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Project Management + ERP Solutions

Your guide in the world of Business, Project Management and ERP

Author

abhijitpradhan

Founder and Managing Director, Big Bang Consultancy. This organization is providing consultancy services in Project Management, Supply Chain and Manufacturing. Organization is associated with international organizations such as Project Management Institute, USA and making application of international IT products - SAP, Microsoft, Primavera etc,

War Room in Maharashtra – Good example for effective project management

Maharashtra Chief Ministers Devendra Phadanvis has done masters in Project Management from Germany. He has adopted world class successful project management techniques ‘War Room’ for executing multiple infrastructure projects across Maharashtra. Following are important points from article in Economic Times Mumbai edition dated 23rd July 2018. (//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/65098499.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst )

  • The war room is a place where the CM can sit and take instantaneous decisions on large infrastructure projects.
  • It has yielded handsome results – In one meeting, it reviewed 30 projects in a record-breaking two hours. Another milestone was the transfer of 93 land parcels in Mumbai in three months.
  • It worked on two pivots: articulate and focused conversation, and result-oriented tracking.
  • A sense of urgency and debottlenecking as an obsession are key elements of War Room
  • Files do not move from one department to another for months, creating ennui and inefficiency. The war room facilitates decisions, movement of files, and dialogue between departments
  • The preparation for the war room started in late 2014 and the first meeting took place in May 2015
  • War Room is managed by Kaustubh Dhavse, Officer on Special Duty to Chief Minister (CM), who is an engineer, MBA from SP Jain and has a degree in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Dhavse works closely with Additional Chief Secretar, Praveen Pardeshi, to CM,. Together, they run the operations of the war room.
  • Every two months, CM meets in the war room.
  • CM uses his power to resolve cross departmentasl issues. Not surprisingly, many issues have a tendency to get resolved just before the next war room meeting.
  • Agenda items for the meeting with the CM are broken down into three columns: background, issue and onus.
  • The five men and two women fellowship interns sitting before Dhavse are all under 25, with an IIT or an equivalent degree under their belt.
  • Govt shortlisted projects primarily in IT, infrastructure, irrigation and road connectivity.
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Positive outlook for Real Estate in India in Year 2018!!

 

 

The Aadhar Case Study

Recently Aadhar card got full statutory status. But did you know that Aadhar project, from concept to delivery, is considered as one of the most complex and successful project in the world.

Project Team, with Mr. Nandan Nilekani as Project Manager, completed all its targets well in advance. E.g.

-In less than 5 years from launch 90 crore  Indian people got Aadhar, 9 months ahead of schedule.
-Largest biometric database in the world with a deduplication capability never seen before.
-Used 1/3 of sanctioned workforce.
-Accuracy 99.99 %
-Total expenditure of project is less than Rs 10000 cr much lesser than budgeted.

Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Ex. CEO of Infosys, is strong supporter project management framework PMBOK and has used its principles in Aadhar project.
Is this the reason for its grand success? Yes I have ample evidences to prove it.

Baseline Deviation

We have talked about 3 baselines – WBS for measuring scope changes,  budget for measuring cost variations and schedule for checking progress of planned activities.

Surprisingly nature has also gifted us baseline to monitor our health. Any healthy human being is supposed to have certain body temperature, heart beats, blood pressure and many more. Health is monitored by measuring these parameters. In case of deviation in the parameters we need treatment or meditation or exercise etc to bring it back to normal.

How to measure deviation in any Project with respect to baseline and what are remedies?

Time Baseline

For T20 World Cup many activities are being planned. Some activities are going simultaneously and some are dependent. E.g. Activities related to stadium such as pitch preparation, arrangement of food stall etc. will go on simultaneously. But flight booking, hotel booking, pick up arrangement should be done in certain sequence. Every activity should be done within the estimated time. Most important is relation of activities with calendar dates.

This web of dependent activities, time and manpower estimation against calendar is known as schedule. Schedule is considered as time baseline or yardstick. It works as a map for any project. Avoid any project without schedule to avoid delays

Cost Baseline

Budget session has started and everyone is eager to know about Railway and Union budget. Budget is a pet subject with every industry.

In Project management budget is considered as cost baseline or a reference  to measure cost variance. As a good practice always use WBS to prepare your  budget. Decide the budget at WBS or work categories level and then aggregate it upwards to decide the final project budget. Do not forget to keep some part of the budget to handle exigencies. Monitoring the budget can help you control cost overrun.

Scope Baseline

Baseline is a yardstick or reference to measure variance. So what is scope baseline? Scope baseline is derived from 3 elements -Project Statement, WBS and WBS Dictionary.

Let’s take example of upcoming T20 World Cup. It is also a project. Scope of this project is decided along with inclusions and exclusions. E.g. rule of DRS i.e. challenging umpire’s decision is decided as part of scope. So it is much more than project description.

Project statement is like an essay of entire project with description, features, assumptions, exclusions etc. Project Statement helps in deciding boundaries of the project and hence an important baseline. So what is WBS and why?

The Baseline Issue

In a T20 match everyone follows one indicator or benchmark which is runs per over. For example, if run rate target set by team playing first inning is 8 per over then team playing 2nd inning should constantly score above 8 runs per over to finally win the match. So entire monitoring happens against runs per over as a benchmark or yardstick.
In a Project also we need such an indicator or yardstick so as to effectively chase it. In project such a yardstick is known as the Baseline.

There are total 3 baselines against scope, time and cost respectively.

 

‘Go Live’ Important Phrase & Phase of ERP Industry

On 1st June 2013 we had planned to Go Live with a new SAP system at Takshi Auto, a fast growing automobile component manufacturing company at Chakan, Pune. The entire team including the management team of Takshi, system users and the consulting team from Godrej Infotech were  anxious and working very hard to make this phase successful.

So what is Go Live and why it is so important for ERP products like SAP?

Go Live marks the beginning of a new ERP system.

Okay so what’s so great about it? Are we not starting a new IT system or a new software/application every now and then? So what’s so great about ERP?

ERP is a single software for any organization & it replaces all other softwares such as inventory management, finance, purchase etc.

Going Live means stopping all existing systems and shifting to new single system called ERP from that moment. So it is kind of like heart replacement surgery but only for a company.

So what is the danger?….if single system stops then the entire organization will come to standstill. As is the case in replacing a person’s heart with a new heart….if it doesn’t work, then a person can collapse or even die.

In case of ERP failure all transactions of the organization such as receiving of raw material, dispatching of finished material, processing of work in process material, processing of payments, recording of quality parameters…..everything can come to standstill as there is no information available….completely blind folded organization.

So are we not testing ERP thoroughly?

Yes through testing of any ERP system is mandatory. Many times testing is carried out in a box i.e. server or a system which is different than real system, also called as Production system or a system in which real transactions are carried out. Hence for a large and complex ERP, such as SAP, a small error can halt the entire system resulting in a complete collapse.

Imagine the case of a batsman who is playing well in net practice; is his performance in real match guaranteed? Not at all…it’s finally that small but important luck factor which is equally important.

But don’t worry…..in my long ERP career I have seen very very few failed Go Live attempts and all those failures had a strong reasoning behind them. So do thorough testing before you Go Live and you will have high chances of success.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding “Go live”. I will be happy to answer them.

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