For any college basketball fan, this time of year is when the season begins to hit a high note. Conference tournaments and the big dance are right around the corner, and the level of play (especially conference rivalry games) hits a season high. The coaches and players can smell it.....Selection Sunday is almost here, and the question is how to get noticed.
There is so much planning and strategy that goes into a team's season. There are adjustments and changes made to the starting line up and the depth of the bench becomes an increasing factor. It is the time in the season where the coach is fine tuning and all the hours of preparation are about to come down to the month of March.
Believe it or not, ERP software selection is much like planning a basketball season.
First, there is the recruiting process. What individuals will make up a cohesive team that is focused on the goal will not waiver when it gets tough. You want the best from each department. Sometimes this doesn't look like you initially expect. It isn't always the most recognizable person from the department. It is the system user that everyone asks, "How do I do this or that?". They know the processes and have a deep understanding that some of the department heads don't come close to.
Second, is to set up the schedule. The pre-season schedule is an important time of evaluation. It is a time to look at other teams, their strengths and weaknesses, and how your team responds. For ERP selection, this is the time in the process to perform an initial vendor evaluation. Which ERP Software products have your core requirements? Take a look at customer references, types of projects they have completed and are currently working on. Do they have the depth on their bench that you need to complete your project. Afterall, you are committed to this vendor once you sign the contract.
Thirdly, don't over-train. When an athlete over trains, injury occurs. Don't get injured because you have put too many ERP software options on your demo list. Create a short list. ERP selection articles generally recommend having 3-4 vendors on your shortlist. You and your team need to be able to focus on your core strengths and needs, not get pulled into hypothetical scenarios.
Fourth, remember you are the coach, and this is your team. You know this team and who they represent. Don't allow a vendor to dazzle you with numbers. Verify the numbers for yourself. Know what you are investing and the anticipated return. There is a goal, and a required outcome. Don't let a vendor sway you with amazing salesmanship. Know your numbers and your team's ability before you bring in walk-ons that waste project resources.
Finally, how is the season shaping up? As the coach, you have shared knowledge, and required commitment. Is the team responding? Because, by now, you have included the ERP Software vendor in on some team meetings, and now is the time to find out if they are really understanding you. Is the understanding there? Make sure that the team and the vendor can go into the game and execute without losing sight of the fundamentals.
These steps will help ensure that at the end of the season you are holding a trophy instead of a towel over your face.
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