation.

Sooner or later, nearly all Openbravo users are asking for a second phase: Improvements.

It is logical. During the implementation phase, the customer’s key users only think on basic needs, functionalities they manage at the moment. But once the application has gone live, they start realizing improvements. (sometimes too early, and this can become a problem to finish the project).

But why? We can consider many reasons, but lets explain the ones I have seen:
– The main reason is that some key users change their mind and feel the ERP as a useful functional tool for area information gathering and report.
– The laws change and new information must be managed.
– For different reasons the department’s user keys change (personnel rotation, internal movements, etc.). New managers implement new processes that must be updated on the ERP.
– External advisers propose process improvements.
– Users suddenly change the way they work, and forget what they use to manage through the application, so a new functionality review is needed.
– The business requires new processes.
– Etc.

At this point, few customers are coming to realize they prefer a proactive service instead of a reactive service. They don’t just want support for maintenance and punctual issues, but also a periodical consultant service to squeeze all the application functionalities making improvements continuously, checking actual processes, etc.

Implementing an ERP is not a single phase, it is worth to invest money on process improvements than wasting time analyzing enterprise information manually.

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