ERP Implementations and House Building

ERP Implementations and House Building

In this multi-part blog series, Alan Lyczkowski discusses the many surprising parallels that can be drawn between an ERP implementation and the process of building a house.

My wife and I are going through the process of building a house. As a NAV Implementer, I can see a lot of similarities between building a house and implementing an ERP system. Both of these ventures are major Investments. Both involve a lot of planning, decision making, expertise of professionals, trust, and can be very satisfying once completed. With a house, you are making decisions about where you plan to live and raise your family for many years. With an ERP system, you are making decisions about what will run and analyze your business for many years. Both will need to be flexible enough if you have any changes to your current situation (family or business climate).

For eight years of my career life, I worked as an analyst for a major housing manufacturer. For 15 years of my career, I have been working as a Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) professional. My goal in writing this series is to assist you in preparing for the discussions and decisions associated with an ERP system implementation. My background in the ERP Implementation and homebuilding industries affords a unique perspective. Through these articles, I hope to draw similarities between these two industries, along with my personal experience, to illustrate the many tasks involved with ERP implementations, and to make them easier to understand.

The list below is a summary of some of the areas I plan to explore by drawing the similarities to make your ERP implementation easier to understand.

 ERP SystemHome Building
Analysis PhaseWhat do you need?What do you need and where do you want to live?
Shopping PhaseDemos of ERP systemsLooking through model homes and viewing floor plans
Choosing the PartnerWho are the implementation specialists that you will work with?Who are the construction experts that you will work with?
DecisionsDecisions on featuresDecisions on features
Project Planning and PrepWhat tasks, when, what to expectWhat tasks, when, what to expect
Financing DecisionsDetermine how are you going to finance the SystemMortgage shopping
WalkthroughUser testingWalk through the house and inspect
Moving Day PrepCutover planningMoving day planning
Go LiveGo liveMoving in
Support/ReworkSupportSettling and rework

Through each of these phases, you will need to take an active part to ensure that you get what you need. Through each of these phases, keep an eye on your goals. These tasks may seem daunting, and some of them are, but through the process you will have a better understanding of the ERP system or house. When you are done, you will be confident in your decisions and happy with the results and accomplishments.

Watch for Alan’s next installment, Part 1: The Analysis Phase.

Read more blogs by Alan  Lyczkowski.

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