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In the past few years, Panorama Consulting has been holding ERP boot camps for the energized, the impacted and the interested. I personally attend these boot camps both to facilitate and to learn. Yes, the trends and the nomenclature change over time. For example, the words, “digital transformation” were big for a while, and now they have become a natural extension of ERP. Here’s some things (out of many) that I’ve learned from boot camp and why it’s never boring:

Newer is Not Always Better

Take Cloud vs. On-Premise. The discussion continues, and I sometimes raise an eyebrow or two when I suggest the right answer for your ERP needs might be a combination of both. You probably won’t hear that from software vendors, who typically tend to invest heavily in one camp or the other. But then again, boot camp is all about what you need to hear vs. entities telling you what you want to hear.

I enjoy people, and discussing/dissecting real life situations and solutions. While Panorama spearheads the conversation, I can never predict where the learning and the dialogue will lead. Lock yourself in a room for three days with people responsible for projects (that their jobs probably depend on) and you’d be amazed at how effective, creative and unfiltered the conversation becomes. Not unlike golf skills, it’s a rekindling of what you knew, what you’ll relearn and what you’ll become proficient at with practice.

SAP vs. Oracle Case Study

SAP and Oracle both invest heavily in cloud technology. However, our client was skeptical about cloud scalability and unsure if the products were mature and proven.

Failing is an Option Not Recommended

I’d say about 50% of boot camp attendees have either experienced or been part of a failed implementation, including myself. A treasure trove of experience. It’s fascinating to look at the varied reasons why. Some pick the right software, but user resistance sinks the boat. Others have talked about inadequate time blueprinting and process mapping leading to chaos at go-live.

It’s fair to say that no two failures are the same, but some of the lessons learned certainly have commonalities. I remember one attendee at boot changing their implementation timeline after a boot camp presentation of, “Lessons Learned from a Failed ERP Implementation.” The realization that their organization had not comprehensively flushed out what their future state should look like, caused the needed pause.

While discussing ERP methodology for effective ERP implementations is beneficial, dissecting failed ERP projects is priceless.

Strength in Numbers

Maybe it starts with making sure that your steering committee is on the same page as your project team, I’m always reminded that you can’t overcommunicate to gain support for your project. Boot camp provides an arsenal of tools and methods of how to do this. Effective communication will build allies and unite support … easy to say, harder to do.

An incidental (but not trivial) benefit of boot camp are the relationships that are built between attendees. Telephone numbers get exchanged and many attendees continue to network and bounce ERP ideas off each other, long after boot camp has ended. Part of what facilitates this, is the intentional small group structure of boot camp … typically limited to thirty or less enrollees.

“A” team members sign up for boot camp (CIOs, CEOs, Project Leads, etc.). Panorama also brings our “A” team of consultants to present. Part of boot camp includes a private consult with the Panorama team. This is an effective opportunity to ask questions in private, that are specific to your ERP project initiatives.

While there is never a good time to disrupt our busy work schedules, participating in an upcoming boot camp might be a welcome reboot of learning and ideas. I like to refer to this as, “creative disruption,” and I hope you’ll consider the investment of time.

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