Agile has enabled enterprises to evolve and progress and has helped them to become more productive. However, when it comes to using the agile methodology for ERP, scaling the project at scale is extremely difficult.
Agile has become an IT standard due to its effectiveness in helping enterprises streamline their workflow. Today, IT enterprises are witnessing a surge in demand across all industries for their products and services. They are trying to implement the agile methodology to take on much larger and more complex projects. However, when it comes to applying the agile principles to the ERP ones that are known for their complexity and require a significant amount of integration, it doesn’t yield the expected results.
Leveraging agile benefits, which are derived from the smaller-scale efforts, is a little difficult to apply for projects at scale. Few challenges that come in the way of successful implementation of agile while implementing it for ERP are:
Control or decision making
The success factor of any agile project is a small, highly skilled team that has the ability to make critical decisions through the entirety of the project. But when the project scales, other departments get involved in the project, which increases the volume of decisions across different teams. This results in teams making decisions that look far from the one they intended for the project. Also, as more teams get involved, it becomes hard to align their goals to effectively scale the project. The process ends-up consuming a lot of time, which further delays the project’s release date> Moreover, once stakeholders start taking interest and get involved with the project, this further lengthens the time to finish the project. Since agile methodologies are not conducive to make large, cross-functional decisions, the scale of a project becomes much more challenging.
It is more difficult and time-consuming to ensure all teams are aligned when there are more teams and consequences involved.
Managing backlog is more difficult for a project that is scaling than a small development project. This is due to the fact that the backlog consists of many activities that are not directly related to the development of software such as data team support, training support, deployment activities, etc.
Another factor that of backlog project management is the integrated testing, which is challenging as most enterprises require involvement of multiple teams. This puts a lot of pressure on the product owner to understand the entire program and effectively sequence and synchronize with the other teams.
The communication between the scrum teams decides the effectiveness of the scale of the ERP project. When there’s a misalignment between the teams, an enterprise ends up with idle resources. Hence, it is essential that all teams have aligned goals and can complete their designated tasks simultaneously.
Agile project management poses a risk for enterprises to define risk-sharing between their vendors. The contracts for large scale projects tend to be deliverable-based. This increases the cost of penalties or incentives that drives cost and schedule performance, enabling enterprises to hold vendors accountable for the delivery scope.
Since cost and time are fixed in an agile environment, while the project’s scope is variable. This fixed agile mindset hurts when the project is ERP, as it complicates the defining and resolving of warranty issues.
Thus, before embarking on an ERP project with the Agile mindset, enterprises should take the above-mentioned factors into consideration. This will enable them to develop strategies that will effectively manage ERP challenges and scale the projects at large.