Planning to Design a Solution - Part 1: Intro

Planning to Design a Solution – Part 1: Introduction to Solution Design

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In this five part series I will focus on the importance of planning for your ERP solution, in particular the role you play in the success of the solution design. Planning for your solution is like building a new home; without a blueprint you don’t know how much it will cost (budget), what materials are required (software/business processes) where you want that second bathroom (scope/configuration) or how long it will take (time). Creating the blueprint or ‘target’ business process plan provides the foundation for architecting your entire solution. As solution specialists our role is to guide you through the planning process.

While building the target, we do not expect that you understand the solution options. In fact, the contrary is true! We are the solution experts (Solution Architects). Our expectation is that you are the business expert, and your input is critical to designing end product. As you are waiting to start your planning engagement there are things you can do to prepare.

Look internally and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are our solution objectives?
    • In practical terms what you do hope to accomplish?
      • E.g., eliminate data entry errors caused by entering the same data multiple times.
  • Where do you have areas of concern?
    • Cash flow.
  • What is your timeline?
    • Are there any compelling dates to consider?
  • What is the makeup of your team?
    • Do you have a strong team able to embrace technology and have the time needed to dedicate to the implementation?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as an organization?
    • Do you want to change business process?

In addition, there are 5 elements that Solution Architects use to design solutions: your strategic objectives, your solution requirements, your business requirements, your current information state and your business information drivers or key performance indicators.

In Part #2 of the series, we will take a look at Management Objectives and Key Performance Indicators and why they are important to successful implementations.

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