Enterprise Application Deployments–Making The Complex Simple

June 8, 2015

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As we know, it’s not easy making the complex simple. Consider implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The new system is likely to be at least an order of magnitude or two more complex than the current system making it harder to create efficiencies and have strong adoption.

While the application experts have a strong familiarity with the tool, its definitions and its inner workings, at the end of the day, the people who will rely on the system day in and day out to do their jobs don’t have the benefit of years of experience. They are more like “deer in the headlights.”

And, all too many application project schedules leave little time before go-live to acquaint the users with all that they need to know to do their jobs seamlessly and effortlessly. How long will it take for users to achieve unconscious competence with the new application?

If your focus is making the complex simple, crossing the chasm between the current system and the new system must be a very high priority. Yet, most application implementations leave end users frustrated, dazed and confused creating a bad impression that’s hard to overcome.

At the point of go-live, you want the team energized, not frustrated, dazed and confused. Criteria need to be established not only for application readiness but business team readiness to use the application at the point of go-live. Someone needs to focus on the people who have real jobs to perform.

Thought for the week:

“It’s time to engage more thoughtfully about our planet.” – Heard through Infosys on Twitter
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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The Why of Enterprise Applications

November 4, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: enterprise applications

How much value can be derived from an enterprise application? By value, I mean:

  • Simplify an on-going business challenge
  • Enable and facilitate collaboration
  • Reduce friction and latency in achieving desired business outcomes

A very public example of a failure is the federal government’s Obamacare website. It failed on all the metrics above. The other night, I heard a story on the radio about how the federal government has a very high percentage of applications costing $10 million or more failing to deliver value. That has to be 90%+ of IT projects!

What’s at the root of this?

  • Unclear vision for the application
  • Inability to manage scope
  • Pieces of the solution created independently don’t integrate well
  • Business teams don’t know how to communicate with developers; developers don’t know how to communicate with business teams
  • People responsible for project oversight lack experience and expertise to lead such efforts and detect possible problems–they are too trusting and don’t have the capability to verify that things are on track.
  • Development delays undermine testing before go-live and the roll-out to stakeholders who need the system

One of my favorite quotes comes from the Dalai Lama: “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” Sadly, the federal government seems not to see losses as an opportunity to learn.

Applications are deployed for the people who will use the application day in and day out. If the application doesn’t work well for them, the application doesn’t deliver value. It’s that simple.

Thought for the week:

“The project you are most resisting carries your greatest growth.” – Robin Sharma
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Impressions of Citrix Synergy 2012

May 10, 2012

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day in San Francisco at the Citrix Synergy 2012 conference.  While I am not an I.T. technical person in the sense that most people attending the event were, I came away with a greater and deeper appreciation for Citrix the company, the team and its partners.  So, it is from that vantage point that I share my impressions of the event:

  • Citrix has a loyal, committed, enthusiastic customer base.  I believe the customer commitment comes from Citrix’s pragmatism and commitment to excellence.
  • Citrix appears to be a very committed partner with every major I.T. company in the world.  They’ve not been isolationists and they have not favored one company or platform over another.
  • Citrix is deeply committed to the cloud. The cloud is a key enabler of their mobile strategy.
  • Citrix listens to customers.  One new area of functionality they learned about is allowing users to specify where data is stored geographically in the cloud if that is of particular concern or interest to a customer. Customers are not forced into a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
  • Citrix profoundly “walks the talk” about being committed to mobile and mobile platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, etc.  They didn’t just say it–they demonstrated that it is working today.
  • Citrix is a key enabler of the philosophy of being able to work seamlessly anytime, anywhere and on any platform.
  • Citrix has expanded their suite of technology products by acquiring a company I’ve been a huge fan of for over a year: Podio, a social collaboration platform dedicated to the future of work. And, within a few short weeks, Podio demonstrated a one-click integration with Citrix GoToMeeting. Podio is a brilliant acquisition for Citrix and for Podio.
  • Citrix isn’t standing still, harvesting revenues on their past successes.  Citrix is a company on the move with it’s ear to the ground and instincts guiding significant investments in their customer’s future.
  • Citrix is moving outside the I.T. realm into stronger relationship with business teams.  This is a newer frontier for Citrix. The executives I met with seemed to understand the challenges they face approaching business teams outside the traditional I.T. organizations.

I attended the event with David Coleman, Managing Director of Collaborative Strategies, Inc.  We were the guests of Citrix. Citrix Synergy was attended by over 6000 people from all over the world.

I was very impressed with what I see in Citrix and the Citrix team. And, I’m very excited to see Podio become part of Citrix.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting, http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 07MAY12

May 7, 2012

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: information technology

We often hear that a company is implementing an ERP, CRM, PLM or a product configurator system. Yet, by these very words, there is a lack of appreciation of what is really occurring:

You aren’t implementing an information technology system; you are changing the way work gets done.

By itself, information technology accomplishes nothing. Leverage comes from the integration of people and process with information technology. Most projects focus too much attention on the technology and too little on people and process.

A successful project must be a collaboration between business team (the people who end up living with the efficacy of the business application) and the I.T. team. The joint mission is delivering an application that enables the business team to accomplish its essential mission with greater efficiency and execution control.

Business teams must actively engage with I.T.–their future relies on it. Only through active engagement will the business teams thrive.

Thought for the week:

When my mother died 5 years ago, my father resolved not to die in front of a television set. For years, it’s been hard to get on his calendar–he has one night free each week.

He sings in the church choir weekly, performs ten Christmas pageant performances and a special outdoor 4th of July event each year, sings karaoke, participates in a widows and widowers group, continues to be an avid genealogist, loves taking cruises, and even took up ballroom dancing 4 years ago.

At 86, he won a trophy and multiple blue and red ribbons this past weekend. His trophy-winning rumba performance is captured on this 2-minute video. Enjoy!

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 05DEC11

December 5, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: information technology

John le Carré offered, “A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.”

Often, I.T. professionals are too separated from business process owners and the actual problems the business process owners are attempting to solve using information technology.

If more I.T. professionals would simply go to where the work is–watch and experience it first hand–they would be adding value beyond belief and helping their organizations achieve greater effectiveness.

This is how I.T. and Chief Information Officers can help their organizations thrive.

[Note: Read my entire Forbes.com guest blog post here.]

Thought for the week:

“Expertise is only as good as the actions you take with it. What you do with it is up to you.” – Jay Abraham

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.